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(1939). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(1):69-82.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psycho-Analysis

(1939). Psychoanalytic Review, 26(1):69-82


International Journal of Psycho-Analysis

(Vol. XV, Part 1)

1.   Weiss, E. Bodily and Mental Pain. Psychoanalytic experience has shown that “bodily” pain can be transformed unconsciously into mental pain. This indicates that the purely anatomical concept of pain is incomplete. It is to this aspect the author turns. Freud's conception of the psychical barrier to stimuli is dwelt upon. When narcissistic libido is concentrated an ego barrier is formed. What part does this ego boundary play when there is bodily pain? In dreams—one is quoted—bodily pain as such rarely appears; mental distress takes its place (uterine contractions). This is related to the withdrawal of cathexes from the bodily ego-boundary; only the psychical ego-feeling is left. Hence in all bodily pain the ego-boundary must be broken through. Such a phenomenon needs study. In certain dreams bodily pain is felt and sometimes merely dreamt. A frequent way of elaborating bodily pain in dreams is by projection. Illustrations are given; in one there being both projection and displacement. Conversion pains are the bodily expression of mental conflicts. The mechanisms bringing these about are not always clear. Weiss would turn to these. Dreams are given which cannot be abstracted. The characteristic sensation of usual bodily pain occurs as the psychic reaction to a breach of the somatic libidinally cathected barrier against stimuli, while that of neurotic bodily pain or dreamt pain arises when a breach is made in the wall of anti-cathexes which is set up as a defense against what is repressed. The somatic barrier against stimuli, if the libidinal cathexis is sufficient, separates the ego in its bodily aspect from the outside world; similarly the inner wall, built up out of anti-cathexes, separates the ego from the alien unconscious. Pain, in general, then ensues from a breach in the ego-boundary, whether it be the external, somatic, libidinally cathected barrier against stimuli, or the inner wall of defense against the unconscious. In the former,

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quantities of stimulation from the outer world, in the latter, instinctual stimuli break through.

2.   Oberndorf, C. P. Folie à Deux. Two persons involved in a similar psychotic situation, usually relatives, is the usual type. Identification here plays a major rôle. The general thesis of the report of his cases of folie (neurosis) à deux is that in the origin of the symptoms both identified themselves with a lost object—namely he with a former female identification (the mother), and she the lost male identification (the father). Mr. and Mrs. V. had been married 8 years when first coming for analysis. Both had been self-made prisoners in their home for 2 years, she suffering from a whirling sensation on going out, he from whirling and slipping or fear of his auto skidding. He had had this “astasia-abasia with vertigo” for 2 years previously. Mrs. V. also suffered from nausea and fear of defecation on going out to dinner. She was frigid; he impotent and alcoholic. As a perversion he must plunge his wife, fully dressed, in a tub of water. They both became alcoholic to fight off depressions. From boyhood if he could get things without work he had achieved a victory (over his mother). Later he did not work. The couple slept all day, at night philosophizing and quarrelling on abstractions. The analysis is too detailed for abstraction. The bath business came from his mother's sole interest taken in him, i.e., giving him his bath with much elaborate ritual. “She was a baptizer.” The bath led by steps to a complicated transvestitism immersion ritual. The wife's unconscious masculinity was a counter-part of his femininity. Her fecal obsession had come about from a penis identification. The analysis led to definite alleviation and social recovery. To be read in original.

3.   Wittels, F. Mona Lisa and Feminine Beauty. This is a study in bisexuality. Leonardo is the painter of androgyny. The Mona Lisa of the Louvre was also the model for a youth with breasts (Musée Condé). The ‘smile’ is related to the mother-phallus complex stage. For Wittels it comes out of the painting. It is not static. It represents the masculine element. He develops the relation of the smile to beauty, and goes on to develop the conception of the child-woman. Those of promise and no fulfillment. The lovers are numerous but metaphorically die of thirst. Three case histories are detailed to illustrate the various points. They need actual reading.

