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The summary I have given of the SD and other documents is germane to the issues I discuss in this chapter. I hope it is clear that what I attempt to demonstrate is not to be interpreted as an endeavour to arrive at an explanation that will reduce the creativity of Freud, of his daughter, of Klein and her followers, and of the indigenous analysts to being the inevitable product of their cultural backgrounds. Individual creativity escapes any final, absolute, definitive explanation, and I am still old-fashioned enough to believe in the motto individuum est ineffabile. What I attempt to show, rather, is how, in certain specific cases, the protagonists of the Discussions were able to find conscious, less conscious, and unconscious support for their creative trends of thought in a particular cultural background. This could, or did, reinforce their creative views and their unconscious motivations, and could, or did, help these creative views to be channelled in a particular direction. But what matters is that none of them could have arrived at any of their conclusions had they not had this support.
In March 1953, Donald Winnicott (1993) wrote to his friend Clifford Scott about treatment situations in which regression takes on especially intense forms. In such situations, he says, he interprets more often in terms of need than in terms of desire, for example saying to a patient for whom a break would be distressing that he or she needs to be seer. over the weekend, as opposed to mentioning the patient’s wish to have the analyst give up his weekend.
For the debate between infantile sexuality and attachment that concerns us, Winnicott has the merit of representing a dualistic, oppositional position, as strongly held in theory as it is in practice. Instead of attachment, however, among all the terms he used (environment, good enough, going-on-being, etc.) it is surely holding that, beyond the special gesture of a mother who holds and carries, refers in a general way to the quality of this early and vital register.
The weekend or vacation time arrives and with it separation, discontinuity. Echoing Winnicott’s (psychoanalytic? psychodierapeutic?) interpretation that the patient needs to see him are statements of the same kind on the part of patients: “I need you.” For my part, I could cite several examples in which this phrase emerges in a privileged manner in the context of an interruption of the analysis, a break in the frame (vacations, canceled session).
In eight days, newly-installed President Gerald R.
Ford would say, “The long nightmare is over.” That may have been true for many of the people of the
United States of America following the resignation of
President Richard M. Nixon. But for the ten civilian hostages in the library at the Walls Unit of the State
Prison at Huntsville, Texas, their long nightmare was far from over.
Construction of the rickety shield—that would supposedly protect them on their way out of the library, down the winding ramp, and to the armored truck that would transport them and their three captors to a destination that could only be guessed at—proceeded unabated. The rhythm grew even more frenetic as the participants, numbed by a lack of sleep from their all-night endeavors and goaded by their self-imposed prospects of freedom, abandoned their fears and hammered away at the Trojan Taco.
Carrasco, obviously pleased with the results of the previous day’s negotiation methodology, tried the ploy once more. He directed Novella Pollard to have