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Emerson, L.E. (1915). Internationale Zeitschrift für Aertzliche Psychoanalyse. Psychoanal. Rev., 2(1):106-113.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Internationale Zeitschrift für Aertzliche Psychoanalyse

(1915). Psychoanalytic Review, 2(1):106-113


Internationale Zeitschrift für Aertzliche Psychoanalyse

L. E. Emerson, Ph.D.Author Information

(Vol. 1, No. 5)

1.   Hate and Anal Erotic in the Compulsion Neuroses. Prof. Ernest Jones.

2.   The symbol and the Psychical Conditions of its Formation in Children. Dr. Beaurain.

3.   The Ontogenesis of Symbols. Dr. S. Ferenczi.

4.   Some Remarks on the Doctrine of Tendencies. Dr. Ludwig Jekels.

5.   The Psychology of Child Sexuality. Dr. Viktor Tausk.

1.   Hate and Anal Erotic.—Hate is a near relative of sadism. The origin of hate seems to lie in an earlier, undifferentiated state of unpleasantness, sulking and perhaps anger, in the child when it finds that its wishes are not immediately gratified, and especially if the satisfaction is actively hindered. We can speak of anger only when it starts from a particular person, yet in it alone one cannot find the origin of hate. For the origin of hate it is necessary that there be a lasting affect between the two persons, or at least between the hater and some substitute for the person hated. Thus all affective relations are originally positive and remain so in the unconscious. It can earlier manifest itself in consciousness as love, and here we have the well-known case of love turning to hate. Hate is the expression of unreciprocated, or hindered love. Also regularly associated with hate is a certain amount of fear, not, however, always conscious. We never hate a person who is not in some way, often quite unnoticed, stronger than we are, or in whose power we have some concern. Thus we can get angry with an inferior, a stranger, or one entirely indifferent to us, but to hate, we must have some one in some way superior to us, with whom we often come in touch, and whom we had hoped to love. These conditions are oftenest met with in families, and it is probable that hate, like pity, begins at home.

If now we seek the origin of hate we must turn to the earliest life

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of the child. For the child, love, on the part of parents, or others, means the same thing as granting pleasure. The child feels himself loved if anyone obeys his commands, satisfies his desires, or at least avoids hindering their fulfillment. Ill feeling and anger, in the child, which can not be naturally pacified, are the preparations for lasting hate, be it conscious or repressed. It is often forgotten, however, that there is a still earlier situation which can lead to the same result, and under certain circumstances, to other not less important consequences. This is the situation in which the child comes in serious conflict with the outer world, namely, in the education of the sphincters. There is no doubt that in the case where the anal eroticism is unusually strong and the child refuses arbitrarily to give it up, this conflict can have the greatest meaning in the confusing of nurse, or mother, with external evil.

Sadism is often closely associated with hate. In a case reported by Brill, the idea of defecation and cruelty were so interrelated in the psychic life of the patient, that he could not perform the act without the help of sadistic phantasies and symptoms.

In the compulsion neurosis the connection between hate and anal eroticism is very close. The principal thing in the psychology of this neurosis is the striving to suppress love and hate and the corresponding alternation between compulsions and doubts. These phenomena are more easily understood if we remember that hate develops against the image of all later objects of love, even against the mother herself, so that the capacity to love is inhibited at its very origin. It must be expected that a man who has from the beginning changed his love for his mother into hate, will use this transformation on all later objects of love. This explains, perhaps, why the compulsion neurosis happens so much more frequently among men than women.

Anal eroticism is in general the principal source of obstinacy. It is known that the idea of power is closely allied with this instinct as is shown by the use children make of it to show their power over the persons of their environment. Ferenczi writes, “Psychoanalytic experience shows that the symptoms of the feeling of omnipotence are a projection of the perception that one must slavishly follow certain irresistible impulses.” The usefulness of this idea lies in the fact that anal eroticism is more striking than any other part of the infantile sexual hunger (libido) and the author maintains that the neurotic feeling of compulsion is conditioned by its origin in the feeling of omnipotence, which anal eroticism induces as a feeling of overpowering force.

The feeling of omnipotence shows itself most typically in the belief

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in the “omnipotence of thought.” This fact is quite understandable when we remember that for this neurosis the sexualizing of thought is in the highest degree characteristic.

Thoughts and speech, in the unconscious, are associated with flatus, which often appears in consciousness as a symbol. Ferenczi divides the development of the sense of reality into four stages. The third of these stages Ferenczi calls “The period of omnipotence with the help of magic gestures.” During this period the child must give certain signals to his attendants in order to bring about the changes he wishes in the outer world. These must be visible motions or audible noises, and the latter are frequently more affective, because they can also be made in the dark. Among these symbols, flatus plays a rǒle second only to the voice.