4.   Middlemore, M. The Treatment of Bewitchment in a Puritan Community. A paper dealing with the methods of treatment of the witches in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. He first describes the epidemic and the methods adopted to cure it, based largely on Upham's ‘History.’ In all the cases the symptoms derived from the reactions of a ‘devil who is located in the body.’ Therapy consists in exorcism or reconciliation

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with the evil forces. Confession plays a large part in the former. Expulsion by purges also, with bad odors or bitter tastes. Other replacements were also used. These are described in detail including some of the more distinctly religious exercising rituals. Cotton Mather got in hot water with some of them. Even the coitus ceremony was involved. The entire set of problems is viewed in the light of psychoanalytic principles. It is a very subtle and shrewd paper, to be read in full to be appreciated.

5.   Lévy-Suhl, M. Infantile and Animal Sexuality. A discussion of biological parallels in animal sexuality and the polymorphous perverse stages of infantile sexuality which go to support from the bio-genetic principle the reasonableness of the Freudian conceptions. Phylogenetically, the earliest humans attained full genital maturity at very early periods, four-five years of age. Study of mammals is taken up to show the parallels. Colts, cows, goats attain the reproductive stage at an age ratio proportionate to Homo, also elephants, who living to be 80-120, mature at 16-20. Suggestive biological facts are adduced to show the influence of the glacial epoch on this retardation. [See p. 93 this issue.]

6.   Abstracts, Book Reviews, Bulletin.

(Vol. XV, Parts 2 and 3)

1.   STERBA, R. Fate of the Ego in Analytic Therapy. That part of the psyche turned towards the outside world and whose business it is to receive stimuli and effect discharge reactions is the ego of psychoanalysis. Analysis deals with the external world, hence the ego is involved. Our

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knowledge of the deeper psyche comes to us through ego toleration of the unconscious. The ego participates in all analytic operations, one of which Sterba would here particularize, on what happens to the ego during an analysis. Little has been written on it. The ego has, roughly speaking, three functions. It is the executive organ of the id, the source of object cathexis in transference; it is the organization which aims at fulfilling the demands of the super-ego, and it is the institution which allows or prevents the discharge of the energy poured forth by the id. In analysis the personality of the analysand passes under the domination of the transference, positive and negative. Instinct and repression are both represented. Anticathexis is mobilized: as anxiety it may be used as a defense against the analysis. A case history of a young woman who in analysis kept her mouth shut illustrates this anticathexis as originating when about five years old. She was brought to a doctor for tonsillectomy. At first he only looked in her mouth and gave her candy, and was sweet to her. This was the scheme to lull her fears, and it was repeated. One day, however, without any narcotic, he put in a gag and removed the tonsils from the unsuspecting child. She would never see him again. In her analysis transference this resistance was reanimated in the keeping her mouth shut. Here is seen the manner whereby the ego manages in the transference to rid itself of conflict. Intense transference situations show one or the other trends. By careful and skillful interpretation of the transference situation the analyst endeavors to oppose those elements in the ego which are focused on reality to those which have a cathexis of instinctual or defensive energy. He technically dissociates the ego, a process commonly observed in psychopathology—double consciousness for example. In excessive narcissism and in the psychoses where ego and id have become fused analysis is impossible because this dissociation is impossible. Freud first indicated that interpretations were called for when the earliest transference-resistance signs became manifest. Thus the patient's consciousness shifts from the center of affective experience to intellectual contemplation—a new point of view is gained. Patient and analyst are “we”—meaning that the analyst tries to draw that part of the ego to his side and put it in effective combat to the cathected side of the unconscious. The prototype of this ego-dissociation process is the super-ego formation which however varies from the latter in that it is taking place in the mature individual, in whom one can foster a balancing contemplation to keep free from affect. Dissimilation is followed by assimilation. This synthetic function of the ego consists in the striving of the ego prompted by Eros to bind and unify and blend and thus leave fewer conflicts within its domain. The case cited shows these features. The resistance took the form of obstinate silence. Associations were jerked out with ill humor. An incident after the second interview: the patient's solicitude about her crumpled dress and what a to-be-met friend might attribute it to be due to showed the strength of

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the transference and its stronger defense. The meaning of this defense had to be carefully explained. The ego-dissociation thereby began, and little by little insight into her defense nature of her attitude to the analysis and analyst was gained. Preconscious release of unconscious material changed the defense cathexis. Then came the memories of the ‘defloration ‘by the tonsillectomy, and counteraction of the early super-ego oppositions became effective. Crumpled clothing and sexual intercourse were understood better. Sterba aptly closes the paper by a quotation from Herder: “Man shews reflection when the powers of his mind work so freely that, out of the whole ocean of sensations which come flooding in through the channel of every sense, he can separate out, if I may so put it, the single wave and hold it, directing his attention upon it and being conscious of this attention.… He shews reflections when he not only has a vivid and distinct perception of every sort of attribute, but can acknowledge in himself one or more of them as distinguishing attributes: the first such act of acknowledgment yields a clear conception. It is the mind's first judgment. And how did this acknowledgment take place? Through a characteristic due to conscious, reflection, presented itself clearly to his mind. Good! Let us greet him with a cry of ‘eureka.’ This first characteristic due to conscious reflection was a word of the mind! With it human speech was invented.”

