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    Speaking of Leonardo Da Vinci’s mother: a critique of Freud’s notion of identification

    Soreanu, Raluca (2018) Speaking of Leonardo Da Vinci’s mother: a critique of Freud’s notion of identification. Studies in the Maternal 9 (1), pp. 1-22. ISSN 1759-0434.

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    In this paper, I discuss some blind spots in Freud’s conception of identification, starting from his 1910 text, Leonardo Da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood. By analysing the way Freud construes Leonardo’s mother, Caterina, we gain important insights into Freud’s oscillations between anatomical, symbolic and ontological considerations, when speaking of women and of identification. I show how Freud ‘oedipalises’ Leonardo’s story. Oedipus becomes central by assembling a pre-oedipal seductive mother; and by crafting a pre-oedipal and post-oedipal condition of fatherlessness. Drawing on Jessica Benjamin’s overinclusive view of development, I ask what we gain by reimagining Leonardo’s mother in terms of arriving at a non-oedipalised solution to the problems of sameness and difference – the inseparable facets of identification.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Raluca Soreanu
    Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2019 14:03
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:42


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