Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To use the Information icon…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

The Information icon  (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Grossman, L. (2013). The Third Wish: Some Thoughts on Using Magic against Magic. Psychoanal Q., 82(2):477-482.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 82(2):477-482

Brief Communication

The Third Wish: Some Thoughts on Using Magic against Magic

Lee Grossman

In the section on wish-fulfillment in dreams in the Introductory Lectures, Freud (1915-1917) cites the following fairy tale:

A good fairy promised a poor married couple to grant them the fulfillment of their first three wishes. They were delighted, and made up their minds to choose their three wishes carefully. But the smell of sausages being fried in the cottage next door tempted the woman to wish for a couple of them. They were there in a flash; and this was the first wish-fulfillment. But the man was furious, and in his rage wished that the sausages were hanging on his wife's nose. This happened too; and the sausages were not to be dislodged from their new position. This was the second wish-fulfillment; but the wish was the man's and its fulfillment was most disagreeable for his wife. You know the rest of the story. Since after all they were in fact one—man and wife—the third wish was bound to be that the sausages should come away from the woman's nose. [p. 216]

In his subsequent discussion, Freud describes how the first wish was the woman's, directly fulfilled; the second was both the fulfillment of the husband's wish and the punishment of the wife for her foolishness. He then adds, in parentheses, “We shall discover in neuroses the motive for the third wish, the last remaining one in the fairy tale” (p. 219). The editor has appended a footnote to this parenthetical remark: “It is not clear what is intended here” (p. 219n, brackets omitted).


Lee Grossman is a Training and Supervising Analyst at San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis.

- 477 -

[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.]

Copyright © 2018, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.