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Aberrations of Mourning$
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Laurence A. Rickels

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675951

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675951.001.0001

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The Unborn

The Unborn

(p.333) Chapter Nine The Unborn
Aberrations of Mourning

Laurence A. Rickels

University of Minnesota Press

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.

Keywords:   Freud, Oedipal interpretation, anxiety, birth, mother, fetus, child, psyche, womb, bond

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