The author relates the many adolescent martyrs and murderers in the work of the writer Mishima to his own life, leading to reflections on masochism and sadism as after-effects of early traumatic experiences. As long as Mishima managed to successfully sublimate through the accomplishment of a literary work, his masochism could be used as a « guardian of life » in an attempt to overcome trauma – afterwards (« après-coup ») – and unfold a hidden message. However, the writer seems to have been subsequently overwhelmed by the destructive potential of detached death impulses and carried away to his death by a mortified masochism without repairing his primordial narcissistic injuries and without curing the primary object deprivation.
This paper is a contribution to psychoanalytic understanding of a suicide attempt by an adolescent girl. The suicide act is understood to be the enactment of a suicide fantasy. The paper considers the nature and function of suicide fantasy, various types of suicide fantasies, and the suicide fantasy of this particular patient. The author maintains that during the pre-suicide state the role of the father, particularly the father’s failure to claim his child for himself, or failure to present himself as a friendly rival or alternative object to the mother, plays a critical role in the mind of the patient, and will be manifest in the patient’s transference and the analyst’s counter-transference. An essential dynamic during the treatment of a pre-suicidal patient is the patient’s attempt to evoke or provoke the analyst to collude in the suicide scenario in such a way as to « sanction or to « cause » the patient’s suicide. These points will be illustrated by the presentation of case material of an adolescent girl who attempted suicide during her analysis.