A variation on Freud’s article The Feeling of the Ephemeral, this work stresses the importance of the affect of nostalgia in the constitution of mental activity. Identifying with the nostalgic pleasure of his mother dreaming, the child introjects a pleasure in evoking and narrating his experience, which is indispensable for investing the functioning of his psyche and the mourning-work that is its correlate.
We don’t know what we are encountering in someone we encounter. Is it a first meeting, or a reunion ? The encounter may involve chance, a coincidence. It may be a challenge for the gambler looking for an encounter at the very limit of his destiny.
For Freud, every meeting is a reunion. Whether it take place in the expectation of belief or that of the transference, it is always a re-encounter with an object, a lost Other. Repetition compulsion drives each person to find again the maternal in order to restore lost happiness and escape from disarray and the “ uncanny ”.
With the analytic treatment, the compulsion to repeat is above all a refusal to recollect, that is to untangle the past from the scene of present reality. The analyst is not there in propria persona : his role is to enable an encounter with the past, in order to send the past back to the past and be able to live the present.
Adolescence, 2008, T. 26, n°1, pp. 201-219.