The Future of Plasticity
Kate Lawless: I’d like to begin with the question of trauma. Contemporary theories of trauma often follow a psychoanalytic framework, where trauma is a form of belatedness. We might also think about this as a kind of futurity. Can you tell me about the relationship between trauma and temporality in general, or trauma and the future in particular?
Catherine Malabou: So, as you know, my elaboration of trauma is not exactly that of psychoanalysis. The kind of traumas I’m interested involve a question of temporality, but they are immediate, not belated. They strike the person. I’m thinking here of cerebral lesions. The psyche has no time to prepare itself for the trauma, but also no possibility of reinterpreting it after the fact because most of the time the lesion effects language and memory. So, I’m interested in the kind of trauma that, according to me, Freud has omitted, which is the physical trauma happening in the brain.