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To what extent does contagion, as an organic phenomenon and a social process, result from unconscious logic? Answering this question requires a precise semantic exploration of the signifier “contagion” in Freud, insofar as this phenomenon refers to the clinical context of the subject. The “psychic contagion” brought to light by hysteria refers to the dialectic of identification, between symptom and social connection—then to the obsession with contamination, paranoia, and “two-way delirium.” It is the question of taboo that sheds light on the symbolic aspect of the issue. From this, we find a tipping point in the major question of the reciprocity of feelings, in opposition to subjective disparity. Reawakening love as a “contagious” disease: although dizzying, this crossover helps to shed light on the link between affection and infection and allows us to return to the pandemic condition, which, by eliminating sex, is nonetheless enlightened by the well-named “disease of love.”

  • contagion
  • contamination
  • plague
  • hysteria
  • identification
  • obsession
  • delusion
  • love
  • enamoration
  • connecting/disconnecting
  • empathy
  • reciprocity
Paul-Laurent Assoun
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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