Julia Kristeva

“The Impudence of Uttering: The Mother Tongue”


Sublimation and Culture


Would it be a psychoanalyst or linguist’s prejudice, as malicious tongues will say, to consider that  “from the outset” culture determines the dynamic of sublimation, in that culture is subtended by language?  Without going as far as to say, along with Scripture that “at the beginning was the Word”, I claim, together with a few others, that  signifying activity is what distinguishes the human species, that it is transmitted by the family and society on the basis of genetic maturation, and that all  the so-called cultural achievements which allow “our life to distance itself from that our ancestors (…) serve two purposes:  protection of man against nature and regulation of relations between men themselves.”1  These cultural achievements, therefore, are built on the capacity to make meaning, on the semiotic capacity, on semiosis.  Consequently it seems to me impossible to speak of sublimation without articulating, “from the outset”, its experience and its concept in relation to semiosis, and in particular, to language.
     Of course the buttressing of sublimation by and upon the semiotic and/or linguistic capacity did not go unnoticed by Freud.  Nor has it by the two spokespeople of our Conference who have put forward very pertinent clarifications notably on the role of  fantasy which gives “another shape” to the “lost object”, according to Evelyne Sechaud,2 and more specifically on the linguistic signifier in the case of J.L. Baldacci. If I return this morning to the notion that sublimation is supported by language itself as the foundation of culture it is first of all because, when in 1932 Freud, synthesizing his diverse advances, left us with his final theory,4 he did not explicitly link language to the dynamic of sublimation, which he identifies according to the three following criteria: modification of the drive’s aim, change in the drive’s object and external validation. We cannot help but notice that this “external validation” appears here as an outside criterion, foreign to those preceding it and which would remain unrelated to them without, precisely, the intermediary of semiosis and of language in the first instance.  These (semiosis and language) are perhaps understood as components of drive, since drive is defined as energy-and-meaning: but they have, mostly, the bothersome tendency of disappearing, in the work of numerous authors, under the single energetic pressure of converging drives.
    It is true that Freud’s thought concerning language – outside his commentaries, which remain formal, on the Antithetical Meaning of Primal Words 5 and the Representation of Words linked to the representation of things6  -  only matured as an “economic” reflection in  Negation7, which was then rapidly followed by Melanie Klein in her study of the “Dick case”8, and subsequent to that, with her introduction of the “depressive position” and  “atonement.”  I will hold that this marginalization in regard to the problematic of meaning, of semiosis and of language in their dependence-and-independence vis-à-vis drives, weighs on the Freudian concept of “sublimation” and that it is responsible for the larger part of its difficulties.
    I will focus on the place of language in sublimation, to show that it is through language that sublimation is intrinsically and inevitably cultural, in the sense that it is a bearer of creativity, which is precisely what distinguishes it from repression and idealization. I say, through language, and by this I mean language not as an object of such and such branch of modern or traditional linguistics, but as a semiotic practice open to the heterogeneity of drives: an enunciation, if you like, thanks to which the alchemy of pleasure transforms into jouissance, and the symbolic bond into creativity.  It is in this perspective, that I shall then discuss Colette and Proust, and raise questions about modern culture before branching out with an exploration of  the role of women, and more particularly, that of motherhood in this blossoming of semiotic creativity among the speaking beings – and thus uniquely cultural – that we are, disputing the validity of the Freudian position according to which women are “not well suited” for  the “sublimation of drives.”9

