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The Case of J. Sheridan Le Fanu‘s ‘Carmilla’
Michael Davis

This article proposes a reading of Le Fanu‘s ‘Carmilla’ in relation to the ideas of the French psychoanalyst Jean Laplanche, particularly Laplanche‘s notion of the enigmatic signifier. Laplanche refigures the inauguration of human sexuality as a failure on the infant‘s behalf to meaningfully translate the enigmatic messages received from the adult world, which, Laplanche argues, are freighted with unconscious sexual meaning. Unable to fully metabolise these enigmatic signifiers, the infant is prone to trauma, as the un-translated residues of the adults address sink into the unconscious to form powerful unconscious fantasies that continue to trouble the subject. A parallel is drawn here with Laura‘s relationship with the mysterious but alluring Carmilla, whose enigmatic desire both fascinates and repels Le Fanu‘s narrator from the moment of Laura‘s childhood trauma but whose enigmatic language remains indecipherable. Carmilla herself is finally seen as the allegorical figure of the Gothic itself: profoundly enigmatic and potentially traumatising.

Gothic Studies
Wordsworth and Bowen
Andrew Bennett

created at a certain point in one’s development – that it is not something that one is born with, so to speak, but is made as a result of certain life experiences. It is also clear that the unconscious is created and indeed populated at an early age. If our unconscious is us, what or who we are just inasmuch as we do not know what or who we are, it, the unconscious, is us as children, ourselves as ghosts of the past. Melanie Klein and Jean Laplanche have written powerfully on the idea that ignorance is also the basis of human (mis

in Ignorance
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Hysteria, paranoia, psychosis
Jeremy Tambling

’ ( SE 17.84–5: Verwerfung is omitted in the English translation, see Laplanche and Pontalis, 1973: 166). Here, Freud reports a hallucination the Wolf Man had, aged five, of cutting with his penknife into the bark of one of the walnut trees. ‘Suddenly, to my unspeakable terror, I noticed that I had cut through the little finger’ of the hand. He did not speak to his nurse, but sat down, and then saw

in Literature and psychoanalysis
Value and fantasy in Hollinghurst’s house of fiction
Geoff Gilbert

, which is also an engagement with the world. In a perfunctory porn scene – say, the plumber coming in to fix the washing machine – the engagement of desire makes visible the thresholds between the domestic and the public, or accounts of labour time and class distinction, which have silently circumscribed and regulated the relation between the subject and the world. As a ‘scene’ emerges, a ‘setting for 128  Alan Hollinghurst desire’ in the words of psychoanalysts Laplanche and Pontalis (to whose work this chapter will return), these circumscriptions and regulations

in Alan Hollinghurst
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Trauma, sexuality and creaturely life in Echo’s Bones
Conor Carville

to the ‘spoilt love’. A quote that Santner adduces from Laplanche is useful here. According to the former, unconscious formations arise from: an encounter between an individual whose psycho-somatic structures are situated predominantly at the level of need, and signifiers emanating from an adult. These signifiers pertain to the Smiling tigers 161 satisfaction of a child’s needs, but they also convey the purely interrogative potential of other messages – and those other messages are sexual. These enigmatic messages set the child the difficult, or even

in Samuel Beckett and trauma
The broken body and the shining body
Sara Wasson and Sarah Artt

’; Laplanche and Pontalis, The Language of Psycho-Analysis , pp. 245, 401. 9 Laplanche and Pontalis, The Language of Psycho-Analysis , p. 244. 10 Aaron, Spectatorship , pp. 61

in Open Graves, Open Minds
Vicky Lebeau

man, the white woman rapes herself raping a woman, a coalition that underlines the conceptual turmoil accompanying any attempt to distinguish between activity and passivity at the level of the drive (masochists, as Jean Laplanche has put it, ‘are very active in getting their masochistic satisfaction’ (quoted in Fletcher and Stanton (eds) 1992: 80)). Drawing on the psychoanalysis of female sexuality put forward through the 1940s by Helene Deutsch and Marie Bonaparte, Fanon writes his way into that turmoil via the figure of the young white girl, oscillating between

in Frantz Fanon’s 'Black Skin, White Masks
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Andrew Bennett

–6. 33 Burrow, ed., Complete Sonnets and Poems , p. 138. 34 John Keats, The Letters of John Keats, 1814–1821 , ed. Hyder Edward Rollins, 2 vols (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1958), 1: 188; Jean Laplanche, ‘Transference: Its Provocation by the Analyst’, in Essays on Otherness (London: Routledge, 1999), p. 229: for more on Laplanche’s sense of the importance of ignorance in psychoanalysis see pp. 156–8 below. 35 Berys Gaut, ‘Art and Knowledge’, in Jerrold Levinson, ed., The Oxford Handbook of

in Ignorance
Peter Barry

‘subconscious’ (as used in phrases like ‘the unconscious mind’ and ‘the subconscious mind’) often seem to be interchangeable in popular usage, as if they were synonyms, but this an error in the context of Freudian discussion. Freud used the term ‘subconscious’ (which was ‘in fairly common use in the late nineteenth century’; see Laplanche and Pontalis, p. 430) only in his early writings, and quickly abandoned it because it seemed wrongly ‘calculated to stress the equivalence of what is psychical [that is, within the mind] to what is conscious’. 1 The unconscious, as used by

in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
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The monstrous feminine as femme animale
Barbara Creed

Barnes said: ‘God, children know something they can’t tell; they like Red Riding Hood and the wolf in bed!’ 33 Freud’s theory of the primal phantasies is central to an understanding of this scene. According to Freud, the primal phantasies involve three of life’s major mysteries. Where did I come from? Whom do I desire? Why am I different? Laplanche and Pontalis point out that the primal phantasies directly

in She-wolf