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Gaddini, E. (1974). A Discussion of the Paper by Henry Edelheit on 'Crucifixion Fantasies and their Relation to the Primal Scene'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 55:201-204.

(1974). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 55:201-204

A Discussion of the Paper by Henry Edelheit on 'Crucifixion Fantasies and their Relation to the Primal Scene' Related Papers

Eugenio Gaddini

Dr Edelheit's paper is on a very wide subject, and the way in which this has been treated is very stimulating. The amount of time which I am allowed to discuss it is, on the other hand, relatively limited. I will try to follow up only some of the numerous and very interesting arguments which Dr Edelheit has proposed, but I do not presume to do justice to this work in the way it deserves.

We must in the first place give Dr Edelheit the credit for having called our attention to the fantasies of crucifixion and to their relationship to the primal scene. The evidence of the clinical material presented forces the reader to make an immediate and useful comparison with the clinical material of his own cases. A psychotic woman patient of mine one day got up from the couch and, staring at me in a fright, said, 'But you are Christ, you are really Christ!' Another patient, an obsessional neurotic, dreamt that he had shrunk in size and was crouching down by a shut door, and that there was a crack between the floor and the door which he could see through: first of all he noticed two big bare feet moving about the room, but then he became immediately aware that they emanated light, and he realized with terror that Christ was in the room: there was in the dream the feeling that in a part of the room which could not be seen there must have been the Madonna, and that Christ was moving towards her. Another patient, a character case with serious disturbances of potency and with notable obsessional traits, never parted from a crucifix which his father had held in his hands on his death-bed; at night he kept it in a drawer of his bedside table and during the day in his trouser pocket, so that he could often hold it secretly in his hands.

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