I and He: The Impudence of uttering

     The idea that culture is language appeals to me, as you’ve already heard me say:  I like it to the point of finding it –in the psychoanalytical sense of “finding-creating” in  Hegel.  In The Phenomenology of the Mind in the chapter devoted to culture – which is neither religion nor philosophy nor the absolute mind -, Hegel comments on Rameau’s Nephew by Diderot.10 If you remember, he takes the passage of the famous dialog in which the I of a spasmodic musician who claims that “thoughts are whores” confronts He, the philosopher.  This split, which cannot but catch the attention of an analyst – of the French speaking analyst that is, for the text is written in French as Hegel underlines – leads the German philosopher to advance that culture would be the “impudence (Schamlosigkeit) of uttering.”11  And that this immodest language (by this I refer to drives which are not purified-neutralized by the Superego but only filtered by the Ideal of the Ego) reveals a carnivalesque, playful body that joins opposites and exults in its skillfulness in manipulating language.  Here we are dealing with an utterance capable of  transmuting the feverish sensation of a run-away passion composed of the pleasures of the mouth, ear and senses; pleasures which calm the urgency of drives and signification which then incarnate into words of the mother tongue. Culture would therefore be this crossroads, this  encounter where thinking humanity (He, the philosopher) seeks his far more secret and seductive truth by turning to an I who does nothing but talk, immodest and playful, with the least amount of repression possible, and nevertheless with enough repression all the same to be understood by Him who thinks and judges.
     How is such an utterance possible? Is it inherent to all types of language?  Or is it a question of a language other than language?
     When, in Negation, (1929) Freud follows the path from negativity, of Ausstossung and Verwerfung, or drive rejection, to psychic inscription by clearing the way for the mnesiac trace; when he transfers oral and anal pleasure – devouring/expulsion, Fort/Da – to a psychic register which gives rise to the Symbol of negation and no longer assimilation/defecation, to “This is not my mother”, equivalent to “I don’t like my mother”; when he turns this utterance inside out to hear it in the negative, the denied desire – “I love her, I eat her and I bite her while throwing my feces at her” – I understand that the founder of psychoanalysis leaves us with a model of language that is none other than the royal path of sublimation.
     Let us take a step which Freud did not explicitly dare to take himself inNegation, but which the whole of his work invites us to risk taking.  If it is true that the acquisition of language profits from the denial of the drive (“It’s not my mother”), language is constituted as a perverse type of object.  It is precisely here, where the speaking subject is constituted, that “from the outset” the impudence of uttering resides.  And this perversity of sublimation –let us write it as father-versity  (père-versité), which incessantly turns into mother-versity (mère-versité) in a movement that is always reversible, upwards and downwards, towards the independence of forms and the dependency of drives. 
     Even so, it is not enough to say that language defends itself against sexual desire and the movement of drives by giving them a psychic representation and inverting them: drive energy becomes the investment and it is the mnesiac trace which is “objectalized” (A. Green), on top of or sometimes in place of the erotic object.  Indeed, the psychic inscription never stops acting, being active and thus energetic, by doubly reversing itself : toward its energetic source and towards its own opposite direction, to preserve desire like a secret around which the psychic identity clusters, that is to say the imaginary and symbolic identity of the Ego.
     But this is not all.  The psychic inscription, which changes objects, incurs a new dependency: it will be always already over-determined by its investment in the new object, language.  One of the consequences of this investment of the language object, as, in the last instance, of all cultural objects that take the place of the erotic partner, will be, that hereon, in the sublimatory process, the trans-linguistic cultural object will impose its own laws and its specific structure on the investment of the investment itself. Drive sublimation will thus be submitted not only to the auto-erotic vagaries of the desire to speak and/or to sublimate, but also very strongly to the particular constraints of a given language and a given semiotic medium in a given moment of history.  I do not sublimate in the same way in Chinese or in French, in the XIIth century or the XXIth century, in writing a novel, or composing a symphony or designing a dress.  We can therefore deduce the importance of psychic modifications following a change in language, for example or when one changes one’s sublimatory practice. 
