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Meyer, B.C. (1964). Psychoanalytic Studies on Joseph Conrad—Iii. Aspects of Orality. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 12:562-586.

(1964). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 12:562-586

Psychoanalytic Studies on Joseph Conrad—Iii. Aspects of Orality

Bernard C. Meyer, M.D.

THE RECOGNITION that the origins of those aspects of human behavior, mental functioning, and affective mood which are heavily stamped with the imprint of orality lie within the earliest years of childhood, and arise as a psychic distillate of the initial interaction between mother and child, causes the present study to labor under something of a disadvantage, for pertinent data concerning intimate features of Conrad's early life are extremely sparse. Some few facts are known, to be sure, and there are hints, recorded elsewhere (21b), of the nature of the character of Conrad's mother, Evelina Korzeniowska. But for the ears of clinicians, accustomed to hearing the insistent and reiterated strains of the songs of childhood of their patients, these data and these hints must seem faint indeed. In the present study I am obliged, therefore, to focus attention upon comments supplied by observers of Conrad as a grown man, and to combine these observations with the self-revelatory utterances voiced in his literary art. Fortunately, the abundance and richness of both these sources are sufficiently great and their meanings sufficiently transparent to compensate for the relative inadequacy of his early history.


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