Episode: Conference: Eternal Recurrence and the Unconscious: The Question of Fate in Psychoanalysis


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Conference: Eternal Recurrence and the Unconscious: The Question of Fate in Psychoanalysis

Gwion Jones
Eternal Recurrence: An obsessional nightmare?

If we interrogate Nietsche’s notion of eternal recurrence in the light of Lacan’s pronouncements on repetition from Seminar 11, of a failed attempt at mastery over desire, we arrive at a very different appreciation of its dialectic. Using this question as my starting point I propose to apply Lacan's thesis to the psychical operation of magical notions of time in particular, as manifest in obsessional neurosis, thereby extrapolating its implications for the wider themes of the symposium; namely the operation of mythic narratives in human subjectivity more generally, and of the abiding lure of spiritual ideas of fate and destiny. The aim of this argument is to follow a path originally laid down by Jacques Derrida in reconceptualising the influence of Nietzsche on the development of Freud’s metapsychology, through this pathologisation of Nietsche’s seminal thesis.

Gwion Jones is a psychoanalyst working in private practice as well as lecturer in psychology at Coventry University.



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