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Daly, C.D. (1935). The Menstruation Complex in Literature. Psychoanal Q., 4:307-340.

(1935). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 4:307-340

The Menstruation Complex in Literature

C. D. Daly

Some of the material used in this paper has already been subjected to interpretation (though not with the particular orientation for which it is being employed here) in a psychoanalytical study of the life of the French poet, Baudelaire, by Dr. René Laforgue, in which work the author discusses the influence of the mother complex with sympathy and penetration, though he furnishes a rationalized explanation for the incest barrier rather than traces its cause to a universal factor such as the menstruation complex, a concept which has become so clear to me personally that I cannot imagine a psychoanalyst working without it. The unresolved menstruation complex in the analyst constitutes a barrier to the establishment of the mother transference which of necessity must put a limit to the extent of any analysis. Nevertheless Laforgue has produced a wealth of material much of which, as I shall hope to show in this paper, continually goes back to the vaginal bleeding of the mother as the nucleus of the incest barrier.


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