Playing the Jigsaw: Senses of Rhythms and Rhythms of the Senses


  • Yi Chen



Rhythmanalysis, Psychoanalysis, Object Relations Theory, Playing and Reality, Cultural Studies


In Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life, the French philosopher and sociologist Henri Lefebvre illustrated vividly the infiltration of rhythms in our concrete experience of lived life. Sparse comments on the relationship of psychoanalysis and rhythmanalysis set up a contested terrain. The proposition that rhythmanalysis as a tool of cultural investigation will eventually replace psychoanalysis provokes major lines of arguments in this paper. In assessing their forms of attention, analytic techniques, interactions with the world and the nature of their pursuit, this paper suggests that instead of conceiving an antagonistic relationship between the two fields of enquiry, a constitutive and dialogic form of relation lies at the heart of the problem. I argue that by examining aspects of psychoanalysis through the optic of rhythmanalysis and vice versa, concealed perceptions and interpretations of each are made visible. A tentative reformulation of D. W. Winnicott’s Object Relations theory within the framework of rhythmanalysis is undertaken. The credentials of employing psychoanalysis and rhythmanalysis in cultural criticism are evaluated and the synergy of rhythmanalysis and psychoanalysis in the arena of cultural studies is emphasised.




How to Cite

Chen, Y. (2012). Playing the Jigsaw: Senses of Rhythms and Rhythms of the Senses. Free Associations, (63), 46–65.