     We can never say it enough: those who rush to reduce the advent of language to a simple defense, repression or idealization, miss the essential role of culture which is to assure psychic life and the psychism as life: the rebirth of languages, self-creation, renewing ties.  Freud diagnoses the necessity of the social pact, which consists of prohibiting and labeling socially immodest desire as taboo; yet he also takes this a step farther. For the model  of listening and interpretation he handed down to us, in his concern to make the unconscious audible, took its inspiration from other languages, or more exactly, from other utterances such as those of Sophocles, Shakespeare, Diderot, Goethe, Dostoeveski.  Subsequently, Melanie Klein’s breakthrough cannot be reduced to stereotypical Kleinism which only sees “atonement” in the discovery of the “delightful tripe butcher” as Lacan called her: Klein, a pioneer of children’s games and symbolism detected in them much more complex stages: from the sacrificial violence of matricide to the access of thought through  jubilant vocalization, while going through a stage of fetishist jouissance of objects likened to the genital organs.
     In other words, the utterance unveiled by the psychoanalytical experience and used by it resembles precisely what Hegel understood  in Rameau’s Nephew: the impudence of uttering.  Countering a certain kind of linguistics which makes an obsession of the “language object”, it is not psychoanalysis’ least contribution to have revealed to modern culture that language is an utterance which reveals the genealogy of its drives in its themes but also in its terms and the syntactical sequences themselves, in which the sonorous and sensorial load is perceived as “poetic.”  Language is an utterance which signals to sexualization while disburdening it  by the simple fact that it names it instead of acting.  It is an utterance that remembers  its “abandonment” to the over-invested object and which can fail in the “abandonment” to the abstract idea, but which is also capable of evoking the catastrophe of thought, madness and delirium thanks to the pleasure of saying. It is an utterance that, even in its most modest instances, which will never be “exceptional sublimations,” transforms even psychic accidents into the jouissance of a search for the self, by way of a third dimension: between the Ego and its erotic-thanantic object, semiosis and language is this indefinitely constructible object, the only worthwhile one, language itself, open to its heterogeneous substratum of drives and which thus becomes the Principal Object of the Subject of culture.
     In other words, language carried by sublimation is the cultural perversion constitutive of the human species, and the speaking being is, from the outset, culturally perverse.  Always already transposed by language in culture, one is indefinitely working through polymorphous perversity in creativity.  Speaking beings have no other creativity than that which finds languages to carry out this “auto-re-creation” of the self we call the psychic life.  From it comes the sensation of being alive, even of rebirth and defying death.  “Rebirth has never been beyond my powers”: Colette could justly make such a statement because she was an expert at sublimation.  To think of the pleasure, cruelty and crimes contained in this maniacal elation which “defends” and “protects” us from the accidents of our drives so that we embark on the journey to the end of the night?! 
     Art, literature, painting, music: the imaginary.  Such is the privileged utterance which restores to language as a system of communication the sublimatory dynamic that constitutes it and which continuously works through it12, even in cases of the most severe inhibitions and devastating anxieties.  There is no language without creativity, because there is no language without sublimation: it suffices to hear it, and It begins to exist, even in the most disabled of speaking subjects.  Whether or not we know it, psychoanalysis is founded on this phenomenon.  It is because sublimation is the carrying wave of human language that psychoanalysis can pierce through the wall of repression and inhibition to reach the mobility of the drive, by simply opening the ears of counter-transference to these inhibited, hysterical, robotic, devastated, obsessional, borderline utterances.
     Sublimation always already bears linguistic creativity, even if it is true that it is actualized with a flourish in the esthetic experience, this “exceptional sublimation” (J.-L. Baldacci).
Colette and Proust: The Purity of the Perverse and the Autistic Reunion