2.   Strachey, J. Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis began as a therapy; it still retains this as a primary function. In spite of this the author emphasizes the lack of studies dealing with the practical applications. Shall we apply a “deep interpretation”? What is a “deep interpretation”? In fact, interpretation for analysand, what may it mean? What is needed is more detailed understanding of the workings of the therapeutic process. He therefore would discuss various procedures of ‘orthodox’ analysis. He starts with a retrospective account of these beginning with the Introductory Lectures. Resistance analysis is the earliest taken up. Even then it was, in analytic theory, an older problem. ‘Making the unconscious conscious’ was the short-hand slogan of this procedure. Difficulties arose. Often the symptoms remained unshaken even when it was thought this had been accomplished. Freud's map allegory was introduced to help this impasse concerning the resistances which hampered the unconscious from being made conscious in other than a formal intellectual manner. The main emphasis was then laid on the transference, and Strachey discusses the development here of the revealing of the positive and negative trends of which the former predominated. It was a libidinal phenomenon. Complications soon became apparent. The hostile feelings came more and more into view, and in need of understanding and handling. Even the positive features were seen to be split into friendly and affectionate ones capable of entering consciousness, and erotic ones demanding repression,

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which when strong took away the values of the first group. Then the question of the analysis of the transference itself arose, and suggestion factors were left behind. This transference analysis threatened soon to “eat up the entire analysis,” and the artificial ‘transference neurosis’ emerged. The original features which led to the neurosis now began to be relived with the analyst. At first thought of as a misfortune it soon came to be seen as a deliverance. The situation became an immediate one. Then the formulation of the super-ego came along. This was significant especially since the super-ego may be a powerful ally of the resistance and repression factors so important to be resolved—Freud's “Inhibition, Symptom and Anxiety” enumerated at least five types of these resistances: repression-resistance and transference-resistance being primarily super-ego reactions. The studies of Jones, Alexander and Rado bearing on the super-ego role are cited; especially as indicating the differences between the mechanisms in hypnosis and in analysis.

Later studies have taken up the hostility factors which were seen to be of more and more importance the deeper one went into analysis. Introjection and projection as mechanisms explanatory of the findings became orthodox. Here Melanie Klein's work is of significance; Strachey showing the nature of the vicious circle that the patient sets up in defense of the neurosis. The attack here has concentrated on the super-ego especially since a part of it is outmoded, archaic. The analyst as an “auxiliary super-ego”: this, Rado's term, is explained in detail leading up to the question, What is interpretation? Strachey here enlarges on the magical quality sometimes given it. How some patients spend hours making their own, how others seek those of the analyst like an ‘addict’ deriving, at times, great libidinal satisfaction. The critics, even in the fold, make merry of interpretations, especially of late in the field of interpretation to children “à la Klein.”

All sorts of confusion reign in the field of interpretation: too soon, too late, too much, too little? These are all reasonable but hard to codify. Strachey gives his own scheme of mutative interpretations. In the first place the super-ego's threats upon the id impulses and their relation to anxiety is suggested. In practice there is usually a three ring circus. Minimal doses of interpretation is the first rule. Big changes are usually signs of danger since they indicate large id releases. The pros and cons here are minutely gone into. The second phase centers about the reality sense. The patient must know when an id release comes into consciousness whether it is connected with a phantasy object or the real analyst. The differences between interpretation and reassurance are outlined, then the temporal relevancy of interpretation, the right moment to explain. Deep interpretation, specificity of mutative interpretations, abreaction, extra transference interpretations, these are among the situations further ingeniously dealt with. Strachey summarizes the four main points of his hypothesis: (1) the final result of psychoanalytic therapy is to enable the

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neurotic patient's whole mental organization, which is held in check at an infantile stage of development, to continue its progress towards a normal adult state; (2) the principal affective alteration consists in a profound qualitative modification of the patient's super-ego, from which the other alterations follow in the main automatically; (3) this modification of the patient's super-ego is brought about in a series of innumerable small steps by the agency of mutative interpretations, which are effected by the analyst in virtue of his position as object of the patient's id impulses and as auxiliary super-ego, and (4) the fact that mutative interpretation is the ultimate operative factor in the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis does not mean the exclusion of many other procedues (such as suggestion, reassurance, abreaction, etc.) as elements in the treatment of any particular patient.

