A Psychoanalytic Exploration of the Contemporary Search for Pleasure: The Turning of the Screw

Editor : Vaia Tsolas, Editor : Christine Anzieu-Premmereur

A Psychoanalytic Exploration of the Contemporary Search for Pleasure: The Turning of the Screw

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : July 2022
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 218
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 97230
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032471136
  • ISBN 10 : 1032471131

Also by Christine Anzieu-Premmereur

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This interdisciplinary collection of essays explores the malaise of the contemporary individual by returning the economic point of view of Freudian thinking, the concept of satisfaction, libido, and pleasure–unpleasure principle to their rightful place as the motivating forces of human existence.

For Freud, pleasure stands apart from other human experiences, side by side with unpleasure, always a bonus in the search for satisfaction of the pleasure principle and beyond. Along with libido, emotional fulfillment, and the capacities for sublimation and play, pleasure has not been given enough attention in the psychoanalytic literature. The editors of this book address this lack and highlight the importance of examining today’s social and individual malaise through these specific lenses of inquiry. It is particularly timely and important today to address this lack, and thereby examine the impact of the social phenomena of the pandemic, the crises of ideals and virtuality on the subject who feels in a state of constant emergency, overwhelmed, addicted, and delibidinalized.

With contributions from across psychoanalysis, this book is essential reading for psychoanalysts in training and in practice who want to understand how the modern world has shaped our understanding of pleasure.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Introduced by Vaia Tsolas and Christine Anzieu-Premmereur and with chapters by prestigious authors such as Julia Kristeva, Laurence Kahn, Jacqueline Schaeffer, Rosemary Balsam and others, this original and compelling book addresses the shifting forms of pleasure from their Freudian roots to the world of technology, artificial intelligence, online meetings and sessions. In these times where the body seems absent, should we rethink notions as desire, love, and thought? Major metapsychological concepts such as drive, hallucinatory satisfaction, après-coup, object and dis-objectivation are questioned and bring to light a new conception of pleasure.’
Marilia Aisenstein, past president (Paris Society) and past president (Paris Institute of Psychosomatics), the author of An Analytic Journey: From the Art of Archery to the Art of Psychoanalysis (Karnac Books, 2017) and Désir, douleur, pensée (Ithaque, 2020)

‘Beginning with the assumption that pleasure, in its metapsychological meaning, not merely as a sensation or experience has been undertheorized in psychoanalytic literature despite its position as one of Freud's main fascinations in his inquiries into the human psyche, this extraordinary interdisciplinary collection of essays addresses the malaise of the contemporary individual [- and some would say contemporary psychoanalysis! -] desperately trying to survive and to secure some satisfaction in combating the overwhelming, overpowering climate of ethical and political impotence. Central to its argument is the demonstration of the theoretical necessity and clinical relevance of Freudian drive theory and the restoration of the economic point of view to its rightful place as the motivating force of human existence.
Howard B. Levine, editor-in-chief of the Routledge W.R. Bion Studies Series, author of Affect, Representation and Language: Between the Silence and the Cry (Routledge 2022)

‘This fascinating series of essays is particularly timely in exploring the destiny of humanity and our inner experiences after the pandemic. Contemporary psychoanalytic exploration reveals that the search for pleasure shows new and unexpected implications compared with classical analytic knowledge. The very distinguished and multi-disciplinary contributors that participated in this book explore the different implications of the catastrophic changes in a time of crisis, facing the rise of different forms of private and public violence, together with several original manifestations of people’s desperate attempts to find pleasure, sometimes in new and original ways. This book is a must-read for a wider understanding of the new social horizons and man’s deep psychology that characterize our contemporary world.’
Riccardo Lombardi, author of Body-Mind Dissociation in Psychoanalysis and Formless Infinity: Clinical Explorations of Matte Blanco and Bion

‘Our contemporary world is fraught with many denials of reality and avoidance of sexuality and eroticism in favor of identity quests. This exciting book that highlights the current discontents in our culture leading to new forms of seeking pleasure merits reading by every psychoanalyst and psychoanalytically oriented reader.’
Patrick Miller, a founding member of S.P.R.F (Société Psychanalytique de Recherche et de Formation) and the author of Le Psychanalyste pendant la séance (2001) and Driving Soma: A Transformational Process in the Analytic Encounter, (Routledge, 2014)

‘Tsolas and Anzieu-Premmereur have gathered distinguished interdisciplinary scholars to consider the rather neglected topic of the body and its impact on psychic functioning especially in the Subject’s pursuit of pleasure. The authors are steeped in the rich and varied European and British traditions. Furthermore, they are immersed in contemporary analytic schools that seem to minimize Soma’s centrality to Psyche’s capacity for representation. They reach back to Freud to resurrect his energic hypothesis and, with it, the notion of libido, to undergird their contemplation of the vicissitudes of the body’s search for pleasure-unpleasure. A difficult task handled with freshness and brilliance. Consider this book a Must Read for those who have been missing the Depth in Depth Psychology.’
Lila Kalinich is a training and supervising psychoanalyst at Columbia University, Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and an honorary faculty at the Pulsion Institute. She has been the past president of APM and is the co-editor of the Dead Father: A Psychoanalytic Inquiry, published by Routledge in 2008

‘We should welcome this book focused on a revision of the concept of pleasure, so crucial to the Freudian economic perspective. 
In addition to the changes that have occurred in culture since the birth of psychoanalysis, there has now been added the need to reflect on the experiences of living and working during the pandemic, against the background of climatic tragedy to which a war has now been added. 
Freud pointed out to us in "Civilization and its Discontents" of 1930 that the purpose of attaining bliss is unrealizable and has also shown us that the substitution of the power of the individual for that of the community is the decisive cultural step, which, in turn, has as its basis the drive’s sacrifice with which human beings contribute to the community. 
But culture has mutated. It is no longer the renunciation of the drive but rather an invitation to the opposite under a promise of well-being that is offered at the click of a button with the numerous technological devices we have at our disposal. The axis of contemporary society seems to be anchored in loving and giving well-being to oneself. And hating and rejecting what is different, if not, it is difficult to understand the direction the whole world is taking.  
That is why today it is essential to read this book that brings together the contributions of highly relevant authors from different countries who give their personal perspective on the way in which the ways of seeking pleasure have changed in the contemporary world. They also take into account both the uncertainty in which we live and the intolerance to otherness with an increase in the most varied forms of violence.’
Virginia Ungar is the past president of IPA (2015-2021). She is a training and supervising analyst at the Buenos Aires Psychoanalytic Association where she lives and practices. Dr. Ungar specializes in child and adolescent analysis and is the former chair of the IPA's Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis committee and of the Committee for Integrative Training. Co-chair for Latin America, committee for Psychoanalysis of Children and Adolescents (COCAP). She is the chair, Integrated Training Committee, IPA

About the Editor(s)

Vaia Tsolas is a training and supervising analyst at Columbia University, Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research; co-founder and board chair of Pulsion, a psychoanalytic institute in New York City; an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; a corresponding member of the Hellenic Psychoanalytic Association; co-founder of Rose Hill Psychological Services in New York City; and the editor of the book On the Body.

Christine Anzieu-Premmereur is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in New York City. A member of the Société Psychanalytique de Paris, faculty at the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center; an assistant clinical professor in Psychiatry at Columbia University; the chair of the IPA Committee for Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis, COCAP; and the Board Secretary of Pulsion, a psychoanalytic institute in New York City.

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