Ever since Freud proposed that certain ideas can be permitted to become conscious only in their inverted and negative forms, interest has grown into the entire realm of the presence of absence, so to speak. Or, perhaps, it is better to term such mental contents as the presence in the form of absence. These two ways of conceptualizing Freud's negation have led to a panoply of ideas that include negative hallucination, psychic holes, negative narcissism, selfishly motivated erasure of the Other, and the so-called "work of the negative". This volume elucidates these concepts and refines the distinction between Freud's negation and subsequently described mental mechanisms of denial, repudiation, isolation, and undoing. The book also provides contemporary perspectives on the developmental underpinnings of negation and the technical usefulness of the concept, including its implicit role in negative therapeutic reactions. A thought-provoking and conceptually illuminating volume.

Contemporary Freud , Contemporary Freud , Introduction , “Negation” (1925h) , Discussion of “Negation” , Rejection, refusal, denial: developing capacities for negation , On “Negation”: some reflections following in Freud's wake , The negative therapeutic reaction: review, update, and clinical illustration , The work of the negative and hallucinatory activity (negative hallucination) , The Oedipus of the id: the unrepresentable negative and the transformational processes of analysis , The negative in dreams , The effects of negation on the analyst–analysand relationship: the paradoxes of narcissism , From psychic holes to psychic representations , Negation, negative capability, and the work of creativity , Epilogue