Family histories

MELMAN Charles
Date publication : 04/05/2018
Dossier : Traduction éditoriaux


In 1925, Freud was obliged to send a representative of psychoanalysis to Paris, Madame Sokolnika (to whom André Gide’s mother would send her adolescent son) since the investors of the premises turned out to be delegates of Opus Dei and of Action Française, given the responsibility to prevent a “Germanic” activity from corrupting “the valiant French youth”. One member of the group was an Alsatian who served in the German army in 1914, Laforgue, and whose exchanges and correspondence with Freud were testimony to a comical ambivalence so crude were they. Signed up to the Gestapo during the war, he would be advised in 1945 to take extended holidays in Morocco to return once his passions had come down. In the 1960s, I had the opportunity to hear him one evening at a reception at the Leclaire’s: he would have done better to have got lost in Morocco.

The decor was turned around after the Liberation, at which time there was a due at the head of the Société Psychanalytique de Paris, Sacha Nacht, father of our friend Marc; and a Communist Jew who was defrocked after his contribution to a nasty article that appeared in theNouvelle Critique,the official journal for Communist Party intellectuals, on psychoanalysis “bourgeois science”, and without him ever having tried the couch: Serge Lebovici (in 1967, counsellor to Poniatovski, Rassemblement pour la RépubliqueMinister of Health, who he prevented signing my nomination as Chef de Servicein the psychiatric hospitals.

In this climate, Lacan established in the SPP a teaching that was untied to any ideology and was materialist: materiality of the letter. Wouldn’t you have to be crazy?

Young people flocked there, or rather continue their university courses, like Lagache or Madame Favez-Boutonnier, so that the heads of the SPP decided, in order to defend themselves, that it was a syllabus teaching like that of medicine and validated by a diploma co-stamped by their faculty.

One misty evening, the conspirators met at the terrace of a nasty bistro in order to secede, Dolto, to whom Lebovici had sworn that never in his lifetime would he be a child psychoanalyst, Lagache, Madame Favez-Boutonnnier, and unexpectedly that were joined by Lacan, who at that time was president of the SPP.

It was in 1957 that the representatives of this new and honourable society, named French of Psychoanalysis, Professor Lagache and Professor Fazez-Boutonnier, to whom I had to present myself in order to be admitted to undertake a training analysis, she to whom I had prosaically asked Lacan to treat me— and learning on that occasion that she could possibly be used for a formation, one never knew.

Translation : Michael Plastow

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