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In Conversation: Psychoanalysis and the Arts

In Conversation: Pyschoanalysis and the Arts

Title: For the Love of Music: The Particular and the Universal

Norbert Palej, composer, University of Toronto
Mavis Himes, psychoanalyst, Speaking of Lacan

When something happens in analysis, there is often a signifying silence, a pause in which we can say that something has happened in the analysis – the transmission of a vibration whose impact will be felt on the analysand from then on. We experience this same signifying silence when listening to music. There is a moment in which thought and thinking stop and we are able to open a gap which can be filled with a sound never yet heard with our ears but which is not foreign to our ears.

In this dialogue, we will explore the nature of acoustic sensibility and what allows the listener to be affected by Lacan’s notion of the Real – that which is conveyed by the falling of sound and the opening beyond words. We will discuss the difference between ‘listening’ and ‘hearing’ in both music and analysis. In particular, we will try to approach what marks the differences between the particular and the universal in our appreciation of music. Why do we all love the music of Mozart? Why are each of us affected by a particular piece of music? Is it nostalgia? Is it acoustic? Is is something beyond the limitations of symbolic representation?

Time & Location

Date: Saturday, March 26, 2011

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Place: Women’s Art Association, 23 Prince Arthur Ave. Toronto, ON

Fee: $25.00 (students - $10.00)

Please R.S.V.P. by phone or e-mail. Mavis Himes: 416-969-8706 or

For more information:

Receipts will be available at the time of the presentation.

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