The Tree that Reveals the Forest
Arabic Translations of Freudian Terminology
Translator : GOFFEY Andrew
There were psychoanalysts in Egypt, but they have left. There was a fixed terminology, but it has dispersed with the diaspora of Arab psychoanalysts and the intervention of translators who are neither psychoanalysts nor Germanophone… These are the claims that I heard when I settled in Cairo in 2005, and, in search of a local psychoanalytic community, I had for the first time to proffer analytic words and concepts in Arabic. Had I arrived too late, like the Bedouin poets who came to cry on those encampments deserted by their true loves? The terminological exercise sometimes proved to be difficult, because I had to multiply Arabic equivalents to make myself understood by my interlocutors. French was not much help, because Egypt is not a Francophone country, nor was my bookish lexicological knowledge, for reasons that will be made clearer later. But what is surprising in this story, which often served as a prologue to our discussions and which fell like a verdict, is that one can rediscover - I rediscovered, at least - all the elements of a Babylonian myth of the origins of psychoanalysis in the Arab world, and a phantasmatics of loss: golden age, drama, dispersion. What of this drama then, if one takes the translation of the terminology of the founder of psychoanalysis as a telling example?
It is clear that the statement of these claims is not without foundation, it being a matter above all of the exile of several generations of Egyptian psychoanalysts and of Arabs more generally. A forced exile for some, let us not forget, necessitated by historical factors such as the authoritarian regimes in place or civil wars1. The "dispersion" of the psychoanalysts would thus have preceded the dispersion of the words of psychoanalysis. But we will be led to contextualise this statement, to "translate" and displace it so as to point not to the mythical seal of destiny, but to a dysfunctioning or a zone of shadow that is not the object of contemporary debate on the translation of psychoanalysis in the Arab world.
Replaced in the general context of discourse on translation, this story of the lost object of psychoanalysis is no stranger to the plaintive register in which one tends to place translating practice, made in the absence of the original, divided up between two languages and the admission of the untranslatable.
In the specific field of psychoanalysis in France, this complaint has been conveyed by a discourse that vindicates the strangeness of the letter of the founder of psychoanalysis. Let us recall briefly the ethical principle stated by Berman when he defines bad translation as follows: "I call bad translation the translation which, generally in the guise of transmissibility, operates a systematic negation of the strangeness of the foreign oeuvre"2. This principle has been taken up and reformulated by Laplanche thus: translation must render "the foreign of the foreign language, the foreignness which is a strangeness, Germanity"3. This strangeness affirmed of German, to the detriment of the strangeness of the mother tongue, considered as deforming, reduces translation to a desperate and tireless quest for the letter of the father of psychoanalysis. The "German of Freud" must be rediscovered and rendered "if only to torture the French so as to be Freudian", writes Goldschmidt4. The injunction of the superego and the jouissance which is always subjacent to it are not far behind: "the translator, says Pontalis, must be endowed with an infinite capacity for sadness"5. Sad because the object is perhaps total and therefore irremediably lost, without mediation. Sad because the translator does not know what to do with the two strangenesses presented to him/her. Now, how is one to stand the test of the foreign without confronting the familiar strangeness, the unheimlich of one's own tongue?
Without dwelling on the lively polemic stirred up by the translation of Freud's collected works in France, we can say that the appearance of the plaintive register in the arabophone context is different, as is the transferential situation that relates to it. It doesn't concern the practice of translation, and besides, very few of Freud's texts, if not any at all, has been translated or re-translated into Arabic in the last twenty years6. It is not the text or the letter of the founder that form the object of loss of translation, but the fathers who made the transmission of the founder's words possible, the fathers in person. As if, in order to appropriate psychoanalysis, knowledge of the Other, a filiation-graft that passes via the translator-fathers was necessary. Our sad lot would therefore be heavier, not only because the translators who were to offer proof of this sadness are, sadly, no longer there to continue translating, but because the lost object is not, or is not only, the letter of the founder, but the fathers-transmitters through which we have been constituted as orphans. On the one hand, we have translator-sons, orphans of the letter of the founder, who have got back to translating, willy-nilly. On the other, [we have] the orphans of the translator-fathers, who no longer have any translation project, because they are survivors, come to cry on the devastated encampments.
