This chapter focuses on Freud’s Oedipal interpretation of anxiety. Freud detects in the typical anxiety-producing situations, which range from birth, to separation from the mother, to dread of castration, removal in each case of some cherished object which the mother was the first to embody. Freud argues that the maternal body is the fetus’s object to the extent that it has no objects within its maternal surround. Thus, the other emerges as full-fledged object for the child’s psyche because she already embodies the child’s fetal, objectless past. The “caesura” of loss which produces the fantasy of return to the womb first emerges within the fort/da bond with the mother which, in Freud’s own recollection from early childhood, a Kasten guaranteed.
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