Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To use OneNote for note taking…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

You can use Microsoft OneNote to take notes on PEP-Web. OneNote has some very nice and flexible note taking capabilities.

You can take free form notes, you can copy fragments using the clipboard and paste to One Note, and Print to OneNote using the Print to One Note printer driver. Capture from PEP-Web is somewhat limited.

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

Plank, R. (1957). On "Seeing the Salamander". Psychoanal. St. Child, 12:379-398.

(1957). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 12:379-398

On "Seeing the Salamander"

Robert Plank


One of the few specific childhood memories that Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) relates in his autobiography is this:

When I was about five years old, my father happened to be in our basement … where a good fire of oaken logs was burning. He had a viola in his hand and was playing and singing all alone by the fire. It was very cold. As he gazed into the fire, he chanced to see in the middle of the hottest flames a little creature like a lizard which was sporting about in the strongest flame. He instantly perceived what it was, had my sister and me called, pointed it out to us children and gave me a violent box on the ear which immediately made me cry. He comforted me kindly. "Sonny," he said, "I did not hit you for any wrong you did, my darling, but only to make you remember that this lizard which you saw in the fire is a salamander, a creature which has never been seen by anyone else of whom we have a true report." And so he kissed me and gave me some pennies.

What did Giovanni Cellini and his children see? Obviously not a specimen of the real animal which is now called salamander—or of any real animal, for that matter. What they thought they saw was a being of much nobler lineage than the lowly amphibian: a creature well known to fable and myth, though a total stranger to zoology.

Giovanni Cellini projected. The similar projections that we encounter today are usually solicited and attenuated. A Rorschach subject may well see a salamander in Card VIII, but will say that the blot "looks like" salamanders.

[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 © 2019, 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.