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Recollection

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French: remémoration

Jacques Lacan

Recollection and remembering (mémoration) are symbolic processes which Lacan contrasts with reminiscence (réminiscence), which is an imaginary phenomenon.

Whereas remembering is the act whereby some event or signifier is registered for the first time in the symbolic memory, recollection is the act whereby such an event or signifier is recalled.

Reminiscence

Reminiscence involves reliving past experience and feeling once again the emotions associated with that experience.

Lacan stresses that the analytic process does not aim at reminiscence but at recollection.

While it is true that intense memories may be evoked in psychoanalytic treatment, with accompanying emotional discharge, this is not the basis of the analytic process.

Reminiscence is also linked by Lacan to the Platonic theory of knowledge.

Psychoanalytic Treatment

Recollection in the treatment involves the patient tracing the master signifiers of his life.

"The realization by the subject of his history in his relation to a future."[1]

By means of recollection, the treatment aims at "the complete reconstitution of the subject's history"[2] and the "assumption of his history by the subject."[3]

What matters is not "reliving" the formative events of the past in any intuitive or experiential way; on the contrary, what matters is what the analysand reconstructs of his past,[4] the key word being "reconstruct".

"It is less a matter of remembering than of rewriting history."[5]

See Also

References

  1. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 88
  2. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book I. Freud's Papers on Technique, 1953-54. Trans. John Forrester. New York: Nortion; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. p. 12
  3. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 48
  4. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book I. Freud's Papers on Technique, 1953-54. Trans. John Forrester. New York: Nortion; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. p.13
  5. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book I. Freud's Papers on Technique, 1953-54. Trans. John Forrester. New York: Nortion; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. p.14