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Veszy-Wagner, L. (1975). Pinero's Farce “The Magistrate” as an Anxiety Dream. Am. Imago, 32(2):200-215.

(1975). American Imago, 32(2):200-215

Pinero's Farce “The Magistrate” as an Anxiety Dream

L. Veszy-Wagner

This paper was inspired by Charles Rycroft's studies on the psychoanalytical origin of the detective story as demonstrated by Wilkie Collins' novel “The Moonstone” and its comparison with the psychoanalysis of the dream. Psychoanalytically, the farce, as a literary form, is also a derivative of our dream life.

My own addition is that the farce is a dramatic form in which it is the anxiety dream of a Good Man, in a palatable and more sublimated, but nonetheless schizoid, framework. This is also the reason why it evokes such violently ambivalent emotions. It is either cherished, loved or vehemently hated and shunned, irrespective of the audience's social class.

The sublimatory process comes about when people feel a strong need to immerse themselves in refreshing childishness. This would happen not only when they are alone or in intimate company, but also in the theater, relatively in public as if also wanting to seduce others into joining with them in the carefree childishness of a public primal scene. The pull is so strong that uneducated people often laugh (giggle,

On the one hand, it is an “antithesis of persons” (Sheridan). “With Feydau's characters sex really happens…the actor accomplishes in a single evening what other men take a lifetime to complete…builds in its matter the universal condition…”(Camus).

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