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(1960). Journal of the Hillside Hospital. VIII, 1959: The Nature of the Bizarre: A Study of a Schizophrenic's Pseudo Slip of the Tongue. George Devereux. Pp. 266-278.. Psychoanal Q., 29:596.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the Hillside Hospital. VIII, 1959: The Nature of the Bizarre: A Study of a Schizophrenic's Pseudo Slip of the Tongue. George Devereux. Pp. 266-278.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:596

Journal of the Hillside Hospital. VIII, 1959: The Nature of the Bizarre: A Study of a Schizophrenic's Pseudo Slip of the Tongue. George Devereux. Pp. 266-278.

In a 'direct analysis', a schizophrenic woman persistently responded to the therapist's demand that she request coitus by saying, '… Will you have intercourse with I'. Her compliant negativism immediately succeeded in diverting attention from sexuality to good grammar. This mocking diversionary tactic enabled her to turn the tables by way of a bizarre response. She interpreted the order as a dual, self-contradictory one; namely, to request coitus and to formulate her request in a particular way. By pitting one against the other she defeated the real purpose of both. The various meanings of 'I' are described: 'I' = eye, the vulva-mouth-eye equation; 'I' = phallus; 'I' (active) versus 'me' (passive).

Extreme and complex overdetermination distinguishes this pseudo slip from a true slip and is one of the characteristics of the bizarre. Another characteristic is that the overdetermining factors belong to multiple and mutually contradictory levels of abstraction. An unambiguous command is interpreted as an ambiguous, self-contradictory one, and has to be dealt with by retaliating with a double dilemma of one's own making. This is related to the schizophrenic's tendency to convert situations or requests into an insoluble double dilemma, held by the author to play a major etiologic role in this illness.

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Article Citation

(1960). Journal of the Hillside Hospital. VIII, 1959. Psychoanal. Q., 29:596

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