Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To review the glossary of psychoanalytic concepts…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Prior to searching for a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review PEP Consolidated Psychoanalytic Glossary edited by Levinson. You can access it directly by clicking here.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Allen, D.W. (1960). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XXIII, 1959: Community Reactions to a Horrifying Event. George W. Arndt. Pp. 106-111.. Psychoanal Q., 29:139.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XXIII, 1959: Community Reactions to a Horrifying Event. George W. Arndt. Pp. 106-111.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:139

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XXIII, 1959: Community Reactions to a Horrifying Event. George W. Arndt. Pp. 106-111.

David W. Allen

Arndt discusses some of the conscious and unconscious reactions of the citizens of Wisconsin to the discovery of a series of murders, grave robberies, and body butchering performed by a middle-aged bachelor recluse farmer. Many persons were able to repress and then release their horror through a compulsive repetition of grim humor. The humor could be divided roughly into three categories: 1, cannibalism ('He used the cremated ashes of his victims to make instant people.'); 2, sexual perversion ('As a hearse went by he said, "Dig you later, baby".'); and, 3, cannibalism and sexual perversion ('They could never keep him in jail—he'd just draw a picture of a woman on the wall and eat his way out.'). The children in the community also joked about the gruesome event (caroling during the Christmas holidays, 'Deck the halls with limbs of Mollie'), and much of their joking showed evidence of their recent Oedipal struggles. Apparently unable to overcome through humor and other devices their deep-rooted, unconscious taboos against cannibalistic impulses, some citizens developed gastrointestinal symptoms of an 'organ language' type. Identification with the group and common sanction of the aggressive humor, however, allowed most persons a salutary release.

- 139 -

Article Citation

Allen, D.W. (1960). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XXIII, 1959. Psychoanal. Q., 29:139

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.