How has it been possible to come to construct, on the one hand, this phantasmatics of the loss of the text of the founding Master, and, on the other, the situation of mourning, doubled by an inhibiting, Babelish phantasmatics? Does this not run contrary to the analytic experience attentive to melancholic mourning and to the eroticisation of its affects, contrary even to the translation that introduces a transformative alterity, which, for the author of the Metapsychology, can be considered a structural double of psychoanalysis? Is psychoanalysis not, amongst other things, an enterprise that reveals the repressed (which, let's not forget, is a 'failure of translation'), a translation-interpretation of the hidden meaning of the dream, and a re-translation of the transference in all its forms?
Let's return to the figure of the poet of the desert who comes to cry on the encampments according to the well known Arab procedure, taken up again by modern classicist poets, sung by the great Egyptian and Arab diva Oum Kalthoum. It is figure that haunts the imagination of Arabophones, mine at least. The hypothesis that I have always defended is that this procedure has always been the object of an unconscious mistranslation or a melancholic interpretation. The pre-Islamic poet of the desert was not content just with crying over his true love in the camp she had deserted. This procedure, which came at the very beginning of the poem often finished with a formula such as "Let me do something else!" or "Let's move on to something else!" This is always followed by a sequence that speaks of saddling-up, of action and of the journey, which in Arabic is said ["battre la terre"] (adhdharb fi-l-'ardh). Movement comes after the torment, to put an end to the episode of the lover's mourning. By a propulsive energetic force, the poet of the desert got over his mourning [faisait le deuil du deuil].
It is this figure of the psychic elaboration of mourning and of the seizing of oneself that needs to be rehabilitated, not only by moving on to something else, as the Bedouin "psychoanalyst" does, which we will do by focusing on the translation of Freudian vocabulary, but so as to reintroduce transformative alterity into translation and its transferential postures, and reflect on the conditions of possibility of a positioning that is both analytic and translational.
Without allowing oneself to be impregnated by the illusion of the unopened and unequivocal text, by the idea of a test which only has one strangeness to consider, beyond the binarity of that opposes "literal translation" and translation by meaning, and the polarisation between "language of departure" and "language of arrival", we envisage translation as a "construction creative of comparability"7.
A construction of comparability because words are substitutable but never totally equivalent. On the one hand, equivalent words do not have the same minimal semantic unity in all languages. On the other hand, words are signifiers that refer almost incessantly, to other signifiers. Whilst containing meaning [sens], they radiate in all directions [sens]. Translating practice is thus obliged to accept the gap and give up total exactness, whilst cutting a path where the strangeness of the translated text is maintained, without the strangeness of the language of arrival being rejected, provided that, where it is a matter of terminology, the concept, or a conceptual core, is rendered with a minimum of rigour. It would be a translation attentive to the raising of the bar of repression that languages effectuate intuitively. Languages would thus be complementary, each one awakening what has been left dormant in the other language, each one bringing snatches of a sort of "fundamental language" that always remains fragmentary. This "fundamental language" is to be linked less with Benjamin's conception of a pure, originary language (Reine Sprache) than with the idea that Freud had of the linguistic manifestations of the unconscious.
In effect, whilst distinguishing itself from the universal symbolism giving rise to "the keys to dreams" or to "archetypes" valid for everyone, Freud picks out a similitude in the figurative representations of speaking subjects that is sometimes independent of their individual discourse and the diversity of their languages. In a note added in 1914 to The Interpretation of Dreams, he writes “for instance, according to Ferenczi, a ship moving on the water occurs in dreams of micturition in Hungarian dreamers, though the term 'schiffen' is unknown in that language. In dreams of speakers of French and other Romance languages a room is used to symbolize a woman, though these languages have nothing akin to the German 'Frauenzimmer'"8.
It is in this diversity-complementarity of languages that we can find a theoretical foundation for translation, conceived as a construction of comparability and not as a desperate quest for total equivalence.
In certain intercultural situations, this construction of comparability can be accomplished with less resistance to translation, a lesser untranslatability. It seems to me that this was the case with the translation of Freud into Arabic, above all in the context of the 1950s and the 1960s.
