By Haute, Philippe van; Freud, Sigmund; Geyskens, Tomas; Lacan, Jacques
Publication through Van Haute, Philippe, Geyskens, Tomas
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Additional info for A non-oedipal psychoanalysis? : a clinical anthropology of hysteria in the work of Freud and Lacan
When humankind started walking upright, the visual, and with that the genital, started dominating the sexual realm. Not only do the oral, anal, and olfactory lose importance through this development, but also became a source of disgust and aversion (Freud 1985, 279-280). In the present day, this phylogenetic phantasy can no longer count as a serious evolutionary explanation of disgust but rather a somewhat ‘fantastical’ description of the complex dynamic of disgust. After all, Freud’s tale beautifully demonstrates that sexual disgust “presupposes, as it were by definition, an (albeit suppressed) desire [Lust] for the object which provokes it” (Kolnai 2004, 43).
He writes this study to show that, far from being merely an interesting pastime for people bored during the morning hours, dream interpretation can be applied in the treatment of hysteria (Freud 1905a, 114). For this reason the case history of Dora is particularly suited to providing an understanding of Freud’s thought on hysteria between the publication of The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) and Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905b). In this chapter we present the case history of Dora in order to provide concrete clinical content to the evolution of Freud’s thought on hysteria as sketched out in the previous chapter.
Freud links this refusal to the fact that during Herr K’s embrace she experienced the pressure of his erect penis against her body. According to Freud, she wants to avoid this sight at all costs (Freud 1905a, 29-30). Freud believes this unwillingness expresses Dora’s dismissive attitude towards sexuality and sexual excitement. Dora reacts with deep disgust to the embrace of Herr K, which Freud links primarily to Dora’s past as a thumb sucker. Freud suspects that behind disgust lies hidden a powerful attraction to that by which one is so deeply repelled.