Looking at the French Revolution with Totem and Taboo

By Sophie Wahnich

How can psychoanalysis and the history of the French Revolution work in tandem with regard to Totem and Taboo? This question concerns the origin of the French Republic. After discussing Jacques André’s La révolution fratricide and its sequential effects, this article attempts a reappraisal of the question of the totem (that is first sacrificed, then consumed in festive civic banquets) on the side of the sovereign people, alongside a reappraisal of the figure of the father according to the law, in the augmented figures of representatives of the people as keepers of the law, the place of the feminine under the auspices of the pregnant woman, of the mother of a newborn, and of the young daughter, as flesh-and-blood figures that allegorize the Republic. In this article we oppose the conception of a frigid and thus disembodied revolution.


  • History
  • Revolution
  • totem
  • father
  • law
  • interdisciplinarity
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info