The "grandparent complex" was defined and described by Ferenczi in 1913; the same year, Abraham provided the first psychoanalytic observations on grandparent’s role on the psychology of neurosis. These two papers put in perspective, from the child point of view, the imaginary relations that he establishes with the father figure (he is a usurper of the father’s goods and power) and with those of the grandfather (omnipotent, phantasised as a kind of God father). The "grandparent complex" also is that the child builds in his representation of the links between generations. This is analysed by the child point of view in his relation with the Oedipus complex. In this paper, the author proposes to reverse the perspective and to consider the grandparent complex as a psychic construction of the grandparent himself and of his Oedipus complex. The clinical investigation enriches the analysis broadening the field to the different figures of the complex in grandparents; also the literature contributes, particularly through the analysis of The art of being a grandfather by Victor Hugo. Then the author examines how the future is transmitted in the context of the discontent in the contemporary culture and how this culture has its incidence on grandparent complex. In fine the article wonders about the temporality question and its reversibility, that of the parents’ and grandparents’ responsibility toward the future and that part of the transmission they don’t master.
Keywords: Grandparent complex in the child, grandparent complex in the grandparents, grandparent complex and Oedipus complex, past and future transmission, discontent in con-temporary culture, grandparent responsibility toward the future.