Some remarks on the role of speech in psycho-analytic technique : probably October 1956 : Rudolph Loewenstein

by Julia Evans on October 1, 1956

Published by International Journal of Psychoanalysis (IJPA), 1956, Vol 37, p460-468

Available at  /authors a-z or authors by date – 1956


Cited by Jacques Lacan in Seminar IV : 27th February 1957

See Seminar IV : Relation to an Object 1956-1957 : from 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan or here

Para 31 : I’m basing this on Loewenstein’s article, which is marked by a careful distance and not without skill, which consists in recalling that De Saussure taught that there is a signifier and a signified — in short, to show a bit of familiarity, not at all adapted to our experience, though, except to say that we have to reflect on what we say, such that if we stay at that level of development, I forgive him for not citing my teaching because we are much further along. 

Note : Lacan is speaking of his former analyst in stating that ‘we are much further along’. Also in 1953 Loewenstein was involved with the SPP splitting from the IPA. 


The Conference of Romance-Language Psychoanalysts

The tenth conference, in reality the eleventh, was held in Paris on February 21 and 22, 1938. Sacha Nacht delivered a paper titled “Le masochisme:étude historique, clinique, psychogénique et thérapeutique” (Masochism: an historical, clinical, psychogenetic, prophylactic, and therapeutic study; 1938). Rudolph Loewenstein, speaking on “L’origine du masochisme et la théorie des pulsions” (The origin of masochism and the theory of the instincts; 1938), opposed his former analyst on the notion of a death instinct, which Nacht rejected. This was the last conference of French-speaking psychoanalysts before the Second World War.

The conferences, which were just as political as they were theoretical or clinical, were not held for the duration of the war. Their resumption after ten years marked the renewal of psychoanalysis in both France and Europe. This eleventh conference, held in Brussels between May 14 and 17, 1948, was organized around Sacha Nacht’s paper “Les manifestations cliniques de l’agressivité et leur rôle dans le traitement psychanalytique” (Clinical manifestations of aggression and their role in psycho-analytic treatment; 1948) and Jacques Lacan’s paper “L’agressivité en psychanalyse” (Aggressivity in Psychoanalysis : mid-May 1948 (Brussels) : Jacques Lacan See here). The following year, at the twelfth conference held in Paris, John Leuba and H. G. Van des Walls dealt with narcissism.

 This conference was distinguished most of all by the presence of Melanie Klein, who, however, failed to make converts among French psychoanalysts

– on October 16, 1951, the conference changed its name to the Conference of Romance-Language Psychoanalysts, an extension attributed to Jacques Lacan.

– In 1953 a sixteenth special conference was held in Rome. The division of the Société psychanalytique de Paris (Paris Psychoanalytic Society) (SPP) in June divided the conference into two parts. In one, the members of the society listened to Emilio Servadio, Francis Pasche, René Spitz (who came from New York), Serge Lebovici, and René Diatkine. They then departed, and members of the new Société française de psychanalyse (French Society of Psychoanalysis) entered to listen to Jacques Lacan’s paper “Fonction et champ de la parole et du langage en psychanalyse” (The function and field of language in psychoanalysis). [Information The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis (Rome) : 26th September 1953 : Jacques Lacan  or here


Quotes from notes in  Letter to Rudolf Loewenstein : 14th July 1953 : Jacques Lacan or here

Rudolf Loewenstein, who was Lacan’s training analyst from 1932 to 1938, was also the analyst of the two other principles referred to in this letter, Sacha Nacht and Daniel Lagache. Born in Poland, Loewenstein would emigrate to New York during the War, where he would be a principal proponent of ego psychology.

Daniel Lagache, a psychoanalyst and Sorbonne professor, was a proponent of integrating psychoanalysis into a general theory of psychology. He saw in the University the institutional ethos best suited for guiding the organization of the practice of psychoanalysis.

Sacha Nacht & Jacques Lacan : 

From Wikipedia : Société Française de Psychanalyse : Despite wishing himself to avoid a split, Lacan was drawn into the dissident movement led by Daniel Lagache, as a result of his own separate dispute with the president Sacha Nacht over his practice of “short sessions”.

 La psychanalyse d’aujourd’hui : 1956 : under the direction of Sacha Nacht is criticised by Jacques Lacan in Seminar IV : 21st November 1956 & also The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan

La psychanalyse d’aujourd’hui, Work published under the direction of S. Nacht in collaboration with M. Bouvet, R. Diatkine, A. Doumic, J. Favreau, M. Held, S. Lebovici, P.Luquet, P. Luquet-Parat, P. Male, J. Mallet, F. Pasche, M. Renard, Preface by E. Jones 

and J. de Ajuriaguerra, G. Bordarracco, M. Benassy, A. Berge, M. Bonaparte, M. Fain, P. Marty, P.C. Racamier, M. Schlumberger, S. Widerman ; P.U.F ; 1956

See  The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here  & Seminar IV : Relation to an Object 1956-1957 : from 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan or here  for further information.


Quote from Meeting of the IPA in July 1953

See Minutes of the meeting of the International Psychoanalytical Association : 30th July 1953 : Dr Heinz Hartmann (IPA President & Chairman of the Meeting) or here 

Rudolph Loewenstein was a participant at this meeting which excluded Jacques Lacan & all his analysands from membership of the IPA, as Sacha Nacht probably with Anna Freud disagreed with variable length sessions.


Texts by Rudolph Loewenstein  here 

Note : If any texts’ links do not work, check If a particular text or book remains absent, contact Julia Evans


 Julia Evans     

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Sandwich in Kent & London


Further posts:

Some Lacanian history  here

Topology  here 

Lacanian Transmission    here 

Of the clinic  here 

By Rudolph Loewenstein  here 

By Sigmund Freud here 

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud   here 

By Jacques Lacan here 

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here 

Translation Working Group here 

Use of power here 

By Julia Evans   here