Re: Translation’ and ‘transformation’ in the analytic situation: Freud – Bion – Laplanchearticle

I think this is a valuable article for attempting to specify differences between apparently related concepts involving “translation.” Despite my appreciation for the author’s attempt to working with Laplanchian concepts, however, I did not feel it was quite ready for publication. My focus is on the editorial process.

First, I thought the section on Lacan should not have been published as written. It has a gratuitous dismissive comment about Parisian analysts that does not belong in a scholarly piece. Also, it seems to misunderstand the concept of the objet a and especially its relation to the real body. One could argue that the body plays a more important role for Lacan than Laplanche, for example. As expressed, these comments may involve essentially political arguments (between IPA groups and Lacanians). The issue of how Laplanche split off from Lacan is a topic worthy of comment and exploration, but needs more scholarly work. Moreover, what is offered in that direction doesn’t really add much to the paper. In passing however, I did wonder whether- if the author’s interpretations do reflect Laplanche’s style- their “equivoque” or ambiguity doesn’t owe something to Lacan’s teaching (and his borrowing from Freud, of course).

Otherwise, I thought the clinical vignettes were quite interesting. Whether the analyst’s provocative remarks or interpretations were “Laplanchian,” could be argued. They were certainly interesting interventions that would be bound to have an effect. In the first example, the remark about the father’s attractiveness did seem to me to involve a “synthetic interpretation,” [or] “bringing together of ‘earlier’ and ‘now’.” Was it Laplanchian? The second case is more complicated, but again, the material to justify the link (other than the similar “synthetic” interpretation of transference) is lacking.

My point is not so much to question the assertions in the piece, but to argue that more editorial work with the author might have produced a more persuasive and useful result.