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Jones, E. (1920). A Substitutive Memory. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 1:273-274.

(1920). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 1:273-274

A Substitutive Memory

Ernest Jones

A patient was temporarily unable to recollect the word "sepia' and while he was trying to do so four substitutive words, obviously incorrect, came to his mind instead. Two of these were the words "bastard" and "Lebanon", and I propose to describe only the analysis of the latter.

His first association after ultimately recalling the word "sepia" was the curious feeling that the last two letters ought to be separated from each other, i.e. that "I" (which he interpreted as meaning himself) should not be in contact with "A". This was followed by a series of associations all of a feminine connotation, indicating that the word "sepia" was connected with the idea of femininity. His first knowledge of the word dated from childhood from a tube of what he called "brown sticky stuff" in his sister's paint-box, and I surmised that it was probably related at that time, as is almost invariably the case in childhood, to some forbidden smearing impulse.

The word "Lebanon" brought the following associations: Cedars of Lebanon — cedar-wood oil — the use of this for the high-power oil-immersion lens — the memory that on the previous day he has spent several hours examining his own semen microscopically to find out how long spermatozoa could remain alive — his current interest in this topic because of his wish not to impregnate a girl with whom he was just entering into an intimate relationship (cp. the other substitutive word "bastard", and his first association that he was not to be brought into too close contact with something feminine) — a passage he had once read to the effect that recurrent masturbation (from which he suffered) led to the emission of a brown fluid instead of semen, a state of affairs to be avoided.


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