Seminar VII : 2nd March 1960 : p157 : translation of quotes from Siegfried Bernfeld

by Jo Rostron on November 9, 2013

The following was read at the 9th November 2013 Reading Group.

Seminar VII : 2nd March 1960 : Chapter XII – A critique of Bernfeld : p157 of Dennis Porter’s translation : quote

To summarize, the way of analyzing the economy of energy sources in the poetic activity of the young boy called Robert leaves an obvious residue that Bernfeld[i] himself points to on page 339 (here) as follows: “Aus dem Rest der Melitta geltenden Objektlibido entwickeln sich Stimmungen.” – Melitta is the girl he loves. And then on page 340 (here), Bernfeld writes: “Die Energie, mit der dies tertiare Bearbeitung vollzogen wird, is nun unbezweifelbar unverdrängte Objektlibido.” There’s where the problem lies if we make the phenomenon of sublimation dependent on the distinction between Libidoziel, Ichziele, Lustziele.

Availability of Seminar VII given here

Availability of Bernfeld’s article given here

Further information about Siegfried Bernfeld : Posts for the “Bernfeld Siegfried” category here

Jo Rostron, together with expert help from her mother, (JE: Thank you both) has translated the above three sentences:

….. leaves an obvious residue that Bernfeld himself points to on p339 as follows:

” Out of the remainder of the object libido that is valid for Melitta, moods developed.”

… p340, Bernfeld writes: “The energy with which the tertiary work will be carried out is undoubtedly unenforced object libido.”

That’s where the problem lies if we make the phenomenon of sublimation dependent on the distinction between the aims of the libido, the ego and pleasure……….

Both Jo and her mother were stumped by the lumpy German.  Jo thinks Siegfried Bernfeld was tying himself up in knots trying to work it all out.

JE:  It is probable that Jacques Lacan is trying to disentangle this knot.

A complete set of notes to Seminar VII is available here

[i] Bemerkungen über Sublimierung (Observations on Sublimation) : 1922 : Siegfried Bernfeld : Published eitschrift für Anwendung der Psychoanalyse auf die Geisteswissenschaften Herausgegeben von Prof. Dr Sigm. Freud: Vol 3 : 1922 :  p333-344  : Available (in German) Bemerkungen über Sublimierung (Observations on Sublimation): 1922 : Siegfried Bernfeld  or here

To access posts by this group, go to and look in the category  ‘Posts for the “A. Reading Seminar VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis”’ category or here

A number of the references commented on by Jacques Lacan are available at Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: Jacques Lacan or here

Posts for the “Lacan Jacques” category : Available here

Posts for the “Freud Sigmund” category : Available here