Was 'death' a lacuna at the heart of Sigmund Freud's work? Liran Razinsky argues that the question of death is repressed, rejected and avoided by Freud, therefore resulting in an impairment of the entire theoretical structure of psychoanalysis. Razinsky supports his claim through a series of close readings of psychoanalytic texts (including not just Freud, but Klein, Kohut, Jung and Lacan among others) that explore psychoanalysis' inattention to this fundamental human concern. The readings are combined to form an overall critique of psychoanalysis - one that remains sympathetic but calls for a rethinking of the issue of death. In presenting a fresh and persuasive interpretation of the Freudian corpus, this book will be of interest to scholars of Freud's thought and psychoanalysis, literary scholars, analysts, clinicians and to all those curious about death's psychic life.
Liran Razinsky is a Lecturer in the Department of Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies at Bar Ilan University, Israel. He works in both French and comparative literature, critical theory, as well as in theoretical psychoanalysis.
Introduction; 1. Against death: Freud and the question of death's psychic presence; 2. 'Most of the time life appears so uncertain to me': death as a concern in Freud's life; 3. The dream of death: The Interpretation of Dreams; 4. To dream, perchance to die: a further exploration of The Interpretation of Dreams; 5. Death and anxiety; 6. A struggle with the concept of death: Thoughts for the Times on War and Death; 7. Driving death away: Freud's theory of the death drive; 8. Death and culture: death as a central motif in Freud's cultural and literary analyses; 9. Avoidance and reduction of death in psychoanalysis; 10. The post-Freudians in the labyrinth of death; 11. Lacan; 12. Attempts at reconciliation; 13. Sources of the clash: the conflict between analytic ideas and concern with death; 14. Death in life; Final thoughts.