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Encore[1] : turning a resistance upside down.



“Here is the reason why when your saying: ‘I don’t want to know any more about’ is ok for you that you can peacefully take a distance - if you are my analyzers - from your own analytical work.

And I can say that, even if someone doesn’t agree, my position of analyst is not absolutely prejudiced by what I’m doing, here and now.”

With some evidence that is the same position of Freud.



                                                  Marina Bilotta Membretti, Cernusco sul Naviglio March 8, 2021


[1] The cited paragraph is from “Jacques Lacan. Il seminario – Libro XX. Ancora (1972-1973)”, authorized by Jacques-Alain Miller, Italian edition by Antonio Di Ciaccia. Einaudi Piccola Biblioteca (2011), pag.3

“The client”. Children capable of understanding.





‘Dora’ was less than eighteen in 1898[1] when his father – worried about her daughter sudden being moody, and also annoyed by her being in strong and unexplainable opposition to him - decided to call doctor Sigmund Freud who was living and working in Wien and about whom they knew some successful among patients of the incoming psychoanalytical method.

‘The Case of Dora – Fragment of an hysteria case’ was edited by Freud only in 1905, more than four years after the conclusion of that Case and without any reference to the young woman whose father asked and financed the therapy : the text refers without resistance how Freud decided to work in defense of the young patient, realizing she was the principal.

The father of ‘Dora’ pretended the daughter would become quiet and obedient and at first Freud accepted that but, as far as the analytical work went on, he began to seriously consider what her patient was asking for :  and he realized also that ‘Dora’ was diligent also about the rules in analytical work. Defending ‘Dora’ became then the real goal of the so named ‘psychoanalysis’, i.e. a respectful work between the two, patient and analyst : that professional position Freud was having did show a cross-road in the care of neurosis as the women were generally lead by husbands or fathers due to their not acceptable behaviours among people.

Freud realized that the way ‘Dora’ was leading herself would be enough to justify her defence – also towards her father as an external principal – and up to a hopeful recovery.

Publishing the Case was a formal step as regard as the analytical profession and towards Freud colleagues : in that Case you can see how neurosis make poor any individual defence, also worning out good chances in favour of someone.

It seems so suitable indee the title “The client” of a well known novel by John Grisham where Mark, eleven, decides to get to a lawyer on his own : he was present  - together his eight year brother – at a suicide which, when trying to foil, that got the boy into the violence of the man and his own previous crimes not be found out.

Mark realizes very soon – while calling Police to indicate the corpse and also when being informally  interrogated – that his defense can’t stand up. And the lawyer which seemed favourable when Mark was appointing her with some ingenuousness, will also be affordable ? But the boy hadn’t so much time.

Mark still doesn’t know that his position won’t meet the favour of Law : a witness infact, notwithstanding he is a minor and evidently exposed to reprisals,  can be easily condemned as ‘justice obstacling’[2] if he doesn’t say everything he knows about an investigation in progress.

“There was something absolutely not right in a Court system where a kid could be lead in a Law court, with lawyers quarreling while the judge observed them as an arbiter, among a number of laws, penal code paragraphs, sentences and legal uncomprehensible words, and finally the same kid had to know what was happening. It was irrimediably unfair and not at all acceptable.”[3]

That ‘unfairity’ has been correctly perceived by Mark, then : that is the same for any human ‘capable of understanding’.

However, being ‘capable of understanding’ is only a first access when structuring a defence where ‘capable of willing’ can honoraubly be linked, when that capability has come up down, lost or otherwise absconding, in a man, or a woman.


                                    Marina Bilotta Membretti, Cernusco sul Naviglio February 27, 2021



[1] ‘Il Caso di Dora – Frammento di un’analisi d’isteria’, S.Freud (1901) in “Sigmund Freud. Isteria e angoscia. Il Caso di Dora e altri scritti”, Edizione integrale di riferimento – Introd. by Cesare L. Musatti, Bollati Boringhieri editore (2014)

[2] p. 238, “Il cliente”, John Grisham (1993) – Mondadori editore (2016).

[3] pp. 285-286 “Il cliente”, John Grisham (1993) – Mondadori editore (2016).