    Through its erotic themes which liberated our parents’ generation, Colette’s writing stimulates a blossoming sensuality in its readers.  Even more, we feel that she is immediately close because she knew how to change the words themselves.  Under her pen, they were no longer commonplace signs with universal meaning, but could project us towards the sensations, emotions and drives which she claimed were inseparable from them.   “… To me, a word is enough to recreate the fragrance, the color of hours lived, the word  is as resonant and full and mysterious as a seashell that sings the sea.13”  “Between the real and the imagined, the word always finds its place, the magnificent word, larger than the object.14”  The word is where the sea/mother (mer/mère) sings.  The word between the real and the imagined, between ascendancy and idealization: the word larger than the object of reference, or larger than the first object of desire?  The word “sea” (mer) larger than water or larger than mommy (maman)
     It would be difficult to find a more exact and sensuous definition of sublimation as desexualization. But we are dealing with a de-sexualization that, far from repressing the sexual charge, transposes it to invest it with the medium of communication itself and to load this medium, in turn, with the multiple strata which compose the representation of things and the representations of words, without forgetting the affects and the drives themselves. 
     This experience of language is not necessarily a regression: while respecting repression, it renders it more subtle and porous, permeable to the thrust of drives, which, thus filtered by words, becomes something other than desire-pleasure.  It is more a question of a displacement of the perversion inherent to the partial object of desire-pleasure toward a strange fetish-object, a universal, exterior medium : it is language transformed into an object of jouissance.
     How is this possible?  Imagining the virtual encounter between Melanie Klein and Colette would perhaps help us to see this more clearly.  Having read a write-up in a newspaper on the performance of The Child and the Enchantments15 and without having read the text nor seen the performance, Melanie Klein presented a paper on March 14th, 1929, before the British Society of Psychoanalysis under the title: “Infantile Anxiety Situations Reflected in the Work of Art and in the Creative Impluse.” In the character of the young, disturbed boy who fights against the house and the garden, identified by the fantasy with the maternal body, the Orestian Klein diagnosis a fixation on the schizo-paranoid position which provokes a grave deficiency in the child’s capacity to think.  And it is the sensorial life of animals – that of the cats in their nuptial, wordless dance, which is a displaced image of the envied parental coitus – that reconciles the child with a pleasure from which he had hitherto felt excluded. He can now complain of being alone, the depressive position having been named (“I am alone… In spite of himself, he calls Mother”) – and is able to “repair” the damaged object: to bandage the squirrel’s paw.
     Colette’s path passes, in effect, through this depression, both in her life and in the work in question: but it is a fleeting depression which the writer evokes in the word “alone” without lingering upon it.  Thus, the paths of Klein and Colette diverge.
     While focussing less on depression than Melanie, Colette plays up perversion far more than the psychoanalyst.  A self-proclaimed “mental hermaphrodite”, Colette was not only openly bisexual, she also entertained an incestuous relationship with her son-in-law, Bertrand de Jouvenel, thirty years her junior.  By appropriating the maternal object, the overestimated sexual object, she could at last name it: release it from secrecy and transform it as she pleased, turning it into her own “culture”, her own character, her own language.  The Claudines were orphaned of their mothers, but after living out her homosexual and incestuous affairs, Colette was able to become the author of the most sublime maternal character in French literature: Sido, cosmic goddess, flesh of the world, is a double of Colette herself.
     We understand that Colette’s words are not only “equivalents” of the lost object, as the matricidal Klein would have it. She diagnosed that one must lose mother so that the protosymbolism of  primary “equations” (underwear = mother) becomes “equivalents”, which is to say symbols (the word “mother” represents and replaces mother).  Colette’s words are also “equations” or rather “equivalents-and-equations” of signs bursting with original pleasure drives as well as with transpositions of these pleasures into meaning.  Heterogeneity is always maintained, drives cohabit with meaning, never one without the other.
    Colette’s acting out seems to function as a laboratory for working through depression, transforming it into culture through sublimation.  If she thus recreates the French language by imbuing it with words “larger than the object”, it is because she “nourishes herself on the mother” (as the Taoist sage says “I alone, I feed on my mother.”) Is this not what allows her to identify original pleasure, oral pleasure with the imagination itself?  Colette has one of her heroines say: “And you, is it that you’re not hungry or that you don’t have any imagination?”  Because for this woman who managed to resolve her malaise through culture, drives were never detached from psychic representation, for language is “from the beginning” the communicable face of an incarnated fantasy.


