Rapprochement Between Fathers and Sons: Breakdowns, Reunions, Potentialities

Author(s) : Louis Rothschild

Rapprochement Between Fathers and Sons: Breakdowns, Reunions, Potentialities

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : November 2023
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 260
  • Category :
  • Category 2 :
  • Catalogue No : 97295
  • ISBN 13 : 9781800132382
  • ISBN 10 : 1800132387
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Following Freud’s rather cold conception of fathers and a relative neglect of their role in psychoanalytic theory is a challenge to continue more recent efforts to develop a psychoanalytically affirmative portrait of fatherhood. Here, fathers are attuned to relational mutuality and intimacy as a source of flourishing. Rapprochement is understood as a sub-phase of child development marked by a dramatic expression of conflict such as, “Hear me, see me, give me space, don’t give me space.” In addition, rapprochement is considered to characterize conflicts between autonomy and dependency across the lifespan. An often muted and subtle tension between holding and letting go persists. Working with what is felt entails entering a never fully completed negotiation marked by misreadings, bias, and illusion. ‘Father’ is understood to be a name pointing to a parenting function. With material that includes the grief of failed reunion, particular stories are mediated through thinking alongside philosophy and psychoanalytic theory in order to further explore the difficulty of integrating nurturing capacities into conceptions of masculinity. As a critique of gendered rigidity, a case is made for a social surround that declares mutual vulnerability to exist in a state of permanent inquiry and relational curiosity. Such openness can function to aid parents, clinicians, and respective community members to privilege the development of increased frustration tolerance. By extension, a good-enough father is one who recognizes breakdown, a need for refueling, and possesses and practices a willingness to encounter uneven rhythms in human dimensions.

Table of Contents

About the author

Fleshing out fathers and sons in familial contexts

1. Finding a father: Repetition, difference, and fantasy in Finding Nemo
2. It is still hot: Wild things across centuries of childhood
3. The Giving Tree and spaceship dreams: Terrestrial embodiment and ethics of the outside

Sons and flight lessons

4. Icarus as falling forever: Unearthing the maternal in father hunger and endeavor excitement
5. Coercive elements and the threat of child sacrifice: The Lego Movie
6. On hunger and freedom: Huck Finn’s Pharmakon
7. Stealing a bad feed in the night kitchen
8. Peter Pan dances with Frankenstein: Wise babies facing/not facing challenges of integration

Fathers and homecomings

9. Abraham’s and Isaac’s fear and silence
10. Ulysses beached: Absence and faith in transformations
11. Father to the good-enough man: Vulnerability in The Trumpet of the Swan

Further thoughts

About the Author(s)

Louis Rothschild, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in Baltimore County, Maryland. Specializing in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, he also provides supervision, writes, and occasionally reviews manuscripts. His publications have ranged from quantitative to qualitative, social-cognitive to psychoanalysis, and clinical to philosophical. Most recently, he penned an epilogue for Salman Akhtar’s edited book Truth: Developmental, Cultural, and Clinical Realms, and co-edited Precarities of 21st Century Childhoods: Critical Explorations of Time(s), Place(s), and Identities with Michael O’Loughlin and Carol Owens. Outside of his professional life, Louis has a fondness for tennis, triathlon, and chasing a rather elusive sourdough starter in the kitchen.

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