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Rickman, J. (1957). V. On Quotations (1929). The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 52(1):37-44.

(1957). The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 52(1):37-44

V. On Quotations (1929) Book Information Previous Up Next

John Rickman, M.D.

1.   Introduction

2.   Three motives for making a quotation. Quotation and hypnosis. The difference between quotations and examples. The first quotation. Virtuosity in quotation. Exhibiting a new idea as a quotation. Compulsive quotations. Quotations in dementia praecox. Compilations. Improving quotations. Parody. Priggishness. Plagiarism, open and concealed. The aversion from quoting. The acceptance of quotation. Mimicry

3.   Conclusion

1. Introduction

SOME years ago I entertained the hope of being able to make the analysis of quotations from poets and novelists, but particularly from poets, into a new instrument for literary criticism. Lines are quoted to us that have impressed themselves on the minds of our analysands and are brought forward in a setting of associations which is usually free from the peculiar self-conscious atmosphere which aesthetic criticism frequently both generates and wilts in. My hope was that a significant connection would be found between the quotations from the great poets and important features in the patients' infantile experiences, but though I had a ‘run of luck’ in this respect which nearly evoked a paper for the British Psycho-Analytical Society, my evidence over a longer period gave me no ground for thinking that we have in the correlation of quotations and recollections of early experiences an index of the poet's merit as it is usually judged.

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