More blasphemous, and more tragic as well, Proust extends the power of sublimation in writing that accompanies sadomasochism.  We can think back to the flagellation scene of the Baron de Charus16: the episode relates a perverse acting-out which echoes the suffocation experienced by the young, asthmatic Marcel, and allows for a metonymic-metaphoric symbolization, displaced and condensed, of the neotene child victim of the mother-child co-arousal.
     But it is the treatment of a rare dream, that of the “second apartment”17 which, in a more lacunar and less spectacular manner, shows the powers of sublimation reaching as far as the limits of that which can be represented and of language.  The dreamer first remembers a dream that cannot be told, without images or words, which he can only evoke as “the risk of experiencing (…) suffering that we consider as nonexistent and as not having come to pass because it was felt during the course of sleep which we believe to be without consciousness.”  This is a white suffering with “empty” spaces, “with nobody”, without memories, where “the mind must turn back.”  It is a fire, bells ringing, with no representation : the dream of the second apartment is a dream that “did not come to pass”, an autistic dream, sensation without language, without anything at all.
     This dream is nevertheless not without thought.  The dreamer joins up with it through a new dream in a new apartment located in a greater proximity. The theme of this dream is the anguish caused by the death of the grandmother, that is to say, the mother of the Narrator.  The unnamable psychic disaster of the sleeper in the second apartment connects with the real event of the loss of the maternal object in the first.  It is as if the auto-analysis of incestuous desire and aggressive ambivalence led to the creation, in the first apartment, of a dream object, which lacked in the second.  It is the scenario of mourning which interrupts the  “suffering that did not exist and did not come to pass”, tears it from the unspeakable, gives sign, meaning and object to that which lacked all three.  The passage from the second to the first apartment can be read, according to Melanie Klein’s terminology, as a passage from “equations”  to “equivalences”, which simultaneously unlocks language, the time of fantasy and narrative time.  At the crossroads of the unspeakable drive and fantasy, Proust’s writing is a sublimation which twice inscribes “the sensation that did not exist and did  not come to pass”: in the minimalism of the second apartment and in the eroticized account of mourning in the first.  In doing so, Proust succeeds where the autistic person fails: to communicate the crushing experience of the feeling and of the felt and to extract from subject-less suffering, a subjective act of culture.
     This hold of the non-representable be it an affect or a sensation, this way out of autism happens through the creation of a new language: “the impudence of uttering” takes on, in Proust, the appearance of irony complicit with sadomasochism and which winds around interminable, panting sentences, a Babel of paper scrolls.  On the other hand, the minimalist language of the second “autistic” apartment evokes other unusual languages in which modern art excels, from Jackson Pollock to Cy Twombly or Jasper Johns, and their successors who emulate them.
    One only need spend a day in the new Modern Art Museum in New York to be persuaded, even if the media has led us to doubt it, that a modern culture does indeed exist and that it is a language of the unspeakable.  The elegant brutality of modern culture only presents an incomprehensible world to those who don’t care to know from what explosion, resistant to subjectivation and objectalisation, the sublimatory adventure is based.  An adventure which, constantly threatened by these risks, nevertheless enjoys leading a new blissful, catastrophic, and contagious life.  In what we call “borderline cases”, it is only a question of the life of forms where the life of drives survives.  Here, the spectator robotized by the pervading automization, gets a chance to reach the lost time of his most reclusive unconscious by reaching his  “exceptional sublimations”.  Is this not precisely the very essence of culture?
     At the extreme of this sublimatory desire of forms lies, of course, music.  In a Mozart opera or in a Bach fugue, the “object” is the musical language itself.  This language is essentially a parallel world, independent of amorous intrigues, even of the divine exaltation that it celebrates.  Would music as an “artificial paradise,” a paroxysmal working through of the drive in pure jouissance and with no other aim but its own construction, be therefore the supreme “impudence of uttering?”  Accepting the risk of freeing itself from ethics itself?  Would such be the powers and limits of cultural sublimation?

