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Kaplan, D.M. (1970). Comments on the Screening Function of a 'Technical Affect', with Reference to Depression and Jealousy. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:489-502.

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:489-502

Comments on the Screening Function of a 'Technical Affect', with Reference to Depression and Jealousy

Donald M. Kaplan

Screen phenomena are conscious presentiments that both embody and repress infantile experience. This idea was first specified by Freud in connection with memories, where the recollection of certain early memories served the repression of later memories and their derivatives (Freud, 1899). Shortly thereafter, Freud (1901) added displacements forward and 'contiguous' screen memories to the possibilities of their chronological deception.

Here the essential thing with which the memory is occupied precedes the screen memory in time. Finally, we find yet a third possibility, in which the screen memory is connected with the impression that it screens not only by its content but also by contiguity in time: these are contemporary or contiguous screen memories (p. 44).

And in a still subsequent work, Freud finally acknowledged his suspicion that all memories are screen memories, i.e. all memories both retain and distort personal history (Freud, 1914a).

Actually, in this final formulation Freud was saying no more than what psychoanalysis always maintains: namely that every psychological event consists of manifest and latent qualities. It is only convenience that prompts us to distinguish categorically among psychological events, as, for example, when we distinguish between the forgetting of proper names and the recollection of a screen memory, as Freud does in Chapter IV of 'The Psychopathology of Everyday Life' (1901), or between a dream and a neurotic symptom, as Freud does in the last chapter of 'The Interpretation of Dreams' (1900).

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