I am them
- Love of Beginnings by J.-B. Pontalis, translated by James Greene and Marie-Christine Régius
Free Association, 260 pp, £13.95, May 1993, ISBN 1 85343 129 X
J.-B. Pontalis is a Parisian intellectual de pur sang. Born into a wealthy upper-middle-class family, he was brought up in Neuilly, and, as a child, spent long summers at a family house in Cabourg, Proust’s Balbec. He studied philosophy under Sartre, and taught it for some years. He entered psychoanalysis under the aegis of Lacan, and having weaned himself from that unfortunate affiliation, is now one of the leading figures in the French psychoanalytic world. He was on the editorial board of Les Temps modernes, and he founded and now runs La Nouvelle Revue de psychanalyse. He is part of the hierarchy of Gallimard, which is as much an academy as a publishing house. He has always had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, and he seems never to have let his experience of life be restricted by the constraints of employment or profession. He has always, as he puts it, ‘tried to diversify’.