     A “Last Pride” or the Future of Civilization?
   If I thus reduce sublimation to the act of  language, it is not only to shed light on the genealogy of the speaking beings that we are.  It also allows us to raise some disquieting questions regarding modern culture:

  • Does the empire of the spectacle extend the empire of sublimation over the civilization of the third millennium in place of the failure of repression and of ideals? 
  • When we widen the borders of the speakable, to the point of naming in best-sellers and displaying in reality shows, an “impudence” that seems unstoppable, are we, in this case, dealing with sublimation in the ambitions sense I’ve developed here, or rather, with a fierce idealization of the object and sexual satisfaction?  Are we faced with an idealization which dominates sublimation or impedes it entirely?
  • Does the flooding of images over language limit sublimation’s ability to work-through and the “cultural” products with which the globalized spectacle inundates us?


  • Have we not reached, with the “society of the spectacle’s” cultural objects the limits of sublimatory benefit?  In such a way that instead of contributing to the organization of the Ego and its search for heterogeneous temporalities, which constitute the life of the mind, the consumers of the “media culture” that we have become are content to take pleasure in their excessive drives and narcissistically ingest “products”?  What eagerness, indeed, to absorb, evacuate, digest, “to make” culture, as well as to erase the traces of the psyche!
  •  These drifts are real, but they also engender their own disquieting antibodies such as the return of prohibitions as prescribed by religious fanaticism, this rush towards faith as a perpetuation of neurosis to the detriment of the sublimatory and perlaborative aspects of religions, which very often, are used to fanatical ends.  As a counterpoint to this inflation of intimacy through the “need to believe”, the political, social and professional realms place a high value on a calculating, mechanized use of language founded on the obsessionalization of phobic defenses and which, by censuring sublimatory creativity, flattens human experience.


  •  In this context, the psychoanalyst seems to be one of the rare, if not only allies of culture-sublimation.  Like the unconscious, our listening and interpreting, in their moments of grace particularly “neither judge nor calculate, they are content to transform” and do not have any other aim than to allow the patient to acquire a creativity open to the recreation of his languages and ties.  I do not think that in doing this, psychoanalysts are acting as adepts of a dated practice as tenants of diverse congnitivist and behaviorist schools will claim.  For the function of transference and that which makes the acquisition and experience of language as sublimatory creativity possible, allow for an infinite expansion of the  semiotization (by this I mean,  psychization-and-communication) of the death and life instinct. Yesterday’s intolerable drive can  be verbalized today in transference-counter-transference, and in another way, as something sold on the cultural marketplace.  The difference between these two operations resides in the fact that in the analytical framework, the dynamic of loving to death between the 1st and 3rd person, Myself and He, is framed by the Ego-Ideal and in no way by a moral code or by the need for seduction which fuels spectacular consumerism.  This filter of the Ideal of the Ego, which supports the sublimatory side of the analytical process, as fragile as it may be, constitutes the  “zero degree” of psychoanalytic ethics which is based upon it and transmits it.  Whatever the excesses of the drives and the indulgent sexualization of the instincts may be, language remains the organizing principle of the subject as she takes the other into account.  The supple working through of the Ego-Ideal and the Superego can then be grafted in language: at this point impudent language can be expressed in the session; it also modestly cloaks the  drive, for it shelters the mobile structure of psychic identity.  Otherwise said, the most impudent, even criminal language is the final frontier of our pride it if does not get acted out.  “The modesty of language is our last pride.”18

         Yet my optimistic outlook on the psychoanalytical experience also has its limits.  If the analytical operation ensures the subject’s freedom and dignity (impudence and pride) through the talking cure, it cannot provide a framework for the drives of the masses.  Kant himself considered that the putting into practice of “practical reason”, of a viable ethic for humanity, could only be possible through the intermediary of a new corpus mysticum.  We are still looking for it.  Would it be on the horizon of our practice in the community of analysts-analysands? If it were possible, let us admit that this mirage would only be realizable in an infinite temporality.

    The Humor of Mothers
   In the meantime and in conclusion, I would like to focus on a phenomenon that is perhaps more along our lines.  Language as creative sublimation, as heterogeneity of the drives,  as the opening of temporality and of the psychic space depends, as we’ve often said at SSP, on the paternal function as well as on  maternal support.  Question: how would this be possible if women themselves were inept at sublimation?
     Freud imprudently advanced this hypothesis, perhaps because of  hysteric excitability, resistant to symbolization which the hysteric as ardently covets as she devours.  Motherhood, on the other hand, operates a transformation of the libido in such a way that sexualization is deferred by a tendency toward tenderness, while at the same time narcissistic exaltation and its melancholic underside, and even “maternal madness” with its indestructible hold, gives way to what I will call a “subliminal cycle” where the mother positions herself by differentiating her newborn from herself. This process leads to the issuing of “enigmatic signifiers”, the withdrawal of drives with “rewards to spark incentive” which the mother gives to a single response by the child and, finally,  to an ever greater pleasure that the mother gets in return, following the child’s response. This sublimatory cycle, which J.-L Baldacci observes in the dynamic of Freud’s Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious is also the sublimatory dynamic of the good enough mother!
     The sublimatory cycle is not lacking what I’ve called a sublimatory perversity of behavior and language, for the mother in effect defers her immediate hold on the child so as to take even greater pleasure in this very difference/deferral (différance).   What a mother!  This alone is how she enables her child to create his own language, which is tantamount to  choosing a language that is foreign to that of the mother, that is , simply, a foreign language. As the mother, necessarily Orestian, and in this sense sublime, necessarily sublime, takes pleasure in this symbolic matricide; she becomes a good enough mother who, along with her child, puts the dynamic of the witticism into effect.  From here, the next step might be to say that it is precisely maternal sublimation providing the support needed for language acquisition which is the supreme humor women are said to be missing – “the eternal irony of the community”, as Hegel defines them. It is a step I will willingly take.  Does maternal sublimation possess the key to culture?
    After all is said and done, the future of culture depends less on television which endangers sublimation than on mothers and our analytical ability to hear their aptitude for sublimation.  And on recognizing this aptitude, so that they can make language of it themselves.


