Faces of the Freudian 'I' - Mikkel Leher-Langberg
The Structure of the Ego in Psychoanalysis
In this book, the author undertakes a systematic analysis of the notion of the Ego, such as it evolves throughout the writings of Sigmund Freud. This is done in close readings of central works, representing the different phases in the development of Freud's thinking, from the 'Studies on Hysteria' to 'The Ego and the Id'.
Throughout the examined works, one aspect of Freud's thought turns out to be particularly central: a paradoxical coexistence of apparently incompatible perspectives, without a sense of necessary movement toward their synthesis. In keeping with this, the author shows how the Freudian Ego is consistently depicted from two simultaneous though conflicting viewpoints, making up two distinct discourses of the Ego - one from its own perspective, a discourse of an agentic "I as subject", and the other from the perspective of the sites of the unconscious, of a contingent "I as object".