The fourth stage is called by Ferenczi “the period of magic thoughts and magic words,” because they are beginning to be substitutes for gestures through the beginning of speech. The belief in the omnipotence of words and thoughts goes back to obscene words to a high degree.

The author concludes by asserting that the act of flatus, or breaking wind, is of importance in the development of speech. This throws light on the connection between this belief in the omnipotence of words and the compulsion neurosis and anal eroticism.

2.   The Symbol and the Psychical Conditions of its Formations.—The author uses the concept “symbol” with the widest connotation, including, “any substitution of a definite idea by another, which may be associated with it by similarity, no matter how far removed or one-sided this may appear.”

According to Darwin, a child sees a duck on the water and calls it “quack.” This is an onomatopoetic designation for the total perception. From now on he calls all flying things “quack”: birds, insects, especially house-flies; and also all fluids like water and wine; and finally, when a “sou” was shown him, he called this also “quack.” “Quack” thus indicated finally such different things as flies, wine, and coins. According to Meuman this shows that the meaning of “quack” is completely concrete. The child gets this word when seeing the duck on the water, hence it names liquid and flying things together. When the word is extended to mean coins, it is not a conceptual generalization, but the associative transference familiar to the psychologist. The coin has the figure of an eagle on it, which thus gets named “quack.”

The field of perception of the child's consciousness is very small, and the child does not appercieve completely the different peculiarities

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of the object, therefore single characteristics, partial perceptions, appear in a perceptual complex, and the rest of the characteristics, open to perception, are excluded. Thus the child finds similarities which to an adult who possesses a greater apperception mass appears inadequate and inconceivable, or at least quite unexpected.

The logical function, the power of abstraction, needs, in the child, a long time for its development. The abstracting of any character from an object is in itself hard work. Thus adjectives appear late in speech. Another way is found in which a new name is formed to express a certain characteristic of a special object. The Arab needs not less than 500 names for a lion in order to indicate his different qualities, about 200 names for a snake, and 5,744 names for a camel. The Australian has a name for a dog's tail, another for a cow's tail, and still another for a sheep's tail, etc., one misses, however, a name for “tail” in general. Hence nothing but trees, and no forest! If now we synthesize our analysis of the child psyche we find the following:

I.   Tendency to substitutions in associating ideas.

II.  Concrete character of thinking.

III. Apperceptive weakness (partial perception.)

IV.  A lack of capacity to abstract.

3.   On the Origin of Symbols.—The author objects to a too wide use of the word “symbol,” such as to include, likeness, allegory, metaphor, hints, parables, emblems, indirect ideation of any sort; these are,—in the psychoanalytic sense—not symbols. Symbols, in the psychoanalytic sense, are only such things (or ideas) as get in consciousness a logically confused and ungrounded affect, which affective over-emphasis is due to an unconscious identification of the thing, or idea, with another thing, or idea, to which that affect really belongs. Hence not all likenesses are symbols, but only those in which one member of the equation is repressed in the unconscious.

Analytic experience shows us that although for the formation of a real symbol one of the conditions is an intellectual insufficiency, the principal conditions for its origin are not intellectual but affective.

The child, so long as the necessity of life does not force it to adaptation and thus to a knowledge of reality, cares originally only for the satisfaction of its inclinations, that is the localities on the body where these satisfactions take place; only for the objects which are associated with these satisfactions; and then handling, or stimulations, which give pleasure. The erogenous zones, of the mouth, the anus, and the genitals, interest it especially. What wonder that their attention is arrested by such things and processes in the external world,

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and that they are reminded of their most interesting experiences.

Thus comes the sexualizing of everything. At this stage the small boy calls every long thing after his own genitals; in every hole he sees his own anus, everything fluid is urine, and every half-soft thing is excrement.

These similarities, however, are not yet symbolic. Only from the moment when, in consequence of cultural education, one member of the equation is repressed, the other, through affective over-emphasis, becomes the symbol of the repressed.

Originally penis and tree, penis and church-spire, were consciously compared. But when the repressed interest in the penis gave the tree and church-spire a vague and apparently ungrounded interest, they became symbols for the penis.

Thus the eyes become symbols of the genitals, with which they were earlier identified, on the ground of external similarity; thus the upper part of the body in general, after the interest in the lower part had been repressed, gained a symbolical over-emphasis; and so in general may all genital symbols, such as necktie, snake, toothache, box, stairs, etc., which take up so much space in dreams, have their origin.

With these examples, I wish to point to the overwhelming importance of the affective moment in the creation of true symbols.

