A French Freudian review founded in 1969 by Piera Aulagnier, who directed it until her death in 1990, Topique is, as of 2005, co-directed by Sophie de Mijolla-Mellor and Jean-Paul Valabrega, who continue its work and pursue its objectives in the spirit that has animated this review since its beginnings.
Topique was born in 1969, the same year that saw the creation of the Quatrième Groupe O.P.L.F., following what was the third scission in the psychoanalytic movement in France. The founder of Topique played a central role in this scission as well as in establishing the principles of the new group presenting itself both as an alternative to the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) as well as to the Lacanian group. However, from the very beginning, the review emphasized that Topique would belong to no particular school nor be tied to any group. Its goal was exclusively to participate in the advancement of psychoanalysis, with an intention of being open, both towards psychoanalysis itself and other disciplines too, notably psychiatry.
The review has been published successively by the Presses Universitaires de France (from 1969 to 1974, 12 numbers), Desclée de Brouwer (L'Épi; from 1974 to 1987, 28 numbers), Dunod (from 1987 to 1996, 22 numbers) and by L'Esprit du Temps (since 1996), three times a year.
Topique is independent, and is not the official organ of the Quatrième Groupe; however it is close to it, because its founder belonged to it, as well as those who continue to edit the review. The first numbers had published the "Principles and Modalities of Functioning" (of the Quatrième Groupe), and the following issues took cognizance of its organizational modifications, as well as printing texts from its scientific conferences.
As Topique has been developing for more than thirty years, a retrospective view seems in order, involving at once a historical approach to the development of psychoanalysis in France, as well as a consideration of issues that were of special interest to the review. Especially noteworthy is the attention Topique has paid to the theory and technique of psychoanalysis in many texts, particularly in its early years—when it was anxious to construct an original perspective both regarding Lacanism and the norms of the IPA. However, Topique has always been a review of confrontation between different theoretical currents and their practitioners, publishing authors belonging to diverse psychoanalytical societies. Additionally, works representing psychoanalytical groups have always been welcome; as well as research centered on the practice of analysis, its clinical experiences and impasses; and challenges that psychosis continues to pose for Freudian metapsychology, in spite of the advances in current research and the new conceptual tools available because of it.
Finally, there have been special numbers involving psychoanalytical perspectives on cultural and social issues, with contributions from specialists from other domains, as well as psychoanalysts, who were interested in confronting psychoanalysis as a heuristic method. This was the case with the juridical domain in Number 52 ("To Have the Right" [Avoir droit], with art in Number 53 ("Powers of the Image" [Pouvoirs de l'Image]), anthropology in Number 43 ("Birth" [La naissance]), or Number 50 ("Twins and the Double" [Les jumeaux et le double]).
This diversity does not constitute a diversion in rapport to the central purpose, which remains linked to clinical practice and the theoretical elaboration rising out of it; it aims instead to restore to psychoanalysis the place Freud provided for it from the beginning, that is to say not that of a simple therapeutic process, but also as an adventure in human thought.
Sophie de Mijolla-Mellor
See also: Aulagnier-Spairani, Piera; Quatrième Groupe O. P. L. F., Fourth group; France.
Valabrega, Jean-Paul. (1999). Trente an après. . .Entretien avec Sophie de Mijolla-Mellor. Topique, 69.