To say that it is a book with a novel proposal is an understatement. Rather, it is a risky proposal, because even supposing that it was logically correct, it implies the audacity to remove the famous and much considered “pleasure principle” of Sigmund Freud, on which he based, being one of its pillars, the psychoanalytic theory although, as the same author says, it staggered when he wrote precisely the “Beyond the Pleasure Principle”, in any case it never renounced its validity.
This risky undertaking implies, in the words of Arenas, an exploration of “the consequences of eradicating the pleasure principle, instead of keeping it modified by adding a – beyond -, as Freud did.”
Speaking of the title of the book “Retouching”, which seemed strange to me before reading it, Arenas refers to the fact that this removal of the Pleasure Principle would be a little touch-up, comparable to the innumerable little touches that a language supports to stay alive. In order for the language to serve the social bond, that is, to keep it alive, it is necessary from time to time to make a “little touch up” on it. Except that removing the Pleasure Principle is not merely doing a “little tweak”, it seems, even if justified.
“Why suppose that a tendency to avoid excitement and to seek its discharge may govern us, instead of a rather opposite tendency that distinguishes us from all other species, recognizable in our effective taste for enjoying ourselves in various ways and in the greatest possible measure? If any Lustprinzip would characterize us, it would not be a pleasure principle that seeks discharge, but a pleasure principle that demands excitement ”, the author emphasizes.
To add and sustain later, relying on Lacan’s Seminar 21, that “the meaning of interpretation is jouissance.” In other words, there is a step from desire to enjoyment. In other words, from the statement that “desire is the interpretation” or also that the interpretation of the dream is the interpretation of a repressed and disguised desire, to saying that the meaning of the interpretation is jouissance. And he will underline in this regard, later on that “If children want to be caressed and excited, it is because the desire to enjoy is fundamental; It is proven by its paradigm, the sucking, which does not seek satisfaction or end. The sexual life that begins before birth has no essential link with reproduction or with any need. “
It is a turn of the bell that seems to put things in the right way, that is to say, make them more navigable, less twisted, it would be the author’s proposal. But the best thing will be to read the book to be able to each have their own conclusions from this adventurous excursion. Just as Diego Coppo, Clarisa Kicillof, and Susana Reif, their epilogue writers for the book, have reached their conclusions.
It is about the retouching that goes from the Victorian era, the prohibition of desire and concomitant enjoyment, to the age of permission to enjoyment, where the question is, is it more enjoyable for that permission?