3.   Holstijn, A. J. W. Oral Erotism in Paraphrenia. Paranoid delusional states as primarily originating from the working over of sensations produced in the rectum by the contents of the bowel was originally put forth by Stärcke and von Ophuijsen. The concept has been frequently confirmed but the case histories are few and slight in detail. Of more recent years oral incorporation sensations have been added. This paper deals with these. Here again the cases are few but they are clear enough to permit the oral factors to be added to the anal factors as determining the persecutory paranoid delusional defense beliefs. The cannibalistic threat is one of the most frequent of these indicia. They eat and are eaten; chiefly a homosexual object is involved. Cafes, restaurants, ‘eating places’ are the places mostly picked out for the persecutory spying. The author picks out a lot of confirmatory references in non-analytic literature. Particular attention is called to Kempf's observations. The psychiatric nosological problem of paranoia and mania is discussed and the affinities with paraphrenia (Kraepelin) of these “syntonic pyknics.” Abraham's notes on oral erotism in the manic are then correlated. In paraphrenics the mouth is in a state of peculiar excitation. Orality pyknic traits and an element of mania occur regularly in this group. As in mania, the manic symptoms have their origin in an accentuated oral erotism, directed towards objects in the outside world. The pyknic mouth is a constitutional hereditary characteristic of the outward form, which points to a constitutional accentuation of the oral function. The delusions (like the manic symptoms) draw their sustenance from oral erotism.

In a second section the way in which oral erotism plays its part in the formation of delusions is traced. Nursing and weaning start the story, which is amplified in detail, but as summarized by the author reads: “When homosexual libido, which is detached from external objects, is regressively projected once more into the outside world, it may force its way out either through the anus or the mouth (sometimes through both)

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and give rise to the feeling of being persecuted. It then finds its goal in the processes of eating and being eaten, experienced by many paraphrenics in their delusional ideas. The thoughts of persons of the manic type are primarily the outcome of copious speaking, the libidinal hypercathexis of the mouth and the organs of speech. But in schizophrenia the content of their thought is much more important: the inner complex plays a far greater part in it. Cathexis of the ideas of words represents the schizophrenic's first attempt at recovery, but it is from these ideas of words that his delusional thoughts are formed. Hence the origin of the delusion is twofold: it springs from (a) the complexes which find expression in his words, and (b) from the hypomanic pressure of thoughts and speech, whereby new ideas and thoughts are perpetually linked into the ‘complex.’ The unification of their mental processes is most readily accomplished by those patients who retain the strongest oral erotism, but who at the same time remain capable of sublimating it in the tendency to combine feelings, words and concepts, like one huge mouthful, in a systematized homogeneous tissue of delusion.

4.   Szalai, A. Infectious Parapraxes. Freud pointed out that many of the parapraxies were infectious. This short note cites two examples. While visiting B., a conceited, petty person, he left his pocketbook in his overcoat in the closet. The light had been switched off and he could not find the switch. His host B. asking if he were looking for something, he replied he was looking for the switch. It is quite “kleinlich” (meanning “no light” and “mean”), was his slip of the tongue reply. During the evening B. made a number of slips all related to his guest's “apparently unnoticed slip.” On one occasion he lit two matches at a time in lighting his guest's cigarette, and burned him: either ‘revenge’ or to show he was not stingy; he could light two matches; another involved boasting and electric lights. Again, commenting on art, of which he knew nothing, he said “he did not care for ‘Salaino’.” He knew none of his paintings. The slip meant ‘Szalai,” the guest. A friend accompanying S. also used the word Geizha(l)s, (miserly), instead of Heizgas (house-gas); referring evidently to B.'s stinginess.

