Jean Clavreul

The Man Who Walked in the Rain A Psychoanalyst and Lacan Publication date : June 14, 2007

“Psychoanalysis is not just an extraordinary occurrence in the history of ideas; it calls into question the very foundations on which we construct our ideas and our systems of thought. Freud was modest when he compared the psychoanalytical and the Copernican revolutions. Psychoanalysis concerns issues that are absolutely essential to Man and his destiny,” writes Jean Clavreul at the beginning of this book, his intellectual testament in which he gives us what he calls his “psychoanalytical memory”. He assesses the Lacanian revolution and restores the complexities of Lacan's thought; he also appraises the contribution of the school of psychoanalysis that was founded by Lacan and dominated the field from the 1950s to the 1980s. Clavreul's critical reflections, backed by his long experience as a psychoanalyst, deal with major issues that threaten psychoanalysis today: legitimacy, social role, therapeutic “efficiency”, internal workings, etc. In this book, a leading figure of the Lacanian school, whose discretion kept him out of the public eye, looks back over his career and shares his experiences with us. He gives his conception of psychoanalysis and describes how, in his opinion, psychoanalysis has contributed to our understanding of humanity and human suffering. An unusual combination of personal testimonial and original meditation, this book has the confidential tone of an informal chat. It is the last work of an influential psychoanalyst who published very little during his lifetime. In the years following World War II, Jean Clavreul was a young medical student and sailing enthusiast from Brittany. He developed an interest in psychiatry which led to a meeting with Jacques Lacan. Clavreul underwent analysis with Lacan from 1948 to 1953 and, again, following group supervision, from 1958 to 1962. A faithful, not to say orthodox, follower of Lacan, Clavreul would play a major role in the école freudienne of Paris. An excellent clinician, he trained many major psychoanalysts. In 1967 he collaborated with Piera Aulagnier and Guy Rosolato, among others, in the influential collective work Le Désir et la Perversion. He died on 28 October 2006.