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The Mother's Hands


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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Mother's Desire
  • The Hands; The Wait; The Face; Lalangue; The Breast; Absence; Desire; Paranoia; The Name; Care; Transcendence
  • 2. The Mother's Shadow
  • The Two Mothers and Solomon's Ruling; Wanting To Have a Child; Maternal Anxiety; The Child As Object; The Mother's Refusal; Primary Perversion; The Mother's Enjoyment; Ange Duroc; The Mother-As-Crocodile; The Narcissistic Mother; A Fugitive Mother;
  • The Medea Complex; Mommy
  • 3. The Mother's Inheritance
  • Maternal Power; The Maternal Sentence; Maternal Inheritance; The Dead Mother; Mother and Daughter; Failure of Inheritance; Ravage; Violence and Resignation; The Mother's Solitude; A Successful Inheritance
  • Epilogue: Being Fair To The Mother
  • Notes

About the Author

Massimo Recalcati is a psychoanalyst and author who teaches at the universities of Pavia and Verona.


'This book from one of Italy's most popular public intellectuals turns our conventional understanding of motherly love on its head, encouraging a complete rethink of what motherhood means today. Written with Recalcati's typical flair and sagacity, it will be of interest to a very wide readership.'
Dany Nobus, Brunel University, London

'In this poetic and thought-provoking book, Massimo Recalcati explores the many images of the mother to be found in both psychoanalysis and popular culture, urging a questioning of the prejudices and cliches that are so often taken for granted. Without downplaying the complexity and ambivalences of the mother-child relation, he emphasises the positive, life-giving transmission of the mother, and shows us with clarity and elegance the many levels at which this operates.'
Darian Leader, Psychoanalyst, Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research

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