A long psychoanalytic tradition has viewed the Freudian uncanny (Unheimliche) as a variant of anxiety or anguish, and thus assigns the uncanny to the psychoanalytic theory of anxiety. In this contribution, starting from Freud’s 1919 text, Benvenuto shows how the uncanny can also not produce anguish, but even and above all a sense of perplexity as to what interpretive key (naturalist or magical-supernatural) to attribute to certain events. Referring back to T. Todorov’s essay on littérature phantastique, Benvenuto recalls how modern this sense of the uncanny actually is (the literary genre of the “uncanny” makes its first appearance at the end of the 18th century), which opens up the question of the historicity of the unconscious. Obtaining an uncanny effect requires that certain subjectivity which came out of the Enlightenment.
According to Benvenuto, the uncanny is an experience of what he calls the “psychosis of everyday life”, together with déja-vu, the feeling of derealization, non-psychotic erratic hallucination, and acting out. Both literature and cinema skillfully exploit the capacity to put us into a state of “routine psychosis”, in the sense that the uncanny can seize anyone, not just psychotics.
It is along these lines that Benvenuto shows the oscillation of the Freudian interpretation of the uncanny between Verdrangung (
Benvenuto will be sending his still unpublished (in English) article wherein he will elaborate on his analysis of the uncanny.
Saturday, December 12, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sergio Benvenuto is a researcher in psychology and philosophy at the National Research Council (CNR) in Rome, Italy, and a psychoanalyst, president of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Psychoanalysis. He was trained in Paris in the 1970s at the University Paris VII, studying with Jean Laplanche. He is the founder and the editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Psychoanalysis since 1995. He's member of the Editorial Board of the journal American Imago.
He teaches psychoanalysis at the International Institute of the Psychology of Depth in Kiev, and in different Specialization Courses in Psychotherapy. He was and is a contributor to cultural journals such as Lettre Internationale, L’évolution psychiatrique, DIVISION/Review, Cliniques Mèditérranéeenes. He has translated into Italian (for Einaudi publishing house) Jacques Lacan’s Séminaire XX: Encore.
His publications include: Perversionen. Sexualität, Ethik und Psychoanalyse, in German (Wien: Turia + Kant, 2009); Mechta Lacana, in Russian (Sankt Peterburg: Aleteija, 2006); « Perversion and charity : an ethical approach », in D. Nobus & L. Downing eds., Perversion. Psychoanalytic Perspectives / Perspectives on Psychoanalysis (London : Karnac, 2006); “The Gaze of the Blind. Notes on Cézanne and Cubism”, American Imago, vol. 70, 3, Fall 2013. “Does Perversion Need the Law?”, W. Müller-Funk, I. Scholz-Strasser, H. Westerink, Psychoanalysis, Monotheism and Morality. The Sigmund Freud Museum Symposia 2009-2011 Leuven University Press, Leuven, 2013. “Ethics, Wonder and Real in Wittgenstein”, in Y. Gustafsson, C. Kronqvist, H. Nykänen, eds., Ethics and the Philosophy of Culture: Wittgensteinian Approaches, 2013, Cambridge Scholar Publishing.
“Merleau-Ponty and Hallucination”, American Imago, vol. 72, Summer 2015/2, pp. 177-196. “Dying for a signifier”, DIVISION/Review, A Quarterly Psychoanalytic Forum, 12, Summer 2015, pp. 27-8.
His books in English: with A. Molino, In Freud’s Tracks (New York: Aronson, 2008) nominated for Gradiva Award; What Are Perversions? (London: Karnac Books, 2016; Conversations with Lacan (London: Routledge, 2019)
For all his publications, see http://www.sergiobenvenuto.it/
"Freud’s Nietzsche: Eternal Return, Symptomatic Acts and the Gay Apophrades"
"What's uncanny in the Unheimliche?"
Sergio Benvenuto, Ph.D.
"Roads to the Unconscious: Some Parallels and Divergences between Psychoanalysis and the Writing of Poetry"
Helen Schoenhals Hart,
"Trans Realism: Psychoanalysis and the Trans Experience"
Patricia Gherovici, Ph.D.,
Grace Lavery, Ph.D.,
"*POSTPONED* What's uncanny in the Unheimliche?"
Sergio Benvenuto, Ph.D.
"*POSTPONED* Trans Realism, Psychoanalytic Practice, and the Rhetoric of Technique"
Grace Lavery, Ph.D.
"Creativity and the Erotic Dimensions of the Analytic Field"
Dianne Elise, Ph.D.
"Mama, Mnemo - Reading Kristeva with Montale"
Benjamin Davidson, Ph.D.
"The Maternal: Psychoanalysis, Literature and Film"
Claire Kahane, Ph.D.,
Marilyn Fabe, Ph.D.,
"Light Rooms: Medium, Mourning and Mania"
Elizabeth Abel, Ph.D.
"From Freud's Mourning to Mourning Freud"
Madelon Sprengnether, Ph.D.
"Group Discussion: The Place of the Nonrepresentational and the Nonverbal in Psychoanalysis"
Margot Beattie, Ph.D.,
Israel Katz, MD,
"Freud's Seduction: Psychoanalysis and California"
Fernando Castrillon, Psy.D.
"Trans Psychoanalysis and Livable Embodiments"
Patricia Gherovici, Ph.D.
"The Political Unconscious in Perilous Times"
Judith Butler, Ph.D.,
Lance Dodes, M.D.,
Jill Gentile, Ph.D.
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Steven H. Golderg, MD,
Jeanne C. Harasemovitch, LCSW,
"Incandescent Alphabets: Language and Art in Psychosis"
Annie G. Rogers, Ph.D.
"Homeland (In)Security: How Feminine Law Might Rescue Democracy, Truth and Free Speech"
Jill Gentile, Ph.D.
"Enigmatic Mechanisms: Some Reflections on Love, Affect, and Identification in Freud"
Marcus Coelen, Ph.D
"Refashioning Jouissance/Enjoyment for the Age of the Imaginary"
Juliet Flower MacCannell, Ph.D.
"Freud and the Frankfurt School"
Martin E. Jay, Ph.D.
"Thinking About The Future"
Christopher Bollas, Ph.D.
"Death Drive Dialogue #2"
Henry Markman, MD,
Israel Katz, MD,
Peter Hobson, Ph.D.
"The Alterability of the Memory Trace"
Rosaura Martinez, Ph.D.
"Conversion Disorder: Freud, religious transformation, Foucault and Agamben"
Jamieson Webster, Ph.D.
"Surviving Terror: An Interview with Ernst Federn"
Helen Schoenhals Hart, Dr.med.
"Rosa Luxemburg and Marilyn Monroe: Women in Depressed Times"
"Keeping the Other Alive: Counter-trends to the Death Drive"
Judith Butler, Ph.D.
"Cultivating the Foreigner Within: Julia Kristeva and Hannah Arendt on Uncanny Art and Human Relations in the Contemporary World"
Elaine Miller, Ph.D.
"Enduring Inequality: Racism in America"
Jeffrey Prager, Ph.D.
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