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(1925). Versuch Einer Genital Theorie. By S. Ferenczi. Internal. Psychoanalytischer Verlag. Leipzig, Zurich, Wien.. Psychoanal. Rev., 12(2):249-250.

(1925). Psychoanalytic Review, 12(2):249-250

Book Reviews

Versuch Einer Genital Theorie. By S. Ferenczi. Internal. Psychoanalytischer Verlag. Leipzig, Zurich, Wien.

Ordinary medical experience has brought the realization that the sexual act is an extremely complicated one, and psychoanalysis has demonstrated even greater complexities as well as offering some light upon these self-same accumulations of conditioned reflexes in an act which has been perfecting itself a billion years, more or less. With such a mnemic inheritance behind it no wonder it is not an A, B, C, which any behavorist can know all about “objectively.”

This present work deals with analytic experience concerning the act, material which is coming for review in every psychoanalysis, and focuses attention upon the respective shares taken by urethral and anal erotism in determining the specific performance, and above all of its libido releasing function. It readily develops that an excess of urethral erotism is related to ejaculatio precox, while an excess of anal erotism tends to retard the orgasm. The motion itself in or out also has some important correlates.

Ferenczi draws certain parallels between such fluctuations between urethral and anal components to stuttering; “genital stuttering” thus can be posited for certain cases well known in psychoanalytic practice.

The relative displacement situation he terms amphimixis, to our mind a poor designation since it has been used in biology (Weismann and others) for entirely different concepts. The thought deserves a better designation. Other displacements, clitoris to vagina, to mammae, to the nose, facial blushings, etc., etc., are too well known to need much elucidation.

Ferenczi would go into the engram treasure of the copulative act and show how it gets to generalize the entire individual, as he puts it, identifies the entire organism with the genitals, or as the reviewer has for years put it, the genital formula as revealed in analysis becomes a primary pattern for all types of activity of the organism.

The tracing out by the phyletic pathway (thalassal) of the rich series of mnemic accumulations which make up this extraordinarily rich and complex expression of the entire personality is taken up in further sections of the monograph.

In

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