Some Criteria for the Timing of Confrontations and Interpretations. : 1951 : Georges Devereux

by Julia Evans on January 1, 1951

Published in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis (IJPA), v32, p19-24

Available at  /authors by date or authors a-z

Cited by Jacques Lacan

As reference [2] in The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan : See here 

p8-9 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : 1. What has gone before does not answer all the questions that may occur to a novice in this regard. But in gathering together the problems currently being discussed about the direction of the treatment, in so far as this discussion reflects present practice, I think I have kept things in proportion. 

It goes to show the less important place occupied by interpretation in present day psychoanalysis – not that its meaning has been lost, but that the way of tackling this meaning is always a source of embarrassment. No author confronts it without first distinguishing it from all the other styles of verbal intervention that are not interpretation: explanations, gratifications, responses to demand, etc. The procedure becomes revealing when it gets close to the centre of interest. It means that even something said with the intention of leading the subject to an insight into his behaviour, especially in its signification as resistance, may be given a quite different name, confrontation, for example, if only of the subject with his own words, without meriting the name of interpretation, just because it is an illuminating remark. 

One cannot but be touched by one author‘s attempts to force the theory of form, in order to find in it the metaphor that would allow him to express the resolution that interpretation brings about in an ambiguity of intention, the closure to an incompleteness that is nevertheless realised only after the event [2]. 


Note : If links to any required test do not work, check If a particular text or book is missing, contact Julia Evans


Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst in London & Sandwich, Kent


Further posts:

Some Lacanian history here

Of the clinic here 

Topology and the clinic  here  

Dreams  here 

Translation Working Group here 

Seminar VI : towards NLS in Ghent  here 

Reading Seminar VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis  here 

By Sigmund Freud here 

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud  here 

By Jacques Lacan here      

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here 

By Georges Devereuz  here    

By Julia Evans here