Freud & Reitler comment on ‘Spring Awakening': work-in-progress

by Julia Evans on September 19, 2011


The House that Jack built…..

I have now posted Reitler’s and Freud’s comments on Wedekind’s ‘Spring Awakening’ on Lacanian Works. (See below)  Lacan develops Freud’s comments in ‘Spring Awakening’ 1974 (further information here) which is quoted as a reference by Eric Laurent in his text which is the focus of  LacanianWorks Working Group.

The following extracts raise many questions. For me, they are linked to questions of why August’s riots happened.


(See Spring Awakening: 1891: Franz Wedekind (here), Freud & Reitler comment on ‘Spring Awakening’: work-in-progress (here),  Comments on Wedekind’s ‘Spring Awakening’: 1907: Sigmund Freud (here),  Spring Awakening: September 1st 1974: Jacques Lacan (here))

Lacanian Works

Freud’s comments on Wedekind’s ‘Spring Awakening’ 1907



One can produce the most beautiful symptomatic act without having any knowledge of the concept or nature of symptoms.


He considers it fine bit of observation that Wedekind depicts the longing for object love without object choice in Melchior and Wendla who are not at all in love with each other.


The organic source of the fantasy is the anonymity of the fantasied woman; he is still too timid, one might say, to love a specific woman.


The two characters should certainly be understood as two current in the boy’s soul: as the temptation to suicide and as the temptation to live. But it is also true that suicide is the climax of negative autoeroticism. In this respect, Reitler’s interpretation is correct. The negative of self-gratification is suicide.


The Sphinx puts the question in reverse: what is it that comes? Answer: the human being. Quite a few neuroses begin with this question.


Lacanian Works

Comments on the play ‘Spring Awakening’ by Franz Wedekind



In the last scene, Reitler interprets the ghost of Moritz as a representation of the wish to return to infantile sexuality, whereas the Masked Gentleman represents the sexuality of the adult. Both figures are merely projections of the struggle which is going on in Melchior’s soul.