Arabic is manifestly not Chinese and it is a historical neighbour to European languages although its morphological construction is different and it belongs to the family of Semitic languages. Three facts having to do with the translation of Freudian vocabulary result from this proximity:
- The binarity of the psyche, nafs in Arabic, and the soma defines globally a conceptual universe favourable to the translation of the notion of psychism and the introduction of the theory of the drive in Freud, the drive being a "limit-concept between the psychic and the somatic". In contrast, it has been shown that the Chinese language does not isolate the psyche as an entity in its own right and that the term jinghsen that one finds today in all the terms derived from psyche "originally signified 'mind [esprit]' but in the sense of the divinity not of the soul, as the opposite of the body"9. Thus we can say that the risk of creating neologisms which weaken the notions of psychoanalysis by bringing them closer to the religious universe is greater in the conceptual universe of Buddhism.
- A shared Graeco-Latin nosographic heritage has allowed for the renewal of several terms with a Greek origin, such as melancholy, mania and hypochondria. These are concepts that were transcribed and introduced into Arabic over a thousand years ago by Arabic doctors and philosophers like Al-Rhazi (865 - 932) and Ibn Sina (Avicenna 980 – 1037).
- The eponymy of the words "narcissism", "sadism" and "masochism" has been rendered by transcriptions, contrary to the Chinese universe, where this eponymy is difficult to render, where the untranslatability of the proper noun has to pass through an interpretative translation, the reference to the myth of Narcissus or the texts of the Marquis de Sade or of Leopold von Sacher Masoch proving difficult.
Let us also note the ease with which Arabic words can be created by miracle: one can form form neologisms by deriving names from three-letter roots above all, by phonetic transcription, recycling ancient words, as was the case with the translation of "anxiety" (hîla), or the adoption of current words, as was the case with "trauma" (ṣadma). One can even use a procedure which brings Arabic into proximity with agglutinating languages. This procedure, called naḥt (sculpture), consists in putting together two different words, or a suffix and a word. This is how the terms "pre-conscious" (qabshu'ûr or qablshu'ûr) and "pre-genital" (qabtanâsuli or qabltanâsuli) were translated. With nominal forms that indicate basic variations of meaning, one can create as many names one wishes. For example, it is the form fu'âl, designating illness or anomaly that has allowed a paradigm encompassing the Arabic equivalents of "phobia", "neurosis" and "psychosis" and even those of "paranoia" and "hysteria", to be created by translators who have negleted the transcription of these terms.
Despite certain archaic expressions that testified to a refusal to translate or simply to a negation of the unconscious character of psychic processes, as with the translation of "mechanism" by the equivalent of the word "ruse" (because mechanics was called the "science of ruses" - 'ilm al-ḥial - in Arabic)10, for example, we note the lack of resistance amongst the majority of translators to the unfamiliarity of psychoanalysis. The rule of abstinence, for example, has been rendered by a neutral term, without religious reference (imtinâ', which signifies "abstention"). Very early on, they underlined the difference between drive and instinct11, even if in 1952 Is'aq Ramzi, in his translation of Beyond the Pleasure Principle, was unable to avoid this imprecision.
Certain Arabic terms cast a new light on Freudian concepts, through interpretative potentialities and surprising effects of meaning that render the essential of [these] concepts whilst enriching them. As an example, the notion of guilt has been rendered by shu'ûr bi-dhanb', the sentiment of sin. Only at the same time dhanab signifies 'tail', and this word activates the reference towards the sexual thing and the penis (called a 'tail' in certain Arabic dialects, as with French too, assimilated to a tail by children). Psychoanalytic concepts thus awaken the uncanniness hidden in Arabic words.
To translate "phallus" certain translators have appealed to the word qadhîb, which is a surname given to the penis, but which also designates the cut branch, the sword, and several other instruments with a phallic character. It is also a term which works well for the Lacanian hypotheses on the relationship between woman and castration, because, in a passage from having to being the beautiful woman is compared to a qadhîb, the branch of a tree on a sand dune (qadhîb 'alâ kathîb). It is a question of the archaic Venus of the Arabs, who brought together a narrow waist and a generous behind – as generous as a sand dune. In 1984, Hijazi, a Lebanese psychoanalyst and a translator of The Language of Psychoanalysis, proposed a transcription of the word phallus to avoid the confusion between penis and phallus. Only, for Tunisians and probably Maghrebians more generally, this transcription designates a chick (fallûs). Without mentioning how ridiculous it is when contrasted with the "signifier of desire" and the symbol of vigour and of tumescence, chick refers us once again to penis, all the more so given that the penis is called a "bird" or “sparrow” in certain Arabic dialects, a "dove" in Egyptian.
