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Tausk, V. (1933). On the Origin of the "Influencing Machine" in Schizophrenia. Psychoanal Q., 2:519-556.

(1933). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 2:519-556

On the Origin of the "Influencing Machine" in Schizophrenia

Victor Tausk

[A translation of this article fourteen years after its appearance in the Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse requires a word of explanation. Victor Tausk had been a distinguished jurist (judge) and journalist before he became a psychoanalyst. Freud's work found an immediate response in Tausk, who began the study of medicine late in life in order to equip himself more thoroughly for psychoanalysis. Although his tragic death in his forty-second year (July 3, 1919) prevented his contributing more than a mere handful of papers, he was one of the pioneers around Freud, in the creative period of psychoanalysis during the decade of the world war. His work covered a variety of subjects, such as alcoholic psychoses, schizophrenia, infantile sexuality, war neuroses, and psychoanalysis and philosophy. The last and most important of his studies was Über die Entstehung des "Beeinflussungsapparates" in der Schizophrenie, read before the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (Jan. 6, 1918), discussed in an evening devoted to the paper (Jan. 30, 1918) and published in 1919.

This study is a classic in psychoanalytic—and psychiatric—literature, presenting a brilliant analysis of a delusionary formation, throwing out penetrating comments on such fundamental problems as projection, hallucination and narcissism, and anticipating Abraham's formulation of the libido development as well as later studies by others.

The translator, a classmate in the last year of clinical studies at the University of Vienna, enjoyed a brief period of friendship with him before the war separated them, and—at the time devoted to Kraepelinian psychiatry—was to no small degree attracted to psychoanalysis by Tausk's enthusiasm and by his brilliant presentation of the Freudian theory. The translation, undertaken to fill a gap in the psychoanalytic literature available in English, serves in a measure to discharge a debt of gratitude to the author. D. F.]


The following considerations are based upon a single example of the "influencing machine" complained of by a certain type of schizophrenic patient.

[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.]

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