Study Guide

Julia Kristeva - The Pre-Oedipalists

The Pre-Oedipalists

This group loves to belabor the significance of the pre-Oedipal stage and the semiotic—and to pooh-pooh the Symbolic. Look, it's not a competition, but this group has a manifesto that testifies to the importance of pre-Oedipal language as a form of poetic expression that occurs before the child has taken on the language of the Father, and the Law, and all of the social order that goes with that cluster.

Not to be reductive, but the pre-Oedipal is the mother-bound, feminine language, so the group welcomes members to bring their children.

Melanie Klein
Co-President

Melanie was a huge fan of Freud, so she took a lot of his ideas and slapped them (not literally) on children. She often leads discussions of psychoanalysis's implications for childhood development—plus, she brings lots of cool toys to meetings. The toys are meant to help her demonstrate her object relations theory, but sometimes a choo-choo train is just that.

Otto Rank
Co-President

Look, the guy came up with the term "pre-Oedipal," so the group couldn't exclude him. Plus, he's just an all-around decent guy who always brings a lot to meetings. He wrote a book called The Trauma of Birth, which takes some real nerve coming from a man. But kudos to him.

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