“Room for everybody”[1].

Books to work on 2.



Does need more heart to conquest the space or the classmate girl ?

It isn’t a nonsense item nowadays when the sex difference is bending to a taboo : but, if also a conquest can begin by curiosity, is the curiosity itself to be charged with in all the human history and nowadays too.

The philosopher Immanuel Kant[2], who raised bureaucracies and organizations to government itself, was stumbling in curiosity as an obstacle, even when profitable but irremediably and only individual, so that not able to be systematized; but he was, on the opposite, obliged - while when building a theory - to generalize what humans cannot like, or choose. In any social field by now, those theories seem to be unproductive indeed, as they have been drawn out ‘tout court’ from physical sciences.

How then any ambition begins, as it is also an area (‘ambito’, in Italian language – n.b.e.) which usually refers to something exceeding one’s own  daily life ? Each one of us can find convenient the sources of his - or her - own ambition, also when connected to a catchable ‘taking a distance’, even from the Earth and from its colourful pedagogies : but don’t let us laugh too easily, just because we can represent that.

Surely, not so fit to be generalized would be the ambitions which lead a youngman Paolo Nespoli – here the leading character of a fantastic space mission and also, at the actual age of sixtythree years, the oldest space man in the ‘European Space Agency’/ E.S.A. – to get to, in 1988, a Bachelor of Science in ‘Aerospace Engineering’ at Polytechnic University of New York, a Master of Science in ‘Aeronautics and Astronautics’, up to a degree as ‘Mechanical Engineer’ at Florence University (Italy). Between 2006 and 2015 Paolo Nespoli has already been carrying out three space mission, more than dealing with training for E.S.A.

It is challenging, time by time, to undergo the trials required by any space mission, notwithstanding the space men are aware of : and a very long and accurate training is demanded to them, but the outcomes of which are logically not predictable[3]. However, both challenges and goals which can be involved by a conquest of space are already opening to never before experienced alliances among Countries which were competitors, both from an economic and political point of view.

“C’è spazio per tutti” is finally a call to nourish one’s own ambitions, by working on, and even hard : but it is also a warning to whom those ambitions would like to censor, or even to ‘systematize’, that is to banalize their goal.


                                                          Marina Bilotta Membretti - Cernusco sul Naviglio February 3, 2021



[1] “C’è spazio per tutti”, is a graphic novel by Leo Ortolani (2017), ‘Panini Comics’/ Panini SpA in cooperation with E.S.A. European and Italian Space Agencies : with the contribution of Paolo Nespoli, engineer and spaceman for ‘European Space Agency’ and ‘Rat Man’, character created by Leo Ortolani and leading part in many of his stories. Leo Ortolani is born in Pisa in 1967, studied Geology at Parma University, town where he is also living and working : he began at ‘Lucca Comics 1990’ winning as the best scriptwriter. Paolo Nespoli i salso the author of ‘Dall’alto i problemi sembrano più piccoli’ (2012), ‘Mondadori’.

[2] Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), the greatest philosopher of ’Enlightenment’, wrote – among many other works - ‘Critic of pure reason’ (1787) and ‘Critic of practical reason’ (1788).

[3] Paolo Nespoli remembers on his Facebook page the ‘Challenger’ shuttle tragedy in 1986 when seven spacemen died : he himself flew as a training on that selected but unreliable engine. Notwithstanding heavy responsibilities after the tragedy, Nespoli says that one’s own ambitions support an individual wish to go beyond one’s own limits, and that is also a benefit to human race : “paving the way” is exactly that, he recently remembered. In “C’è spazio per tutti” Leo Ortolani points, one by one, the animals, as not conscious about their mission and preceeding spacemen, but sacrificing themselves as the first space passengers.  

Psychoanalyst and profession[1].

To benefit from one’s calling/1.



”Psychoanalysis… is certainly not the whole psychology, however that is its essential structure, maybe even its fundamental… Then any analyst must have learned, first of all, that psychology, or depth psychology, or even better the psychology of the unconscious.”[2] 






“…After fortyone years of activity, the knowledge I got of myself tells me that I have never actually been a doctor. I’ve become a doctor having been forced to turn away from my original purposes, and the success in my life is in finding again indeed, after a tortuous very long deviation, the guidance of my own beginning…”[3] 

We see that Freud was getting late to his own calling, in his maturity : and he realized it was already a profession, but original and new, that is never started before. 

