Wednesday, January 1, 2014


On Page 317 of The Cambridge Companion to Foucault (2005) ("Foucault's Struggle With Psychoanalysis") we hear of an encounter the philosopher had at Hôpital Sainte Anne, where years before Jacques Lacan found not despair in his fieldwork but success in the form of his cure-ation of "Aimée".

Foucault refers to the "malaise" and the "great general discomfort" that resulted from his experience working at Sainte Anne. The situation appears to centre on "Roger", a patient of Foucault's, who was subjected to the ultimate act of therapeutic despair, namely, a prefrontal lobotomy, when he did not respond to other, less drastic means. Macey is no doubt correct when he says that "given Foucault's own depressive tendencies," the encounter with "Roger" "must have had a considerable impact." Not only does it seem to have derailed Foucault's plans to become a psychiatrist, but it also seems to have left him with an "indelible image of suffering."

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