For those who know the etymology of words, certain translations reveal other conceptual figurings of sexuality that merit attention. Shabaqiyya or ghulma have been proposed as translations of eroticism. Being a matter of the theory of the drives and of the reference to Eros as unifying principle, it seems to me that it is the term jimâ', signifying 'union' and 'sexual act' that is the most appropriate. But as a matter of sexuality, shabaqiyya and ghulma are terms that are interesting to meditate on. They signify lubricity and name the living being by referring to the coupling of humans and animals. They have, then, the advantage of being cruder than notions of eroticism, long avoided by Freud, who didn't want to make any "concessions to pusillanimity". Shabbaqiyya, precisely, can refer to the coupling of donkeys. This term allows me, personally, to imagine an Eros, not with wings but with the two big ears of a donkey. An entire zoological phantasmatics linked to male sexual potency is thus awakened, in a term that qualifies the phallic sexuality of both the man and the woman.
We note also that certain Arabic expressions have enriched the Freudian vocabulary differently, by introducing constellations of signifiers that don't always have equivalents in European languages. The same three letter root can give rise to "secret" (sirr), to "couch", "bed" (sarîr), to "clinic" (sarîri) and to a "psyche" that is "hidden" or "surrounded by secrecy" (sarîra). The expressive force of these terms can deepen the signification of the analytic framework for the Arabophone: a framework in which the notions of the secret, of the guarantee of secrecy and of repression are thus valorised by signifiers linked to the practice of the analytic cure and linked by the partial homophony of the derivatives of the same root.
But this ease with which one can created words, with the enchantment of the lucky find has a disinhibiting effect in all languages, but especially in Arabic, where, as will be seen, the translation of the Freud's works takes on a non-institutional character. Contrary then to the statement of our little Babelian myth, the dispersion of Freudian vocabulary was at work from the first translations, even if it has become accentuated, taking on a symptomatic allure beginning in the 1970s. One is a long way then from the unsullied origin, a phantasm inherent to melancholic and/or metaphysical formations.
As an example, Mustapha Safouan (1958)12 and Mustapha Ziwer (1975)13 translated the concept of anxiety by hîla and ḥaṣar respectively. Hîla signifies the thing that inspires terror, but the verb hâla in the passive signifies "to be frightened for having had frightening dreams or visions"14. It is this reference to dreams that probably explains the choice of this term by the translator of The Interpretation of Dreams. Ḥaṣar signifies "anxiety" and in literary Arabic refers to restriction, to the action of tightening, to pangs of the heart, to boredom (dhîq aṣ-ṣadr) and to the difficulty speaking. In classical Arabic, as in Tunisian and Egyptian dialects, it refers to the retention of urine. But previously, at the start of the 1950s, the Egyptian Ahmed Raguih15 had reserved the term 'a'ar for anxiety. In 1995, the Egyptian lexicologist Abdel Moneim Hifni16, probably influenced by Mustapha Hijazi, the Lebanese translator of The Language of Psychoanalysis by Laplanche and Pontalis, translates the concept of anxiety by "qalaq", which signifies "boredom" today and which in literary Arabic signifies trouble, disquiet, anxiety and agitation17.
The concept of identification is another example illustrating the terminological divergences of Egyptian translators. Raguih translates "identification" by taqammuṣ, a theatrical term designating "to play the role of" in modern Arabic, derived from the act of putting on a shirt (a qamîṣ). Thus "to identify with someone" would be like putting on their shirt. Safouan proposes the more precise neologism "ta'yîn", which comes from the expression "the thing itself", said in Arabic "ash-shay' 'aynuhu", the idea of the same being rendered in Arabic by the term "eye" ('ayn). In 1961, Sami Ali invented the term "tawaḥḥud"18, which comes from the verb "to unite, to be one with". Unhappily, in Egypt itself, tawaḥḥud, which also refers to "solitude", will later be used to designate autism.
