ABSTRACT

George Perec’s trauma, reflective of Body Integrity Identity Disorder and Phantom Limb Syndrome, involves an embodied response to brokenness. If the broken bodies Perec drew as a child illustrate this, the allegories within W suggest a more cohesive attempt to reconnect those figures. The chapter investigates how psychoanalysis is involved in this attempt by linking Perec’s writings about psychoanalysis to D. W. Winnicott’s theory of development. For Winnicott, it is the psychoanalytic breakdown experienced between the patient and analyst that leads to health. Otto Apfelstahl continues to explain that the child was taken on a yacht voyage with a group of others in the hope of improving his health. In “Fear of Breakdown”, Winnicott explains that the patient in analysis must experience agony through the analyst’s failures in order to begin overcoming the agony: “the patient gathers the original failure of the facilitating environment into the area of his or her omnipotence”.