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Psychoanalysis as a Psycho-Social Hyphen in History: Approaching Freud and Walter Benjamin

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Abstract

In the psycho-social field, our struggle is around the way we understand the hyphen that is presupposed in the integration between the psychic and the social. I propose that, in this integration, what dominates is the hyphen, as it is the proper relational essence that is inherent to each of these elements. I suggest that the model proposed by Freud to understand the subject and his/her circumstances imbricates in an indissociable way the psychological and the social, with a potency that had an impact on the whole field of human sciences. Psychoanalysis is a hermeneutic instrument to collaborate in the elucidation of social phenomena. I use images constructed by Freud and Walter Benjamin to strengthen the understanding of the psycho-social hyphen both in its multidimensional action and organization, making possible a production in the psycho-social field that is at the same time redemption of memory, resignification, and reparatory act. Finally, I use poems by the Brazilian writer Carlos Drummond de Andrade to show how Benjamin’s angel of history and his conception of memory may present themselves as a personal angel (or ghost) demanding reparation.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Freud used an optic model, that is to say, a specular model that describes his conception of the function of the psychic apparatus, taking into consideration his findings on oneiric production. This model encompasses his four essential findings regarding dreams: (1) A dream is an important and complete psychic act; (2) What mobilizes it is always the fulfillment of a desire; (3) The way it presents itself makes it impossible to recognize the desire, given the deformation fostered by the act of psychic censorship; and (4) Besides that act of censorship, what collaborates in the forming of the dream is the condensation and representation through images, and sometimes the care that enables the dream to present a rational and intelligent aspect.

  2. 2.

    The translation of these verses was taken from https://allpoetry.com/Seven-Sided-Poem. Last accessed January 3, 2021.

  3. 3.

    Gauche has a number of resonances. In his poems, Drummond elaborates both on his worldview and his feelings around being awkward, clumsy, and strange in his relations to the world. But in my analysis I work on the angel’s paradoxical demand to him to oppose.

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Correspondence to Belinda Mandelbaum .

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Mandelbaum, B. (2022). Psychoanalysis as a Psycho-Social Hyphen in History: Approaching Freud and Walter Benjamin. In: Frosh, S., Vyrgioti, M., Walsh, J. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Psychosocial Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-61510-9_19-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-61510-9_19-1

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