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Number 15: Autumn 2022

The Transcription of a Psychoanalytic Session: To Write Beyond the Logos

Manuel Batsch

The extreme originality of this autobiography, however, is that it is written from an unobservable point of view: the one of sleep, a point of view from which one escapes rationality, freewill and the capacity to directly introspect. Freud drew his self-portrait not through an introspective writing of the self but through a writing from his otherness.

What makes this otherness-writing possible in The Interpretation of Dreams is the transformation of dream images into words. As pointed out by Stéphane Mosès, ‘Freud does not study the dream as a visual structure but as a text (…) The most striking aspect of Freud’s approach is the transformation of images into words’ (Mosès, 2011, pp. 77–78, my translation).2 In this book, Freud’s empiricism consists in making the visible readable, and it is from the text of the dream that knowledge arises. This is to say, that Freud used a form of empiricism, which does not resort to observables but to a text. Knowledge of an experience does not come from its sensory perception but from the transcription of this experience into a text. The text is empirical because it itself becomes the object of observation.