A second more involved case is cited. The discussion proceeds along the line that the unconscious of one person is all too aware of the unconscious of the other, not in the full sense of the psychoanalytic understanding, but enough to grasp the general character of a slip and to unconsciously react to it in parapraxes of related nature. The ‘parapraxis’ of some yawning gives interesting examples of such unconscious reactions to ‘boredom.’

5.   Zulliger, H. Prophetic Dreams. A lengthy, detailed and fascinating account of prophecy in dreams. He first details an example. Three friends are waiting for a fourth to join them. This last has just lost his fiancée. To offer something to rouse him from his dejection they

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decided on suggesting a mountain climb, which the friend and fiancée had both enjoyed. They picked on one of the Weisse Alps 12,000 feet high. He agreed but two days later backed out, saying he had had a dream of climbing the Jungfrau and had fallen. His friends persuaded him, however, to climb a much easier peak—children even climb it. On the way down he slipped and fell over a precipice and was killed. This introduces the subject.

Zulliger then goes over a number of the ancient so-called prophetic dreams, so much believed in, and still seen in the “Dream Book” literature. Freud has refuted the idea and shown that such dreams usually refer to the past rather than to the future, yet his statements are so cautious as to encourage careful analytic studies. He then examines some such dreams occurring in psychoanalytic practice. They need to be told in detail to be properly presented. He concludes that Freud's cautious “prejudgment” is perhaps a little too cautious. He finds no confirmation of the popular notion.

6.   Federn, P. Analysis of Psychotics. Psychotic persons are accessible to psychoanalysis, if at all, first, because and in so far as they are still capable of transference; secondly, because and in so far as one part of their ego has insight into their abnormal state; and thirdly, because and in so far as part of their personality is still directed towards reality. The chief precaution is not to increase regression. One must be content to deal with the actual material and not force the uncovering of the deeper unconscious by free associations or by withholding the counter-transference. Thus schizophrenics in general should sit up opposite the analyst rather than lie down. Other valuable suggestions are contained in this short note indicating that modified techniques may be of signal service in the analysis of certain psychotic individuals.

7.   Bergler, E. The Uncanny. Two varieties have been separated in psychoanalysis. One is produced when some impression revives repressed infantile complexes, and the other when primitive beliefs we have surmounted seem once more to be confirmed. The commoner of these situations are related to omnipotence of thought, instantaneous wish-fulfilments, secret power to do harm, and the return of the dead. These primitive beliefs many people have surmounted: their return brings with them the uncanny. Freud's position, as of 1919, has not been much modified, hence the present study which proceeds from his “Inhibition, Symptom and Anxiety” study in which anxiety origins are restudied and restated.

Bergler goes on to give a dozen or more types of significant situations which give rise to the uncanny: (1) We may experience this when we watch another person giving play to his aggressive impulses apparently untroubled by any sense of guilt; (2) when obsessional neurotics feel they can work miracles; (3) when others fail to show some typical affect

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normally expected; (4) when we realize that we stand to another person or power in the relation of object and not as we imagined as subject; (5) when we witness the sudden and unexpected downfall of some one in power; (6) manifestations of unconscious psychic institutions; (7) when the subject's own omnipotence is projected on to others; (8) certain specific forms of cynicism, Bergler has written a paper describing 64 kinds of cynicism; (9) in the presence of impenetrable silence on the part of another person; (10) when something ineluctable happens, in the presence of impending death for example; (11) accompanying the sense of time or the ‘feeling of infinity’; (12) when that which has begun in play passes into ‘deadly earnest’: a story of Villiers de l'Isle Adam is cited; (13) by a particular group of masochists; (14) in depersonalization; (15) the unfulfilment of an unconscious infantile anticipation relating to castration; and finally (16) when in phantasy a patient derives a symbolic gratification from the ‘uncanny’ situation. All of these situations are illustrated, often in considerable detail.

8.   Schmideberg, M. Play Analysis. As no full account of the analysis of a young child has hitherto been published the present paper, which would fill this gap, deserves special consideration. The girl was one month under three years of age. She had hysterical vomiting, difficulties in eating, constipation, and fear of noises. Pretty but not attractive, sophisticated with no spontaneity or charm. She always wanted what she could not get and was never satisfied with what she did get, ungenerous and obstinate. The analysis is too detailed and close for abbreviation or abstract presentation, and is well worth reading in extenso. It illustrates a number of the more recent psychoanalytic findings—such as the very early development of the super-ego and the Œdipus conflict; the existence of a series of nuclear Œdipus situations; the complexity of the castration complex and phallic phase; the role of the vagina in early childhood; the significance of screaming; the role of clothing in overcoming paranoid anxiety, etc. She was in analysis about 80 hours.

