advice from Marcel Rufo

advice from Marcel Rufo

The point of view of Marcel Rufo, child psychiatrist

Why are we so interested in a subject that should instead act as a foil? No doubt because in the depths of our consciousness, despite the immense love and this deep and direct affection that we feel for children, there resides a part of buried and hidden hatred. Mythology has long explored this gray area that exists within us, notably with the myth of Oedipus, in which the child appears as a rival for the father. In others, he poses a threat to the family or community. As if the newborn also carried within him a potential for harm.

In the tragic story of little Émile, the hamlet becomes a family. This is where the little boy was seen for the last time by two witnesses. Is it a protective place or a source of danger? This terrible and sad affair, where we cannot rule out the hypothesis of an attack at the time when this response is written, brings up these slightly disturbing thoughts in each of us. You are not a “special case”, Luca. News items allow us to explore the dark side of our psyche. They act as a sort of particle accelerator for the hidden parts of our intimate functioning.

A human characteristic

You are not the only one to be so fascinated by horrible news stories, Luca. It might even be a characteristic of the human mind. I recommend a well-worded and funny book, Under the spell of the news item, by Mara Goyet (Ed. Stock). He describes very well this feeling of being caught up in spite of oneself, which goes beyond the pleasure of reading a thriller. After “the disturbing enchantment”, the author explores the persistence of the news item in our minds.


An empathy to cultivate

Dear Luca, I invite you to ask yourself certain questions: are you a big fan of detective literature? Do you like enigmas, psychological dramas, cases where we need to understand to make sense of the event? Or are you hypersensitive and the affliction of others affects you? In this case, I would advise you to participate in support actions. A charitable approach will ease your conscience.


Similar Posts