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Tip: To review the bibliography…

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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Oberndorf, C.P. (1929). Submucous Resection as a Castration Symbol. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 10:228-241.

(1929). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 10:228-241

Submucous Resection as a Castration Symbol

C. P. Oberndorf

The physiological and pathological relationship between the nose and the sexual apparatus has been noticed from time to time in recent years, and there seems little doubt that certain processes in the sexual sphere, such as menstruation, sexual excesses and excitements, may produce a congestion of the nasal mucous membranes. The initial work of Fliess, in 1897, on the inter-relationship of the nose and the female genital organs, which he claimed was limited to the nasal mucosa of the tuberculum septi and the anterior portion of the inferior turbinates, has been corroborated by numerous other investigators. Emil Mayer, in 1913, summarized the previous work and reported the successful treatment of dysmenorrhoea in young women by the application of trichloracetic acid to the genital spots of the nose. Hubert, in a study of the involuntary nerve supply to the nose, notes the previous investigations indicating a connection between the nose and the female genitalia, but he believes that suggestion accounts for the improvement of dysmenorrhoea through nasal treatment. Hubert's position implies that painful pelvic conditions in women may be removed by suggestive therapy, but he does not intimate why the nose should be the organ of predilection for such therapeutic influence. In psycho-analytic literature, the symbolic significance of the nose as a phallic substitute is common, and this unconscious psychological association, in reinforcing whatever physiological basis exists, may account for the efficacy of physical therapy.

From the symbolic side, I would refer to the work of a well-known theologian, the Rev. Laurence Sterne, in whose ever-fresh Tristram Shandy the phallic symbolism of the nose is very clear.

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