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fort-da game

DAVID MACEY


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


Extract

The game played by an eighteen-month-old boy, as described by F reud (1920) . The child repeatedly throws a wooden reel out of his cot and then retrieves it by means of the attached piece of string, accompanying his action with the interjections ooo (interpreted by Freud as meaning fort , the German word for “gone”) and da (“there”). The game staged the disappearance and reappearance of objects within the child's reach, and S ymbol ized his triumphal achievement in allowing his mother to go away without protesting. In the L acan ian perspective ( Lacan, 1953 ), the alternating Fort! Da! are interpreted in linguistic terms as differential phonemes; their manipulation by the child therefore prefigures the use of a diacritical linguistic system. 1920 : Beyond the Pleasure Principle . 1953 (1977) : “The function and field of speech and language in psychoanalysis.” . ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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