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Eisnitz, A.J. (1974). A Discussion of the Paper by J. L. Weinberger and J. J. Muller on 'The American Icarus Revisited: Phallic Narcissism and Boredom'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 55:587-590.

(1974). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 55:587-590

A Discussion of the Paper by J. L. Weinberger and J. J. Muller on 'The American Icarus Revisited: Phallic Narcissism and Boredom' Related Papers

Alan J. Eisnitz

Boredom arises when the possibility for gratification cannot be experienced. It can occur as a symptom often closely connected with depression. It also occurs as a normal state. It can arise from primarily internal sources, endogenous boredom, or for mainly external reasons, exogenous boredom. Boredom of this second type can be viewed as an affect signal that the external environment offers little promise of gratification and that change should be contemplated although not necessarily affected. Optimum functioning requires of us that we possess the capacity to continue with an activity, when necessary, in spite of boredom. Many tasks, steps towards a desired goal, are in themselves boring.

Libidinal drives appear to possess more plasticity than do the aggressive drives. Variety can be viewed as a characteristic of libidinal drive derivatives, while sameness seems to be more typical of aggressively derived activity. We can assume that the libidinal drives create a pressure for variety particularly in those areas which are more removed from direct instinctual gratification. This is true on the oral level and especially on the genital level. Even in the most constant love relationships variety is sought and even more so in the more sublimated forms of genitality. Only the anal drives, somewhat more limited in terms of anatomical and physiological effector apparatus, seem to show more sameness. This may be one reason why so many anally derived patterns are so useful in dealing with the everyday tasks of the world.

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