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Marinov, V. (2018). The Spiritual and Humoristic Deconstruction of the Symptom in Freud's Case Writing. Rom. J. Psychoanal., 11(1):17-36.

(2018). Romanian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 11(1):17-36

Theoretical and Clinical Psychoanalysis

The Spiritual and Humoristic Deconstruction of the Symptom in Freud's Case Writing

Vladimir Marinov

(Accepted for publication 15 May 2018)

In his work “Self presentation”, written in 1925, Freud brings up an old remark Fliess made on the spiritual nature of the dream. A dream would be spiritual “by necessity”, as “the straight and immediate path leading to the expression of thoughts is closed”. Wit would thusly also have to be considered in dream interpretation. But this notion of Freud's leaves aside the relation between wit, comedy and humour, explored in the very last chapter of his book Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious (1905).

It is in his analysis of the Rat Man (1909) where, without forming a theoretical approach on the relationship between comedy, wit and humour, Freud more implicitly sketches the way analytic work can transform the comical (in this case, the comic involved in the symptom of constraint, which involves a “comic of movement”) into wit, and wit into humour. The present work asks to know whether this trajectory, so present in this famous case study of Freud's, is not, in certain respects, present in all analytical work.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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