Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To zoom in or out on PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Are you having difficulty reading an article due its font size? In order to make the content on PEP-Web larger (zoom in), press Ctrl (on Windows) or ⌘Command (on the Mac) and the plus sign (+). Press Ctrl (on Windows) or ⌘Command (on the Mac) and the minus sign (-) to make the content smaller (zoom out). To go back to 100% size (normal size), press Ctrl (⌘Command on the Mac) + 0 (the number 0).

Another way on Windows: Hold the Ctrl key and scroll the mouse wheel up or down to zoom in and out (respectively) of the webpage. Laptop users may use two fingers and separate them or bring them together while pressing the mouse track pad.

Safari users: You can also improve the readability of you browser when using Safari, with the Reader Mode: Go to PEP-Web. Right-click the URL box and select Settings for This Website, or go to Safari > Settings for This Website. A large pop-up will appear underneath the URL box. Look for the header that reads, “When visiting this website.” If you want Reader mode to always work on this site, check the box for “Use Reader when available.”

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Swan, J. (1974). Mater and Nannie: Freud's Two Mothers and the Discovery of the Oedipus Complex. Am. Imago, 31(1):1-64.

(1974). American Imago, 31(1):1-64

Mater and Nannie: Freud's Two Mothers and the Discovery of the Oedipus Complex

Jim Swan

With ironic humor, Freud once remarked to Ernest Jones, “It seems to have been my fate to discover only the obvious: that children have sexual feelings, which every nursemaid knows; and that night dreams are just as much wishfulfillment as day dreams.” He was referring to The Interpretation of Dreams and the Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, his favorites among his own writings. The detail about nursemaids—rather than mothers—typifies his habitual tendency, in describing the nuclear family, to isolate the mother at a pure distance from the child's experience of sexuality (though in his last writings, more and more explicitly, Freud names her as the child's first “seducer”). In a way not yet fully appreciated, mother and nursemaid, mater and Nannie, share a crucial set of roles in Freud's discovery of the Oedipus complex.

1. Text and Hermeneutic

Freud's remark names his two most fundamental discoveries, a theory of sexual development and a theory of interpretation, a hermeneutic. His discovery of the Oedipus complex was at the same time the discovery of a hermeneutic of dreams or, more exactly, the manifest texts of dreams. A hermeneutic, like the texts it is devised to interpret, is itself an historically de-derminate text.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.