The Dawning of a Thought and the Role of Play and Trauma
Every psychological investigation concerning a thought and a literary or artistic product is located somewhere in the force-field between the three poles in the life of its creator: external reality, internal reality and the actual work (Enckell, 1986). Freud's study on Jokes (1905), about the shortest product of the literary mind, bears early witness to this proposition. Other examples of such studies are the biographies by Herman on Fechner (1925), Darwin (1927), and Bályai (1945), the clinical investigations by Rosen (1953) on mathematical thinking and by Székely on a subatomic research-scientist (1972, 1976, 1983, 1987), and about a technical inventor (1967).
In the present paper, material will be presented on the birth of a thought in a little girl, Lisa. It was possible to determine exactly when the thinking process started and finished and when it was converted into action. Lisa was a grown-up adult, married with a family, when she began analysis. But the thought occurred when she was nine years old.
In Lisa, the thought served the purpose of revenge for having endured earlier injustices. It was sparked off by the appearance of an external impression, that had been selected from a host of countless other fleeting sensory impressions as the starting-point for the formation of a thought. It also became possible to discover the connection between this sensory impression and a shock-trauma, that took place three years previously. However, the contents of the thought were a programme of action for a well-played joke in the spirit of Mark Twain, as well as a further variation on an older theme, devised, together with her two-years older brother, during one of their favourite games.
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