chapter  6
12 Pages

The object between mother and child: From Winnicott to Lacan

ByALAIN VANIER

In a lecture he gave at the French Institute in London on February 3, 1975, Jacques Lacan was trying to make clear that what he himself called the objet a was the same thing Donald Winnicott called the “transitional object.” Already during the 1960s, Lacan spoke of Winnicott as someone whom he appreciated and liked the most of all Anglo American psychoanalysts. He would even argue that he discovered the object a in the transitional object, although we must say that object a is not exactly the transitional object: at the very most, it is one of its incarnations, but I would go as far as to say its generalized concept. This is what I would like to examine now, focusing on Lacan’s comments concerning the mother-child relation.