chapter  6
18 Pages

What were the fantasms that occupied the child?

ByMichael Gerard Plastow

This chapter examines Spielrein’s paper “Contributions to the Knowledge of the Child’s Soul”, which remains untranslated into English. This was one of the very first papers to theorise psychoanalysis of the child, following S. Freud’s published case of Little Hans. Spielrein continues to theorise the mechanism of analysis, as well as that of its ending. This constitutes part of her endeavour to formulate the ending of her analysis, and the love affair that developed in the wake of the analysis with Carl Jung. This paper is a veritably psychoanalytic work in so far as Spielrein derived its theorisation from her personal experiences and fantasies, some of which were already committed to paper in her diaries and correspondence. Spielrein states that Otto’s fantasm is not only preoccupied by the coalwoman, but also with anatomy, specifically with the anatomy of the woman, the anatomy of his mother.