By Fadi Abou-Rihan
So much commentators pass judgement on Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus as both a Medusa into whose face psychoanalysis can't yet stare and endure the main abominable of deaths or a well-intentioned yet completely erroneous flash within the pan. Fadi Abou-Rihan indicates that, up to it's an insightful critique of the assimilationist vein in psychoanalysis, Anti-Oedipus continues to be totally dedicated to Freud's so much singular discovery of an subconscious that's procedural and dynamic. in addition, Abou-Rihan argues, the anti-oedipal undertaking is a convention the place the technology of the subconscious is made to obey the legislation it attributes to its object.
The final result is little short of the "becoming-unconscious" of psychoanalysis, a turning into that signs neither the repression nor the dying of the perform however the transformation of its ideas and approaches into these of its item. Abou-Rihan tracks this turning into along Nietzsche, Winnicott, Feynman, Bardi, and Cixous in an effort to reconfigure wish past the kinds of topic, lack, and tragedy. Firmly grounded in continental philosophy and psychoanalytic perform, this booklet extends the anti-oedipal view at the subconscious in a totally new path.
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As will become clear soon enough, this paucity is made manifest most vividly by the Winnicottian psychoanalyst’s oscillation between, on the one hand, the role of the mature adult who is 22 Deleuze and Guattari: A Psychoanalytic Itinerary circuitously the cause and product of health and, on the other hand, the role of the self-berating healer for whom every impasse is testimony to his or her empathic ineptitude. Unwittingly, Winnicott confines his psychoanalyst to the clinical positions that Freud before him had attributed to, respectively, the disavowing fetishist and the rhythmically monotonous melancholic.
In another respect, Deleuze and Guattari’s antagonistic attitude toward all that is hierarchical in psychoanalysis (the institution, the theory and the practice) offers only a partial explanation as to why the highly regimented and at times virulently anti-intellectual community of clinicians has dismissed Anti-Oedipus as at best irrelevant and at worst irresponsible. Most problematic for that community has been Deleuze and Guattari’s trespassing of the clinical and theoretical limits of an unconscious whose dynamics have been stripped of any considerations beyond those of an objective, universal and stratified syntax.
Winnicott goes on to deploy that response as sufficient justification for the disciplining action the boy deserves and that the responsible psychoanalyst must be only too happy to deliver: the boy shall be left outside, rain or shine, and not allowed back in till after he’d calmed down. No, Winnicott does not suffer from a Jekyll and Hyde complex. What we have here is merely the other side, the austere and disciplining paternal side of truth, of the same parental coin. If the maternal metaphor is grounded in a simplistic two-person psychology, the paternal metaphor harks back to and ultimately is hardly anything more than a re-framing of Ego Psychology’s atomistic view, presumably the view from which Winnicott had extricated himself.
Deleuze and Guattari: A Psychoanalytic Itinerary by Fadi Abou-Rihan