9.   Cochrane, A. L. Metschnikoff's Theory of the Death Instinct. A paper bringing out certain parallels between Metschnikoff's and Freud's formulations of a Death Instinct. A sketch is given of Metschnikoff's life. He early came under the influence of the Darwinian ideas, and his discovery of phagocytosis brought him into prominence. His later work at the Pasteur Institute is sketched, and the paper then turns to his later speculations on life and death and the sexual functions. These latter were the subjects of his later works, one of which was unfinished at the time of his death. The fear of death, he maintained, gave rise to the greatest disharmonies in life. This fear, so universal, he called an ‘instinct.’ Sleep and death were both autointoxications. Man could be immortal, like unicellular organisms, were it not for the ‘wish for death.’ Metschnikoff's standards, however, were physiological, Freud's psycholocical,

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otherwise the parallels are very close in the conclusions reached. The former knew nothing of the ‘unconscious.’ The similarities pointed out by the paper are: (1) In the idea of a ‘latent’ instinct controlling the length of human life; (2) in the conclusion drawn from natural death to a death instinct; (3) in the emphasis laid on the contract between the two chief instincts—‘de la vie’ and ‘de la mort,’ Eros and Thanatos; (4) in the use of biological evidence to elucidate psychological problems; and (5) in the idea of a latent instinct which can be brought to the surface and of psychical disharmony in general which could be solved by the application of the results of scientific study.

10.  Oberndorf, C. P. Depersonalization and Erotization of Thought. An intriguing study proceeding from the postulate that libido may be displaced not only to bodily organs but may also invest psychic function. This may turn the process of thinking into a pleasurable goal which eventually results in the erotization of thinking activity. In the erotization of thought, as when nonsexual organs were overinvested with libido, interference with normal function occurs. This is seen in general or particularized inhibitions in thinking. This erotization of thought Oberndorf has observed as a frequent precursor in a group of states known as depersonalization. Mixed masculine and feminine mental tendencies persist when the feelings of unreality begin and these have definite etiological significance. The thinking often followed the thought pattern of the parent of the opposite sex. In families where scholarship is held in high esteem and where prudishness is the approved attitude, children displace and/or sublimate their sexual interests in mental endeavor. By erotization of thought the author does not mean having erotic thoughts by any means. He cites parallel studies and utilizes case histories showing how erotization of thought works out disadvantageously, especially in the clinical form of depersonalization. One case history is reported in extenso where the ‘separation of the mind’ was of a form intermediary between depersonalization and dual personality. This lengthy case history defies compression. It is of a young well educated woman, in whom the thinking (educated, intellectual) parent is of the opposite sex to the patient. The rebuffing parent is the mother. The child's indulgence in thought as a solace and the subsequent erotization of thought is made easier through the identification with the opposite parent. Thus the frustrating parent assumes the major role as the model of super-ego formation in the child. Where the erotized pattern does not harmonize with the sex of the individual a clash between the homo-and hetero-sexual types of thinking ideal occurs. Topographically, this can occur at the super-ego level, because the super-ego has absorbed so much of the intellectual functions of the mind. This does not, however, preclude that in other cases the location of the conflict may not be at an ego level, where the super-ego is drawn in secondarily to reinforce one

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or the other parent identification. It follows that the mind outside, the depersonalized side, represents the alien intolerable portion of the erotized super-ego. In conclusion, Oberndorf states, that the sequence of libido deprivation, thought-erotization in association with identification with the parent of the frustrating sex and a clash of thought-erotization, due to identification, of homosexual strivings, with general heterosexual strivings, especially mental but also physical, seem to be essential features of depersonalization tendency.

