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A Lacanian reading of Dora

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Abstract

This chapter will consider the articulation of love, desire, and jouissance in the neurotic structure of hysteria through a Lacanian reading of Dora, one of Freud's five substantial case studies. Clearly, the pertinence of returning to Dora a century after Freud's paper was first published is not to be assumed. Yet the case of Dora, perhaps not Freud's most successful in terms of its outcome, remains crucial in that, beneath the symptomatology of Freud's patient, the invariant traits of hysteria can be discerned. And so Lacan episodically refers to different aspects of Dora in order to expose, successively, the structure of Dora's identifications, the symbolic logic of her unconscious, and the mode of her jouissance as paradigmatic. In so doing, Lacan isolates the respective modalities of love, desire, and jouissance in hysteria in a process of logical reduction. In turn, this logical reduction will orient the direction of the analytic treatment in this particular neurotic structure.

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... In the discussion of the development of her case above, I referred to the presence of the twofold hysterical truth, which concerns the castrated master and the jouissance of notwhole (Voruz, 2007). With a view to summarising more practical aspects of the treatment, the following last paragraphs are dedicated to the handling of transference and its relation to repetition. ...
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