In December 1972, French art-historian/philosopher Hubert Damisch, who was a senior fellow of the Society of the Humanities at Cornell, gave a public lecture on the Freud-Signorelli case, which is published here for the first time. Damisch discusses the theoretical montage proposed by Freud and attempts to evaluate the impact of the language games analyzed by the psychoanalyst for the study of visual objects. Moreover, the case allowed Damisch to reflect on how a work of art involves the spectator-analyst and how this relationship affects interpretation. This essay was Damisch's first to address the Freud-Signorelli case, and it can be considered as the nucleus of his article “Le maître, c'est lui (He is the master),” published in Savoir et Clinique in 2010, and more generally of a book that was to remain in manuscript, La machine d'Orvieto.

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