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Munk, M. (1944). Some Remarks on a Chapter of Helen Keller's Book: 'The World I Live In': S. H. Foulkes. Psa. Rev., XXVIII, 1941, pp. 512–519.. Psychoanal Q., 13:124.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Some Remarks on a Chapter of Helen Keller's Book: 'The World I Live In': S. H. Foulkes. Psa. Rev., XXVIII, 1941, pp. 512–519.

(1944). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 13:124

Some Remarks on a Chapter of Helen Keller's Book: 'The World I Live In': S. H. Foulkes. Psa. Rev., XXVIII, 1941, pp. 512–519.

Margrit Munk

Helen Keller's experiences, as she describes them, demonstrate and confirm views held by psychoanalysts on the genesis of early processes in ego development. The retardation at the onset of her development, as well as the slowing up of those processes due to the absence of her principal senses of communication with the outside world, enables her to describe in 'slow motion' quite clearly the differentiation between verbal recollections and actual early experiences. Of the time before word formation she writes, 'I lived in a world that was a no-world'; consciousness at first existed for her when she learned the meaning of 'I' and 'me'.

Of special interest in her case is the way in which the onset of word formation and later of idea formation was effected by the tactile impressions of her hand. She says, 'I thought and desired with my fingers'. She describes nature as 'the world I could touch'. The libidinal importance attached to her hand illustrates the fact that the distribution of libido corresponds to the principal ways of ego orientation.

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Article Citation

Munk, M. (1944). Some Remarks on a Chapter of Helen Keller's Book: 'The World I Live In'. Psychoanal. Q., 13:124

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