Madness and the Social Link: The Jean-Max Gaudilliere Seminars 1985 - 2000

Author(s) : Jean Max Gaudilliere, Editor : Francoise Davoine

Madness and the Social Link: The Jean-Max Gaudilliere Seminars 1985 - 2000

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : September 2020
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 198
  • Category :
    Individual Psychotherapy
  • Category 2 :
  • Catalogue No : 95315
  • ISBN 13 : 9780367523299
  • ISBN 10 : 0367523299
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This book provides a psychoanalytic reading of works of literature, enhancing the illuminating effect of both fields.

The first of two volumes, Madness and the Social Link: The Jean-Max Gaudilliere Seminars 1985-2000 contains seven of the Madness and the Social Link seminars given by psychoanalyst Jean-Max Gaudilliere at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris between 1985 and 2000, transcribed by Francoise Davoine from her notes. Each year, the seminar was dedicated to an author who explored madness in his depiction of the catastrophes of history. Surprising the reader at every turn, the seminars speak of the close intertwining of personal lives and catastrophic historical events, and of the possibility of repairing injury to the psyche, the mind, and the body in their wake.

These volumes expose the usefulness of literature as a tool for healing, for all those working in therapeutic fields, and will allow lovers of literature to discover a way of reading that gives access to more subtle perspectives and unsuspected interrelations.

Reviews and Endorsements

"In these remarkable seminars Jean-Max Gaudilliere guides us through encounters with madness - in the clinical setting, in literature, in the lives and thought of scientists, philosophers, social scientists, psychoanalysts, political thinkers - as a way of following the 'erased traces' of the stories that have been cut out from official history. Moving among literary narratives, cultural rituals across the globe, conceptual thought, personal biographies, and his own clinical experiences, Dr. Gaudilliere teaches us to recognize in madness a 'research tool' into catastrophic pasts, a showing, in personal lives, of what has been muted and remains unspeakable within a larger History. At the heart of this stunning book is the exchange by which the 'mad' and the listener (in clinical settings, rituals, literature, and conceptual writing) can together participate in the inscription of these collective traumas. What is ultimately at stake in this utterly innovative work - in Dr. Gaudilliere's profound and moving listening, reading and telling - is the possibility of making the frozen time of lost histories move again, and fighting the perversion by which history is lost. In a time in which we face the renewed threat of totalitarian violence, the lessons of madness that emerge from this book point not only to crucial personal, but also political truths". - Cathy Caruth, Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters at Cornell University.

"In the first of two volumes, seven years of seminars taught by Jean Max Gaudilliere demonstrate the links between psychosis, literature, language, history, and the psychoanalyst's courage and persistence in understanding madness in the clinical encounter. Moving between fiction, clinical stories, and theory from a wide range of authors, Gaudilliere brings the force of both death and life into the psychoanalytic field of understanding trauma and madness. Francoise Davoine has organized and translated the seminars in a masterful way, allowing the reader to enter the profound depth of Gaudilliere's thinking about the erasure of history and the production of madness. Clinicians who work with patients who are delusional, traumatized, or psychotic will find the book opens a space for new and fresh thinking about the meaning of madness. Full of humanity, wisdom, and creativity, Madness and the Social Link teaches clinicians to listen simultaneously to what is said and what cannot be said because of the rupture of the social link. This is a critically important book". - Jane G. Tillman, PhD, Evelyn Stefansson Nef Director of the Erikson Institute.

"This lively and erudite double volume on psychosis showcases the work of a master teacher and clinician who was already a post-Lacanian psychoanalyst in Paris while Lacan was still alive. Psychosis is the patient's investigative tool, shared in the transference with the analyst, for naming the traumatic catastrophe that has stopped time and destroyed all social links. The author shows this process of inscription through many generous clinical examples and by extensive examples from literature, political texts, social thought, and other psychoanalysts. This rich work provides a much-needed thoughtful perspective for those who work with patients." - John Muller, Senior Erikson Scholar, Austen Riggs Centre.

"Francoise Davoine's transcriptions of the seminars she conducted with Jean-Max Gaudilliere for thirty years in Paris brilliantly illuminate the psychic territory where the cataclysms of history intersect with personal story in trauma, breakdown, and psychosis. Here the texts of Cervantes, Sterne, Strindberg, Pirandello, Charlotte Beradt, Kenzaburo Oe,Tony Morrison, and others, along with the words and gestures of particular patients, reveal the individual link to collective horror, horror which cannot be assimilated or thought but is nevertheless embodied and enacted. It seems to me that in this moment of global political nightmares, the lessons to be learned from reading Madness and the Socail Link are urgently needed". - Siri Hustvedt, American novelist.

About the Author(s)

Jean-Max Gaudilliere studied classical literature at the Ecole normale superieure (ENS) in Paris before becoming a psychoanalyst. He was a professor at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales (EHESS) and was a member of the Center for the Study of Social Movements (CSSM), founded by Alain Touraine, research director at the EHESS. In the weekly seminar called "Madness and the Social Link," held for forty years at the EHESS, Gaudilliere combined his clinical work with the exploration of literary works dealing with the madness of war. The focus of his clinical work was the impact of historical catastrophes on personal lives. He is the co-author of two books written with Francoise Davoine: History Beyond Trauma and A Word to the Wise.

Françoise Davoine obtained an Agregation in classics (French literature, Latin and Greek) in 1966, followed by a doctorate in sociology in 1981, before becoming a psychoanalyst. She worked for thirty years as a psychoanalyst in public psychiatric hospitals in France, and as an external consultant and is currently in private practice. She was a Professor at the Centre for the Study of Social Movements, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris, where she and Jean-Max Gaudillière conducted a weekly seminar on 'Madness and the Social Link'. She has also made numerous presentations at the Austen Riggs Center in Massachusetts (USA), as well as elsewhere in the US, in England, Sweden, Finland, Greece, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Switzerland. Dr Davoine is the author of many articles and books, including La Folie Wittgenstein, Mother Folly, and History Beyond Trauma (with Jean Max Gaudillière).

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