Intervention on Siegfried Bernfeld ‘Observations on Sublimation’ : Seminar VII, 2nd March 1960 : Pierre Kaufmann

by Julia Evans on March 2, 1960

In Dennis Porter’s translation of Seminar VII (availability Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: Jacques Lacan or here), Pierre Kaufman’s interventions (p156-159 of the Routledge edition) on 2nd March 1960 are either abbreviated or omitted.

A fuller version is available only in French, at  /Lacan or authors a-z

See   Notes from Seminar VII : 2nd March 1960 : Interventions by Pierre Kaufmann on Siegfried Bernfeld’s work or here for comments on this session.

Details of Siegfried Bernfeld : Bemerkungen über Sublimierung (Observations on Sublimation) : 1922 :are given Bemerkungen über Sublimierung (Observations on Sublimation): 1922 : Siegfried Bernfeld  or here.  So far no English translation has been found.

Quotes from Jacques Lacan

Quote Seminar VII : 2nd March 1960 : p155 of Dennis Porter’s translation : Let us not forget that this year I resolved that this seminar would be a real seminar.

This is all the more essential because we have among us not a few people capable of contributing, including someone whom I can call friend. He has been following what goes on at this seminar for a long time now, and has been attentive to its work in the most useful of ways. Perhaps some of you follow his philosophical chronicle that appears in ‘Combat’ on Thursdays. He has several times discussed my teaching, on the occasion of the Royaumont Conference, [See The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacanor here. Further details here] for example, or quite recently when he was good enough to give an account of work that was useful to an author such as Henri Lefebre  – (See Notes from Seminar VII : 2nd March 1960 : Interventions by Pierre Kaufmann on Siegfried Bernfeld’s work or here  for further details) he had complained of a deficiency of some kind in my teaching on the basis of the mere sight of a part of it or of an article.

In any case, four weeks ago I referred to a little article by Bernfeld. It was “Bemerkungen über Sublimierung” which appeared in Imago in 1922. [Further details here] Mr Kaufmann was good enough to show an interest in it, and our discussion progressed to the point where he brought me something which appeared to me to be both suggestive and promising enough for me to encourage him to develop it as far as time and interest permitted. He will thus present the thoughts that were inspired by Bernfeld’s article and the further developments it inspired in him.

Please note especially that on a number of occasions in this presentation very interesting allusions will be made – I can only call them allusions, when I think of all that Mr Kaufmann has added relative to the sources of the matter he was dealing with in the field of psychology at the moment when he became interested in it. In France, as in the English-speaking countries, we are quite ignorant of a whole, extremely rich German tradition, which shows that Freud, in fact, was the object of readings that were careful and extensive, or, in a word, immense.


Note : If links to any text 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:

Reading Seminar VII here

Related text Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: Jacques Lacan or here

Translation Working Group here

Of the clinic here

Dreams   here

Topology and the Lacanian clinic  here

By Pierre Kaufmann here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

By Julia Evans here

Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here

Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan or here