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UAL Research Online

Lost and Found: The Fear and Thrill of Loss

Fodorova, Anna (2004) Lost and Found: The Fear and Thrill of Loss. Psychodynamic Practice, 10 1. pp. 107-118. ISSN 1475-3634

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Fodorova, Anna

My paper is about our relationship with inanimate objects. It also considers the notion that there is an element of thrill and compulsion in their loss. Drawing on Freud’s seminal work about a child’s game of disappearance and return as a preparation for separation from the mother, I develop various ideas about why the loss of an object provokes such anxiety. During my research I found that, besides Freud’s 'Psychopathology of Everyday Life' and a paper by Anna Freud, the theme of losing concrete objects is largely untouched by psychoanalytic literature.

In the paper I consider objects as symbols of our identity and containers for memory. Using psychoanalytic theory I develop ideas about what happens when, due to traumatic historical events, all material objects are lost. The end of the article describes the Lost Property Office of London Transport - an archetypal monument of loss.

As part of my research I negotiated access to the storage rooms of the Lost Property Office. To illustrate the loss on such a grand scale I convinced the journal, against their normal practice, to publish some of the photographs I took there, which were reminiscent of photos of depersonalised belongings found in concentration camps.

I had a good response to my article from a number of psychotherapists, who felt that I had made a valuable contribution to the theme of object loss in psychoanalytic criticism. The paper was written for 'Psychodynamic Practice', a peer-reviewed academic journal. The journal is aimed at professionals who use psychodynamic thinking in connection with social, political and cultural issues.

Official Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14753630310001650294
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 1 February 2004
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1080/14753630310001650294
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2009 12:50
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2010 14:50
Item ID: 1112
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1112

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