The Deconstruction of Freud’s Theory of Melancholy


  • Primož Mlačnik Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljan, Slovenia



Deconstruction, Violence of Writing, Mourning and Melancholia, Loss, Psychoanalysis.


In the article, the author presents an interpretation of melancholy and its discourse through the perspective of Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction and “violence of writing”. In part one of the article, the ambivalent and contradictory conceptions of melancholy in the West are outlined in order to show the working of the logic of Différance that makes any unified and universal definition impossible. Sigmund Freud first introduced a universal theory of melancholy in his essay “Mourning and Melancholia” (1917), while part two of the article analyses the inherent enigmas and contradictions in Freud’s psychoanalytical distinction between mourning and melancholy in the specific socio-historical context. The binary oppositions in support of Freud’s dichotomy are also exposed. In the conclusion, the author shows how Freud’s paradoxes are deconstructed in contemporary theories in the humanities and social sciences that address various social and political discourses.



How to Cite

Mlačnik, P. . (2019). The Deconstruction of Freud’s Theory of Melancholy. I T A L I E N I S C H, 11(2), 107–119.