1st Edition

Psychoanalysis, the Body, and the Oedipal Plot A Critical Re-Imaging of the Body in Psychoanalysis

By Fernanda Magallanes Copyright 2019
    126 Pages
    by Routledge

    126 Pages
    by Routledge

    Psychoanalysis, the Body, and the Oedipal Plot is a new radical departure in psychoanalytic exposition. An attempt is made to convey, in a language accessible for people from different disciplines, some of the most difficult processes that conform our subjectivity and our concept of difference and alterity.

    Containing both significant theoretical material and applications of the theory to clinical psychoanalytic practice, this book offers the latest thinking on the importance of the body in psychoanalytic theory. Psychoanalysis, the Body, and the Oedipal Plot will be of interest to psychoanalysts, philosophers, and cultural theorists.

    Acknowledgements Introduction Part I: Body Formation in Psychoanalysis 1. Preliminary Remarks on the Body in Psychoanalysis 2. Hysteria: The Agonies of an Epistemic Crisis of the Body 3. General Remarks on the Concept of the Body 4. From Being a Body to Having a Body 5. The Body-Ego 6. Bick, Anzieu, Piera Aulagnier 7. The Body and the Death Drive 8. Françoise Dolto: The Unconscious Image and the Function of Language as a Narcissistic Bond 9. Conclusions About Body Formation Part II: Readdressing Oedipus 10. The Oedipal Complex and the Oedipal Myth 11. Rethinking Sexual Difference and the Oedipal Complex 12. The Broken House of Labdacus, the Bodies of Strangers and the Place of Death 13. Clinical Practice and Social Phenomena Conclusions


    Fernanda Magallanes is a psychoanalyst and associate professor in the department of Philosophy at the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City. She works at the intersection between psychoanalysis, feminism, and theories of corporeality.

    'This is an important and complex text that offers a new understanding of the body in psychoanalysis, drawing on both clinical and theoretical understandings, both Freudian and Lacanian. The reconsideration of somatization and symptom in this book opens new structures of plot for understanding the various itineraries of sexual desire and gender formation. This is an innovative and bracing work that opens up the links between psychoanalysis and literature in light of new understandings of sexuality and desire.'

    Judith Butler, author of Gender Trouble and The Psychic Life of Power

    'Taking the body as a political and cultural 'archive,' Fernanda Magallanes’s clear and concise book accomplishes a noteworthy conceptual revolution. Psychoanalysis, the Body, and the Oedipal Plot thus questions the bread-and-butter issue of conventional psychoanalysis and disrupts the penis et circenses glibness of classical Oedipal theory.'

    Patricia Gherovici, psychoanalyst and author of Transgender Psychoanalysis: A Lacanian Perspective on Sexual Difference

    'Through a close reading of psychoanalytic texts, Fernanda Magallanes makes Freud lie down on the couch of post-structural, feminist, queer, and trans theories. Paying attention to Freud’s use of the story of Oedipus and to his bodily specificities, Magallanes unveils the patriarchal foundations of the Freudian narrative of the Greek myth. Instead of getting rid of Oedipus, Magallanes’s interesting move is to save Oedipus from the Freudian 'norm,' giving him the chance to accept his own vulnerability and alterity. The result shakes the foundations both of psychoanalytic theory and practice. Magallanes's incisive essay deserves to play a central role in what I hope will become a movement of thought that will question the sexual and gender normativity of psychoanalytic discourses and practices.' 

    Paul B. Preciado, author of Testo Junkie, The Countersexual Manifiesto and Pornotopia 

    'Although psychoanalysis has become an academicized writing practice, in the intimate clinical encounter it has to be, orality is our metier. Freud worried (perhaps happily?) that his case-histories read like short stories, and Magallanes, she has found her own voice through writing. Many or most of us write–but the interest and pleasure of Psychoanalysis, The Body, and the Oedipal Plot is that its author has written a book where her own voice also reveals an excellent clinician in the making.' 

    Juliet Mitchell is professor of Psychoanalysis and Gender Studies at the University of Cambridge, and an emeritus fellow of Jesus College. To read this review in full, please see the following: Mitchell, J. (2023) Psychoanalysis, the Body, and the Oedipal Plot: A Critical Re-Imaging of the Body in Psychoanalysis. 1st Edition. by Fernanda Magallanes, Oxon and New York, Routledge, 2019, 126 pp., $46.95 (hardback), ISBN 9781138391260. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 104:409-413