Another example: to translate the word "delirium", two of the pioneering Egyptian translators, Raguih and Safouan have proposed the term hujâs, formed from the nominal form fu'âl, which has anomaly and illness as its basic designation. The verb hajasa signifies "to present itself at once, to arise, be born in thought, in the mind"19. Mustaph Ziwer and Sami Ali opted for the root hadhâ, which signifies delirium or ramblings and which gives rise either to hudha' or to hadhayân, the nominal form fa'alan designating agitation, because one can choose different roots or different nominal forms for the same root to translate the same concept. But one also finds the term hujâs in Raguih, who translates "paranoia" as hadhayân hujâsi. Later one finds this same term in Georges Tarabichi20, who makes use of it to translate "hyponchondria" (hujâs al-maradh). Around thirty years later, in Hifni and Adnan Hobballah21, the adjectival form of this term is utilised as the equivalent of the adjective "obsessional". The situation gets worse then when one attributes the same term to analytic concepts as different as delirium, paranoia, hypochondria and obsessional neurosis. The situation of polynomia [polynomie] can engender a situation of intransmissibility then, if not of conceptual confusion.
Towards the 1970s, this situation gets worse and the dispersion takes the form of a bipolarisation between Egyptian and Lebanese translators. It touches on the major concepts of psychoanalysis, beginning with that of the unconscious. The first translators rendered it by an old term evident in the great Andalusian mystic Ibn Arabi (1165 - 1240): lâshu'ûr which is a negation of knowledge and of feeling. Tarabichi, Hijazi and Hobballah translated it by lâwa'y the negation of consciousness, with a reference to the idea of a container. This same regional dichotomy can be found in the translation of the notion of drive, rendered at the beginning by the equivalent of "instinct" (gharîza), then by daf' gharazi (instinctual drive), then by nizwa by the Lebanese Higazi and Hobballah (the verb naza signifying: to leap, the push something, to jump on a woman)22. A lucky find, except that in its modern usage nazwa signifies "caprice" and it happens to replace daf' gharazi which had established itself. The same phenomenon is applied to "ambivalence", translated by Safouan and Ziwer by the syntagm izdiwâj wijdâni (psychic dualism), and translated by Hijazi and Hobballah by tajâdhub wijdâni (psychic oscilation). Similarly, these two psychoanalysts do not appeal to transcription to translate "paranoia" but employ the neologism "udhâm", that one could translate as "majestuous". Starting with the word mahiyya signifying "essence" or in gross "identity", Tarabichi invents a verb and a nominal form, tamâhî, to translate "identification". This find has had some success, even in disciplines other than psychoanalysis. But in Egypt, for the same concept, sometimes the word ta'yîn, proposed by Safouan, is used, sometimes that of tawaḥḥud proposed by Sami Ali is used.
To be more precise and to avoid the excesses of apocalyptic and Babelish schemes, we are going to enlarge the sample of examples and authors. Starting from my readings of the translations of Freud's work, an encyclopaedia of psychology and psychoanalysis, three dictionaries, two glossaries, and three triple or quadruple indexes, I have established a Franco-Arabic concordance encompassing for the moment 150 Freudian terms, chosen by chance from my readings. This concordance accounts for a period spreading from 1952, the date of the publication of the translation of the Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Ahmed Ezzat Raguih (1908 - 1980), to 2004, date of the appearance of previously mentioned book by Hobballah with a trilingual glossary. Far from being exhaustive, this enumeration allows me to make the following remarks:
- The Arabic vocabulary of psychoanalysis is relatively fixed for a considerable number of terms, including: castration, condensation, fixation, working through, projection, primary process, neurosis, psychosis, repression, regression, seduction, topic, overdetermination…
- But what stands out from this enumeration is that several analytic concepts are translated in several ways, often with an equal frequency. I will give the following examples: 4 terms to translate "identification"; 3 terms to translate "transference"; 5 ways of translating "obsessional neurosis" or "névrose de contrainte"; 7 terms to translate "introjection"; 4 ways of translating "cloacal theory"; 4 ways of translating "phobia"; 3 terms to translate "sublimation", etc…
Most serious is the phenomenon of doublets or triplets where one notices an interchangeability between distinct terms: transference is confused with displacement, schizophrenia with the splitting of the self, identification with autism, delirium with obsession.
A perverse effect of this polynomia is [worth] signalling: the authors of glossaries and dictionaries have a tendency to confirm this terminological inflation by citing all the terminological choices, leaving the reader in total confusion. Is it a methodology of casualness or a nationalist superego that impels translators to protect the unity of the Arabic language despite this polynomia? We don't really know. What is paradoxical is that this dispersion does not produce a critical, translational discourse. It acts discretely whilst producing the Babelian and melancholic effects that we have tried to examine.
