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(1956). Samiksa. VIII, 1954: The Infantile and Adult Forms of Reducing to Absurdity. Edmund Bergler. Pp. 69-73.. Psychoanal Q., 25:127-128.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Samiksa. VIII, 1954: The Infantile and Adult Forms of Reducing to Absurdity. Edmund Bergler. Pp. 69-73.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:127-128

Samiksa. VIII, 1954: The Infantile and Adult Forms of Reducing to Absurdity. Edmund Bergler. Pp. 69-73.

Reducing to absurdity, one type of ironic-sarcastic wit, may exist in adult or infantile form. It is adult when used with adult aim: to hammer facts into the heads of those who are with difficulty made to understand. It is infantile when it is compulsive, when it is used as a resistance in analysis to maintain neurosis, and when it represents the attitude of the frightened child, whistling in the dark, who proves to itself that adults are contradictory idiots.

Extending his remarks to include wit in general, Bergler says that flippancy is

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no proof of activity. 'Wit is masochism's "muscle man"—a form of defensive pseudo aggression.' The true butt of every joke is the inner conscience; at the same time it is the inner conscience that prompts both jokes based on fear and jokes based on being allegedly fed up. The author illustrates with a case.

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Article Citation

(1956). Samiksa. VIII, 1954. Psychoanal. Q., 25:127-128

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