Leclaire (Liebschutz), Serge (1924-1994) (International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis)
A French psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Serge Leclaire (born Liebschutz) was born in Strasbourg on July 6, 1924, and died of a brain hemorrhage on August 8, 1994, in Argentière, Savoy in France.
Leclaire was born into an old Alsatian family of liberal Jews who changed their name to Leclaire and took refuge in central France during the Second World War. He studied medicine and psychiatry in Paris. In 1957, he defended his dissertation in medicine, A Contribution to the Study of the Principles for a Psychotherapy of the Psychoses.
From 1949 to 1953 he undertook an analysis with Jacques Lacan, and in 1953, he was involved in the protest of the trainees against the leadership of the Société psychanalytique de Paris (SPP; Paris Psychoanalytic Society). When that group split, he left to join the Société française de psychanalyse (SFP; French Psychoanalytic Society), where he was made an associate member in 1954 and served as secretary from 1957 to 1962. He became president of the society in 1963, the year of the second split of the French psychoanalytic groups. In the years leading up to that split, Leclaire, Wladimir Granoff, and François Perrier (known as the "troika") participated in the attempt to get the SFP recognized by the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA), but the effort ultimately failed.
With François Perrier and Françoise Dolto, he took the side of Jacques Lacan in the second split and was a member of the first board of directors of theole Freudienne de Paris (EFP; the Freudian school of Paris), which was founded that same year. But he also remained an independent member of the IPA until 1967. Although he was very active in the EFP at the outset, he increasingly withdrew in order to reflect on the function of the analyst in society and to produce a profoundly original body of work. While remaining faithful to Freud's text (he was a German scholar), Leclaire interrogated the Freudian clinic from a Lacanian perspective. In 1968, he published his first book, Psychoanalyzing, which won a wide audience thanks to its clarity and readability, but also because it showed what the Lacanian "clinic of the signifier" could be in a detailed reading of "The Dream with the Unicorn" (1968/1975).
Maintaining his independence both from the EFP and the growing dogmatism that characterized its development, Leclaire wanted to take psychoanalysis outside of the usual institutional settings. In 1968, he founded the first university department of psychoanalysis within the framework of the experimental center at Vincennes. He resigned in 1970. Later he was at the forefront of a critique of the Freudian School and especially of Lacan's procedure of the "pass." He also worked with feminists, notably Antoinette Fouque.
His last contribution to psychoanalysis was "A Proposal for a Regulating Institution for Psychoanalysts," which was published in Le Monde on December 15, 1989, and cosigned by four friends and colleagues, Lucien Israel, Philippe Girard, Danièle Lévy, and Jacques Sédat. But the proposal was misunderstood and badly received. Still, in January 1990, Leclaire and is co-signatories founded the Association pour une Instance Tierce des Psychanalystes (APUI; Association for a third institution of psychoanalysts). Leclaire served as president of APUI until his death. The last project he undertook was the publication of his final book, The Land of the Other, in 1991.
Serge Leclaire trained numerous analysts, both as a training analyst and a supervisor. Because of his unique position and his intellectual openness, he was able to maintain friendly relations with numerous colleagues from different schools in spite of splits and divisions.
See also: Bloc-Notes de la Psychanalyse; Colloque sur l'inconscient; Doubt;ole freudienne de Paris (Freudian school of Paris); Erotogenicity; France; Granoff, Wladimir Alexandre; Pass, the; Perrier, François; Société fran-çaise de psychanalyse; Structuralism and psychoanalysis.
Leclaire, Serge. (1971). Démasquer le réel. Paris: Seuil.
. (1981). Rompre les charmes. Paris: Interitions.
. (1991).at des lieux de la psychanalyse (In collaboration with APUI). Paris: Albin Michel.
. (1998). A child is being killed: On primary narcissism and the death drive. (Marie-Claude Hays, Trans.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. (Original work published 1975)
. (1998).rits pour la psychanalyse. Paris: Le Seuil-Arcanes.
. (1998). Psychoanalyzing: On the order of the unconscious and the practice of the letter (Peggy Kamauf, Trans.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. (Original work published 1968)
Mijolla, Alain de. (2001). Splits in the French psychoanalytic movement between 1953 and 1964. In R. Steiner and J. Johns (Eds.), Within Time and Beyond Time, A festschrift for Pearl King (pp. 1-24). London: Karnac. (Original work published 1995)