4.   Doctrine of Impulses.—The author believes that if the definite role of the erogenous zones establishes the sexual character of the impulse, then their aim, or purpose, is inseparably bound up with the erogenous zone.

Impulses with active or passive ends are distinguished. The character of the end is given by the form of the organ functioning at the time as an erogenous zone.

In the normal male child, according to Freud, there is a dark impulse to forcing actions, to enter, to destroy, to tear open a hole anywhere, associated with the beginning impulses of the stimulated penis. That this active striving is associated with a muscular, plug-like, projection, and can come only from such a functioning organ, seems to the author “ohne weiteres” clear.

The passive end comes from possessing an erogenous zone of the form of a cavity into which to have something stuck is craved. Having only a few things to say about the vaginal cavity, the author turns to the domain of homosexuality.

Here the use of the anal opening is obvious. As to the apparently active homosexual impulse, the author thinks it is only apparent, and that really there is only passive homosexuality due to the anal craving.

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5.   Psychology of Child Sexuality.—This paper is an analysis of two dreams of a ten-year old boy.


The Dream of “Category”

The dream was told in three parts. Both the second and third parts were forgotten and only remembered after a part of the analysis made it possible.

First part of the dream: I had a funny dream. I had passed my examination to the Gymnasium and that was called “Category.” To get to the examination room one had to go up many steps, and through many halls. There were many doors and tables. On one, there was a whte placard which had on it, in red letters, “Category.” How it looked in the room, and who my professor was I do not know.


I had passed the examination to the Gymnasium.

Fritz wanted to go to the Gymnasium. Here his wish is fulfilled.

That was called “Category.”

In the newspaper there was an announcement. Female (Category help), open positions. The landlady with whom Fritz and his brother were boarding had sought a maid and had read this announcement.

On a white placard, in red letters, was the word “Category.”

The door and placard is from the school, only the word, category, does not fit.

Question of the analyzer: What does that mean then, “category”? First it is “female category,” another time it is over the door of the school physician.

Fritz: Now I remember, there was more to the dream.

Second part of the dream: I went into the “folk-school.” The boys asked one another, “have you categorized?” I was by chance in the first row, not in my place, near a boy called Kohn, who was with us last year.


To condense the associations, it was found that the question, Have you categorized?, meant, have you urinated? The meaning of this was that the dreamer, who had no sister, wanted to know the difference between the female genital and the male. Hence, “category” meant “female genital.”

When this meaning was explained, the dreamer remembered the third part of his dream.

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Third part of the dream: As I came from school I went from S—

street in the direction of P—street. In the middle of S—street there is a canal-fence, and there in the street stood a lot of men, in clear daylght, urinating against the fence. I was walking with Anna and said “look, they are not ashamed.” A little later I heard someone say, I don't know who, “if one categories he gets thirsty.” “In the dream it came to me that that meant one must go to the closet.”

The analysis of this part of the dream showed that the boy was interested in seeing how women urinated and had tried to see Anna, the servant. He had also tried to see his uncle urinate to see how big his penis was. The analysis also showed a clear turning from heterosexual interest, on account of the difficulty of satisfying it, to homosexual interests, less difficult of satisfaction.

The analysis of that part of the dream: “When one categories he gets thirsty,” showed that the boy was in the habit of reversing sentences and words, as a game. He said “I am a reverse-devil. I always speak the reverse speech.” This is a game often played at school. Thus the sentence really means: when one is thirsty (he drinks) and thus has to urinate.


Dream of the Female Toilet

This came seven weeks after the former dream and mirrored precisely the same psychic situation.

“I was in school. The teacher said, ‘Whoever is pampered becomes a girl.’ Then I thought, ‘Now I can look in the girls’ toilet. ‘When we left school, we met the girls. Before the girls came I heard some one say—correction: I had once thought—that girls also must become boys. As the girls met us I saw one who had red hair and short gray trousers which did not reach the knee, and a gray jacket. As we came out the gate there was some smooth ice. When we were about half way home I thought, now I can go back and look in the girls’ toilet. I began to slide back. Then the teacher caught me and said ‘one goes there earlier.’ The teacher caught me by sticking out his arm.”


The boy said he had often wished to look in the girls' toilet. This shows the boy's interest in heterosexual matters. This dream analysis gives a glimpse into the sexual life of a boy in the latent perod. One finds the craving for looking and its correlate, the craving for exhibiting oneself. The development of the object choice travels along the path of interest in the excretions.

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The author concludes that the sexual phantasies of the latent period busy themselves with the excretion organs because those are the bodily parts whose functions correspond with the knowledge of the boy.

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Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Emerson, L.E. (1915). Internationale Zeitschrift für Aertzliche Psychoanalyse. Psychoanal. Rev., 2(1):106-113

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