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In its exploration of childhood, where the future of a human being is in play, psychoanalysis cannot neglect what Freud called “the child’s favourite and most intense occupation”—play. In 1908, he places it at the very basis of “poetic activity,” following that of fantasy. Like the child himself, Freud takes play very seriously. The best of Freud’s disciples have seen play both as a means of exploring the infantile unconscious which is as yet incapable of speech, and as an enjoyable instrument in the service of the therapeutic dimension in the analysis of child patients. Thus Lacan pays homage to Melanie Klein and, in a different way, to Winnicott. Other psychoanalysts such as Frances Tustin have found objects that are specific to certain clinical structures. Since the heroic days of child psychoanalysis, though, many new games have become available for children, such as video games, whose consequences for the unconscious and for the training of drives we do not yet fully appreciate. Unlike the play of those children observed by Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Tustin, and others, video games are not necessarily a salutary symptom, but can become an incessant activity that barely masks a menacing void.


Table of Contents

Page 7 to 12

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Child’s Play

Page 13 to 22

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Page 23 to 31

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Page 32 to 42

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Page 43 to 52

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Page 53 to 60

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Page 61 to 70

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Page 71 to 75

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Psychoanalysis, Philosophy, Literature

Page 77 to 83

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Page 84 to 94

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Page 95 to 102

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Page 103 to 111

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Clinical

Page 112 to 114

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Page 115 to 117

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Reviews

Page 118 to 123

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