(translated by Anne Marsella)

1.Cf. Sigmund Freud, Le malaise dans la culture (1930), tr.fr.P. Cotet ,R.Lainé,J. Stute-Cadiot, inŒuvres Complète, volume XVIII, PUF, 1994

2.Evelyne Sechaud, « Perdre, sublimer » in Bulletin de la Société psychanalytique de Paris, no. 74, nov.-déc. 2004

3.Jean-Louis Baldacci, « Dès le début…la sublimation », in Bulletin de la Société psychanalytique de Paris no. 74, nov-déc, 2004

4.Cf. Sigmund Freud, Nouvelle Suite des leçons d’introduction à la psychanalyse, tr. Fr. J. Altounian, A. Bourguignon, P. Cotet, A. Rauzy and R. Zeitlin, in Œuvres complète, volume XIX, PUF, 1993

5 Cf. Sigmund Freud, Du sens opposé des mots originaire (1910), tr.fr. J. Altounian, A.Bourguignon, P. Cotet and A. Rauzy in Œuvres Complète, volume X, PUF 1993

6 Cf. « Appendix C, Words and Things », Papers on Metapsychology, The Standard Edition, Vol. XIV (1914-1916)

7 Cf. Sigmund Freud, La Négation (1925), tr. Fr. J. Laplanche in Œuvres Complète, vol. XVIII, op.cit.

8 Cf ; Melanie Klein, Essais de psychanalyse, tr.fr. M. Derrida, Payot, 1967, pp. 266 sq. Cf. Julia Kristeva, Le Génie  féminine tome II : Melanie Klein, op.cit., pp. 257 sq

9 Cf. Sigmund Freud, Le Malaise dans la culture (1929) tr.fr. P. Cotet, R. Lainé, J. Stute-Cadiot, in Œuvres Complète, vol. XVIII, op.cit., p. 290

10 Hegel, La Phénoménology de l’esprit, tr. Fr. J. Hyppolite, tome II, Aubier Montaigne, coll. « Philosophie de l’eesprit » 1941, pp 76, sq

11 Ibid., p.80

12 Julia Kristeva has defined this work that subtends the code of communication without the knowledge of its usuers a « potential infinity ». Cf. « Pour une sémiologie des paragrammes, » in  Semeiotikè, Recherches pour une sémanalyse, Le Seuil, 1964 (Editor’s note).

13 Colette, La Vagabonde (1910) in Œuvres Complètes, tome I, op.cit., p. 1084

14 Id. Journal à rebours (1941), ibid, tome IV P. 203

15 The  libretto was written by Colette in 1915 with music by Ravel.  The first performance took place in Monte-Carlo in 1925.

16 Marcel Proust, Le Temps retrouvé, A la recherche du temps perdu, in Œuvres complètes, tome IV, Gallimard, coll. « Bibliothèque de la Pléiade », 1989, p . 394

17 Id, Sodome et Gomorrhe, ibid., tomme III, pp.370-373

18. Louis Aragon, « Madame Colette », Les Lettres Française, 12-19 août, 1954 ; cf. Julia Kristeva, Le Génie féminin, tomme III : Cotette, op. cit., p. 91.