IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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which the operation of Nachträglichkeit is present and decisive in developing different concepts: history, memories, fantasies, primary repression and the problem of meaning. Szpilka (2009) regards Nachträglichkeit as an articulating concept between Oedipus and Narcissism, mute and empty are the forms he describes Narcissism without Oedipus and Oedipus without Narcissism. Luis Kancyper (1985) stresses the central role played by the Freudian concept of a posteriori in connection with the phenomena that characterise adolescence, a privileged moment of retroactive re-signification of the a posteriori, since it constitutes a new libidinal stage where a genital sexual identity – a psychological and social phenomenon – is attained for the first time. Pertinent to the theme, he distinguishes between two concepts, which can be readily conflated in the analytic theory and practice: the concept of development and the concept of ‘the historical’. Zelig Liberman (2015) entails a heterogeneous temporality that is present in different expressions of the psyche. The concept of après-coup transformed the notions of psychic causality and temporality. It refers to a phenomenon in two periods: mnemonic marks are remodelled based on posterior incidents that, because of their symbolic relationship with incidents of the past, confer meaning and psychic efficacy on them. Liberman attempts to emphasise the specificity of the phenomenon of après-coup, highlighting its traumatic and transformative aspects, a point of view that differs from the predominant perspective in psychoanalysis of late or retrospective understanding.

III. F. Developments in North America

III. Fa. Arnold Modell’s Revival of the Concept: Recontextualization of Memory and Time, and Expansion of Psychic Reality For a long time, the concept of Nachträglichkeit remained in latency, for most of the English speaking North American psychoanalysis, until Arnold Modell, in a series of publications (1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2008) brought the concept back to life. His 1990 publication “Other Times, Other Realities” remains the most comprehensive representative of North-American developments around Nachträglichkeit. Finding Strachey’s translation misleading, Modell prefers to use the original term Nachträglichkeit and continues to link the concept firmly to memory, in terms of its re-transcription (or intervening countless re-transcriptions and re-contextualizations) at a later date, within a different developmental, motivational and emotional, and existential context.


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