Difference between revisions of "Privation"
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In The Future of An Illusion, he writes:
"For the sake of a uniform terminology we will describe the fact that an instinct cannot be satisfied as a 'frustration,' the regulation by which this frustration is established as a 'prohibition' and the condition which is produced by the prohibition as a 'privation.'"
"Persecutory anxiety, therefore, enters from the beginning into [the baby's] relation to objects in so far as he is exposed to privations."
"Feelings of frustration and grievance lead to phantasying backwards and often focus in retrospect on the privations suffered in relation to the mother's breast."
Lacan's answer to the question concerning what is actually being deprived is that
"It is especially the fact that the Woman does not have a penis, that She is deprived of it. The very notion of privation, so tangible and visible in an experience such as that one, implies the symbolization of the object in the real. For in the real, nothing is deprived of anything. Everything that is real is sufficient unto itself. By definition, the real is full [plein]. If we introduce the notion of privation into the real, it is to the extent that we can already symbolize it adequately, or even completely. Indicating that something is not there means supposing its possible presence—that is, introducing into the real, in order to recover it and hollow it out, the simple symbolic order."
Three types of lack
According to Freud, when children realize that some people (women) do not have a penis, this is a traumatic moment which produces different effects in the boy and in the girl (see castration complex).
The girl blames the mother for depriving her of a penis, and redirects her affections to the father in the hope that he will provide her with a child as a symbolic substitute for the penis she lacks.
However, by definition, "the real is full".
Its symbolic nature is confirmed by the fact that it can be substituted by a child in the girl's unconscious; in appeasing her penis envy by desiring a child, Freud argues, the girl "slips - along the lines of a symbolic equation, one might say - from the penis to a baby."
However, these two accounts are not necessarily incompatible.
From Girl to Mother
Even though the girl may at first resent the mother for depriving her of a penis and turn to the father in the hope that he will provide her with a symbolic substitute, she later turns her resentment against the father when he fails to provide her with the desired child.
Freud argues that penis envy persists into adulthood, manifesting itself both in the desire to enjoy the penis in sexual intercourse, and in the desire to have a child (since the father has failed to provide her with a child, the woman turns to another man instead).
The mother's basic dissatisfaction is perceived by the child from very early on; he realizes that she has a desire that aims at something beyond her dual relationship with him - the imaginary phallus.
- Freud, Sigmund. The Future of An Illusion. p.10
- Klein, 1932/1952b, p. 199
- Klein, 1952a, p. 265
- Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre IV. La relation d'objet, 19566-57. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. pp.237-270
- Freud, 1924d
- Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre IV. La relation d'objet, 19566-57. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p.218
- Freud, 1924d: SE XIX, 178-9
- Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre IV. La relation d'objet, 19566-57. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p.194
- Freud, Sigmund. (1927c). The future of an illusion. SE, 21: 1-56.
- Klein, Melanie. (1952a). On observing the behaviour of young infants. In Melanie Klein, Paula Heimann, Susan Isaacs, and Joan Rivière (Eds.). Developments in psychoanalysis (pp. 237-270). London: Hogarth.
- Klein, Melanie. (1952b). Some theoretical conclusions regarding the emotional life of the infant. In Melanie Klein, Paula Heimann, Susan Isaacs, and Joan Rivière. (Eds.). Developments in psychoanalysis (pp. 198-236). London: Hogarth. (Original work published 1932)
- Lacan, Jacques. (1956-57). Le séminaire: Livre IV, La relation d'objet (pp. 237-270). Paris: Le Seuil.