What happened, or what did not happen so that a Freudian vocabulary might have the time to be elaborated and establish itself throughout the sixty years that separate us from the first Arabic translations of Freud? What drama underlies this neologistic fever, this chasing after the lucky find, this repetition of the beginning of psychoanalysis. For lack of time I am not able to develop a reflection on the zones that are privileged by this quest, the zones of retranslation where the construction of comparability is probably hindered by the untranslatable, or is nourished by the jouissance of individual find. That merits another text. What we would like above all to underline is a structural fact that closely concerns the practice of translation in the Arab world, to wit the absence of an institutional location, at the local and regional scale, for this practice. In 2006, an "Arabophone" group was set up in Rabat, but it has not yet got going. There have been several Congresses, but congresses are no substitute for an institution. In the first place we note the absence of undertakings that are indispensible to the translation and transmission of psychoanalysis in the Arab world:
1. A project to publish the complete works of Freud. All attempts at translation have been individual or semi-individual. Tarabichi alone has translated 33 texts by Freud23. The sole beginning of institutionalisation was the collection directed by Mustapha Ziwer (The Fundamentals of Psychoanalysis), which to my knowledge has given rise to the translation of:
- An Autobiographical Study, Abdel Moneim el-Melligui et Mustapha Ziwer, 1957;
- The Interpretation of Dreams, Mustapha Safouan, 1958;
- Introduction to Psychoanalysis, Sami Ali and Abdesselem Kaffech, 1962;
- Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, Sami Ali, 1963;
- Five Case Studies, Salah Mékhémar et Abdu Mikhael Rizq, 1973;
- Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis, Nivine Ziwer, nd.
Moreover, the diaspora of Arabic psychoanalysts reduces the Arabophone psychoanalytic community and these pioneering works have not been republished or have been published in Egypt only. Fortunately, published on the Web in PDF form (pirated copies, in fact, and that too is another problem), these translations are not totally unavailable to younger people interested in Freud and in psychoanalysis.
2. An attempt to unify the vocabulary. Whilst the first attempts to unify the French vocabulary of psychoanalysis goes back to 1926 (the date of the setting up of a Linguistic Commission for the Unification of French Psychoanalytic Vocabulary), we note that there has been nothing of the sort in the Arab world.
In conclusion, the translation of Freudian terminology into Arabic certainly does not exist outside analytic use and analytic practice. It is, by virtue of this fact, the tree that hides and shows the forest. Hence the interest of consecrating a study to it. If today there is a terminological crisis, errant concepts, difficulties in transmission, aggravated by a fantasist or unbridled neologising activity, this is not because of the inaptitude of the Arabic language to express analytic experience, or of the competence of the translators, and it is not due to the seal of destiny. The malaise is more general, but beginning with the question of translation I would say that in order to support the stakes of the present with regard to the translation of the works of Freud in the Arabic world, it is a matter of:
- Taking the melancholy out of translation by putting it back into the register of the inventive construction of comparability, and not into that of the text of the master and the masters who translated him.
- Putting into relief the analytic and translational position. I invite the reader to meditate on this wish expressed by Freud on the subject of the translation of The Interpretation of Dreams. On the 24th of December 1921 he confided in Gaston Gallimard "the translator… should at root himself be psychoanalytic and replace all the examples with material from his own language"24. Freud does not say that the translator should be a psychoanalyst but "should at root himself be psychoanalytic". To be "at root psychoanalytic" is perhaps an affirmation of the solidarity of psychoanalysis and translation. Psychoanalysis and translation necessitate the same requirements: an attention to signifiers, that is to say, to words and their astonishing and unheard semantic references and a non-repressive attitude, that is to say an awakeness to the raising of the bar of repression and to the figurative representations lodged differently in languages.
- Underlining the importance of use, transmissibility and communication. Supposing that certain terms have been badly translated, it is the force of use and of good analytic use that can provide a remedy to the bad choice of translation. Despite everything, an arbitrary rule has settled in and it gets the upper hand, except in extreme situations of misunderstanding or incongruity that torture language and its users. The freedom sought in the the construction of the comparable risks feeding fantasist, individual jouissance.
In the Arab world, an institutional location for the translation and transmission of psychoanalysis, a location which to date has been lacking, can certainly fulfill a normalising and unifying role, but above all it would allow the positioning of analysis to be better defined, egostistical passions to be limited and a third, abstract instance, different to the authoritativeness of masters and fathers, to be guaranteed. To the mournful survivors it would offer the possibility of acting after having cried over the deserted encampments.