Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To report problems to PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Help us improve PEP Web. If you find any problem, click the Report a Problem link located at the bottom right corner of the website.

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

Riviere, J. (1952). The Unconscious Phantasy of an Inner World Reflected in Examples from English Literature. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 33:160-172.

(1952). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 33:160-172

The Unconscious Phantasy of an Inner World Reflected in Examples from English Literature

Joan Riviere

The inner world which in our unconscious phantasy each of us contains inside ourselves is one of those psycho-analytical concepts that most people find especially difficult to accept or understand. It is a world of figures formed on the pattern of the persons we first loved and hated in life, who also represent aspects of ourselves. The existence even in unconscious phantasy of these inner figures and of their apparently independent activities within us (which can be as real, or more real and actual, to us in unconscious feeling than external events) may seem incredible and incomprehensible; it might therefore perhaps be useful to approach the problem from the opposite end, as it were, that is from the conscious level. My aim in this contribution is essentially to forge a link between certain conscious experiences, which will be familiar to most people, and the proposition that phantasies of our containing other persons inside ourselves, though deeply unconscious, do exist. For this purpose I have selected some relevant passages from literature. Before discussing these, however, I will consider shortly the question why this proposition of internal objects seems so difficult to accept.

It was of course Freud who first recognized the existence of the 'introjected object' as a regular phenomenon, a normal part of the personality, namely, in his formulation of the mental institution he called the super-ego, mainly based on the person of the father and represented consciously

[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 © 2018, 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.