Abstract

Using ideas of both Winnicott and Lacan, this paper describes the process of psychoanalysis as a form of hospitality through the reading of a late Kawabata novel, House of the Sleeping Beauties. In this house, naked girls sleep all night alongside old men. The girl in the company of the protagonist, Eguchi, never utters a word. Held by the unconditional offer of her sleep, the old man casts his mind back in time, like a patient free associating in the presence of a mute analyst. When Eguchi dreams of his mother, it stirs up a seemingly insignificant image, and he wakes with a sudden cry. At the end of the story, a word from the madam thrusts Eguchi out of his "potential space" and—in the manner of a Lacanian short session—propels him into a new dimension of life.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1085-7931
Print ISSN
0065-860X
Pages
pp. 431-440
Launched on MUSE
2011-01-28
Open Access
No
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