Among activities that are supposed to be cultural, sport has been revived as an object of culture and education. Engaging in sports, whether intensively, competitively or remedially, is an offshoot of the cultural superego and represents the paradigm of a more general phenomenon: the strictness of the cultural superego. As a response to the adolescent passage, the sporting solution can thus represent an exemplary alternative allowing one to avoid the adolescent process, insofar as it seals off, more or less effectively, all the tension associated with the trauma of this sexual encounter.
Adolescence, 2014, 32, 2, 307-315.
Love and death, rather than fighting against each other, sometimes meet during adolescence. In Leonce and Lena from G. Büchner, the two eponymous adolescent heroes evocate death and its associated representations, the dead child or suicide, when they meet and fall in love. Death symbolises and sums up the threat of loss that the discovery of the genital object occurs. It is called by the adolescent in order to « refresh » and produce a anticathexis of an instinct whom he fears the incestuous coloration.
Fantasio and Leonce, the eponymous adolescent heroes of works by de Musset and Büchner, grapple with a static temporality, synonymous with boredom, brooding, and emptiness. This temporality opens onto death, seen as the only reality once they leave the Edenic timelessness of a childhood whose symptom is the fantasy of the dead child. This frustrating relationship with time seems to be a sign of the trauma represented in adolescence by the encounter with the genital object. Death seems to be put forward as protection against the sexual, and the suspension of time seems to be the dramatic strategy developed to “delay” the dreaded amorous encounter.