The hermeneutic understanding of the concept of the 'confusion of tongues'
Languages of publication
The last few decades saw a psychoanalitic and psychotherapeutic rediscovery of Sándor Ferenczi's thoughts, which can even be interpreted as a certain Ferenczi renaissance. One of Ferenczi's late writings 'Confusion of tongues between adults and the child: the language of tenderness and passion' (1933) became one of the most widely quoted texts. This essay does not only elaborate on the drama of sexual abuse, but the early relational traumatization as well. From a wider point of view it also analyses the process of not understanding and misunderstanding between child and parent, in which the direct parental abuse is followed by the parental denial, by which the parent misuses his/her interpreting power, and thus transcribes reality. In my paper I intend to connect Ferenczi's thoughts with the contemporary theories of self-development. I interpret the concept of the 'confusion of tongues' with the help of the concepts of affective attunement, affect mirroring, sharing and meaning organization. I analyse the process through which the relational disturbance between parent and child becomes inner, intrapersonal, through the processes of self-organization, and parallelly the relational solitude becomes inner isolation. I intend to interpret this process in the framework of the hermeneutic model and with the help of certain philosophical questions of translation.
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier