Understanding the Body’s Critique: Repeating to Repair


Authors
Karin Nisenbaum
Syracuse University
Abstract
In the following paper I look at the body as a site where individual and communal normative structures come into view. Drawing from the work of Sigmund Freud and Paul Ricoeur, and through an analysis of the compulsion to repeat, I offer an understanding of psychoanalysis as a practice whereby we decipher the body’s call to configure our individual lives more humanly. This involves the interruption of the compulsion to repeat and the transition from an instinctual and organic development, towards an ‘Erotic life.’ I also broaden the scope of the analysis and investigate the kinds of communal structures or bonds that the psychoanalytic concept of an ‘Erotic drive’ calls for. To this end, I introduce Walter Benjamin’s studies on the relation between different temporal and political structures
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