11.  Shorter Communications. Abstracts. Book Reviews. Bulletin.

(Vol. XV, Part 4)

1.   Róheim, Géza. Evolution of Culture. A lengthy and highly informing and valuable paper in which anthropology and psychoanalysis are called upon to determine what is civilization and culture. Adopting a dynamic outlook and dropping pure description the process of civilization is identical with the extension and intensification of the scope of the super-ego. Important ego modifications are not the direct result of adaptation to environment but of the pressure of the super-ego on the ego. The prolongation of infancy proceeds pari-passu with cultural progress. The repression and sublimation of the primal scene is at the bottom of totemistic ritual and religion. The various ‘systems’ in which human culture develops may be viewed as a series of attempts to deal with infantile anxieties. It is through a series of complicated mechanisms of dealing with anxiety that our cilivization has developed and is still developing.

This is not an abstract of this scholarly paper. It is but a rapid snatching of a few sentences here and there.

2.   Laforgue, R. End Resistances. A very useful paper dealing with certain aspects of resistance during and at the conclusion of an analysis. It is founded on certain dream analyses too detailed for abstracting. In general he shows how the resistance varies in accordance with the psychic structure of his disease. Inasmuch as analysis hopes to liberate repressed material to allow it to develop to adult form,

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obstacles therefore must be removed. These obstacles are usually the work of the super-ego and ego.

Analysis takes away a defensive armor. It should not be taken away too fast nor must the demands be too great. The neurosis is an asset for the patient. The various issues are illustrated by the dream material mentioned.

3.   Sheehan-Dare, H. Child Contacts. The analyst knows what the child wants unconsciously (or should know) and though the child's desires are not gratified, he soon realizes that some one understands. As the child plays out his phantasies the understanding of their meaning enhances contact possibility. Certain features are taken up. First, mother apprehension over the first interview. A case history of a three year old child who did not talk is first presented. His parents thought he did not know words. He understood them very well but he could not make contacts because they were, to him, so dangerous. His projected massive destructive wishes made him dumb.

4.   Bendek, T. Deutero-Phallic Phase. Jones, in his paper on the Phallic Phase (see Abst., PSA. REV., Suppl.), distinguishes as the deuterophallis phase the highly exaggerated and narcissistically cathected phallic phase of which a particularly strong motive is the warding off of the female genitals. This is a neurotic compromise. If persisting in later sexual developments it amounts of perversion and frequently in homosexuality. A case is discussed illustrating the thesis. Three types of manifest homosexuality are current in psychoanalytic literature. In one there is a mother identification with its narcissistic cathexis, causing him to seek for love objects resembling himself. He desires to love them as he would have wished to be loved by the mother. In the second there is also mother identification but from greater passivity and anal fixation the subject aims at passive surrender to his father. A third form is colored by masculine identifications. The case detailed belonged in this last group. He was a twenty-eight year old man who came suffering from severe paranoid anxiety and phobia lest a man whom he had met might know that he was homosexual. The history is too detailed for abstracting. He sought to be more and more masculine, following a disappointment at eighteen when his overtures to a boy were turned down for another boy. In his affairs he was interested only in the man's penis. The approach was in the nature of a trial of strength. Once enjoyed he sought another. A phimosis operation at three served as a castration trauma, and determined the fixation. The conclusions of this paper are that this case confirms Jones’ hypothesis that a homosexual perversion may result from fixation at the narcissistic phallic stage. The fixation seemed to depend upon the following determining factors: (1) the particular phase of libidinal development reached when the castration-trauma occurs; (2) the intensity of the trauma; (3) whether

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or not it inhibits the further development of penile sexuality. If it does so, it hinders also the further development of the super-ego and prevents it from reaching its final form. If these inhibitions produce a super-ego whose nucleus is the mother the subject's capacity for heterosexual love will be restricted, and the narcissistic phallic phase will persist. When this perversion occurs, the subject's aggression is utilized within the ego as follows: the oral and anal aggressive impulses, liberated through regression, are diverted from their original aims, and, so to speak, sublimated, i.e., they are employed in the ego in such a way that a continuous anticathexis can be produced. The result is an ego which can combat its own femininity by maintaining a narcissistic phallic phase; i.e., by adopting a pseudo-masculinity.

5.   Shorter Communications: Love Object in Mania. H. W. Eddison gives a short note on this. In mania the patient externalizes the love object and accuses those in charge of him of lack of attentiveness. Owing to the imperfect capacity for transference through hatred the manic makes the general public his mother, hence his irresponsible social outlook.

6.   Abstracts. Book Reviews. Bulletin. (Jelliffe)

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Article Citation

(1939). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(1):69-82

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