“…The aim for us analysts is making an analysis as complete and in-depth as possible together with our patient, whom we don’t like to bring relief welcoming him, or her, into a community, be it Catholic or Protestant or Socialist; instead what we like to do is enriching him, or her and get that richness from his or her own unconscious just making flow to his, or her ‘I’, both the hidden and therefore unapproachable energies due to the removal, and any further energy the ‘I’ is forced to waste without any fruit…”[4] 

Freud effectively tells about psychoanalysis in economical terms : en enrichment which the removal makes unapproachable to the patient who, on the opposite, dissipates many energies just to keep an ineffective defense from the removal. Less than fifty years later, Jacques Lacan welcomes Freud.

 “…And, about richness, why not starting indeed from the rich ? The rich owns a property. He buys, he buys eveything, eh! We can say that he buys a lot. However… the rich doesn’t pay…

First of all, we know very well that the surplus he everytime adds to himself, or herself… But, mainly, there is something he, or she, never pays for – the knowledge… The rich is no more a master, if not because he redeemed himself, or herself… 

Since he is enriching himself, why he can buy everything without paying for it ? Because he, or she has nothing to do with enjoyment… Such knowledge the rich can buy as a surplus. But he just doesn’t pay for it…”[5] 

Then the knowledge from psychoanalysis is a surplus, a benefit and a profit then, not just an enjoyment : Freud named ‘the benefit’ in his special work “Beyond the principle of pleasure”[6] as something profitable, quite different from the removal. 

“The theory of removal is then the pillar on which the building of psychoanalysis does stands. It is the most essential element of psychoanalysis and it is nothing but the theoretic expression of a repeatable experience at will, if you proceed the analytical work with a neurotic patient without any hypnosis… It happens there to feel his, or her own resistance opposing to the analytical work and giving as a pretext the failure of memory, unfortunately with the aim of making it unuseful. 

Hypnosis is hiding any resistance; so that we can say that psychoanalysis begins only with the technical innovation of giving up of hypnosis.”[7] 

After attending, since 1886, the university lessons of Jean Martin Charcot in which, as in any future ‘direct’ therapy the work of the patient is not essential and his or her own guidance in the care too, Freud did favour the analytical work as it could be conducted by the patient only using his, or her own memory in the presence of the analyst. 

“…The theoretic judgement if the resistance agrees with an amnesia, is leading inevitably  us to conceive an unconscious psychic activity which is owned by psychoanalysis itself, and anyhow it is quite different from any philosophic speculations of unconscious.”[8] 

Here it is why the conflict of interest between doctor and patient, not charging with the analytical work, can be on the other hand an obstacle in any said ‘direct’ therapy.



                                                Marina Bilotta Membretti - Cernusco sul Naviglio, October 1 2019 




[1] ‘Il progresso in psicoanalisi’, Morris N. Eagle in ‘Psicoterapia e scienze umane’, Franco Angeli editore – Anno 2018, Vol.52, n.3

[2] S. Freud, , “Il problema dell’analisi condotta da non medici. Conversazione con un interlocutore imparziale”, 1925 : you can wonder how rarely they draw from that specific work by Freud.

[3] S. Freud, ibidem

[4] S. Freud, ibidem

[5] J.Lacan, “Il seminario – Libro XVII, Il rovescio della psicoanalisi 1969-1970” with an afterword by Jacques-Alain Miller – Giulio Einaudi editore SpA 2001 / “Le seminaire de Jacques Lacan, Livre XVII. L’envers de la psychanalyse” 1991 Edition du Seuil, Paris

[6] S.Freud, “Aldilà del principio di piacere” 1920, Bollati Boringhieri Vol.9 p.242 : “…that the benefit from the amphimixes has been then picked up and used in the following evolution”.

[7] S. Freud, , “The item of the analysis conducted by not doctors. Conversation with a fair interlocutor”, 1925.

[8] S.Freud, “For a history of the Psychoanalytical Movement”, 1914.