Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To sort articles by author…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

While performing a search, you can sort the articles by Author in the Search section. This will rearrange the results of your search alphabetically according to the author’s surname. This feature is useful to quickly locate the work of a specific author.

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

Willard, C. (1939). Imago. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(2):252-270.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Imago

(1939). Psychoanalytic Review, 26(2):252-270


Clara WillardAuthor Information

(Vol. 20, No. 1)

1.   Jekels, Ludwig, and Bergler, Edmund. Transference and Love.

2.   Bernfeld, Siegfried. The Gestalt Theory.

3.   Sachs, Hanns. The Delay of the Machine Age.

4.   Grant Duff, J. F. Snow White. A Psychoanalytic Interpretation.

5.   Wolff, Werner. A Research Report. Foundation of an Experimental Psychology of the Unconscious.

1.   Jekels And Bergler. Transference and Love. The writers explain love as the ego-ideal projected on an object and then reintrojected, being in the process liberated from the “demon” which represents the feeling of guilt. The result is the triumph of Eros over Thanatos. From the fact that the object has attracted the exuberant energy of the ego-ideal arises that characteristic of love to overstep all reason and logical thought and that overvaluation of the love object which borders on madness. At the foundation of object love is the desire of the personal ego to be loved; the avid ego finds the object worthy to be a substitute for its own ego-ideal—the most precious of all things. This conception implies that love represents an effort to reëstablish narcissistic unity and completeness of the personality (in early years appearing as feeling of omnipotence), which the ego felt was threatened by the feeling of guilt, the “demon.” That love results from the feeling of guilt is attested by the manner in which the transference takes place under the pressure of guilt, without preference of any special object, irrespective of the age, the sex, or the personal qualities of the object (the analyst), and many times suddenly and impetuously. The neurotic is disarmed and conquered from the start and has yielded completely to the disrupting “demon”; the object is not only an object of love, but also, and perhaps to a greater degree, an object of fear. In love, on the other hand, there is arduous wooing and striving by every possible means to preserve the ego-ideal and the integrity of the personality. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment,” Epistles 1, John 4:18. To render clear this concept of love as a striving for completeness, the writers trace the developmental stages of the personality—feeling of omnipotence, separation of ego and objective world, projection of ego-ideal, final sexual union. In explaining what they call the “autarchic fiction,” they say that both tender and sensual love are in essence the same, both being attempts to assure negation of the feeling of incompleteness, efforts in the direction of narcissistic restitution under the pressure of the repetition compulsion. In the transference situation where both parts of the superego, ego-ideal and “demon” in combination are projected,

- 252 -

anxiety results. In the positive transference the patient desires to be loved as the analyst's ego-ideal. In the negative, the hate and aggression which had formerly been released at the stage of the formation of the superego, reassert themselves and complicate the situation by leading to the problem of ambivalence. In both the negative and positive transference the narcissistic elements are dominant, just as in love. The difference between love and transference lies in the degree of participation of the superego. Though the differentiation of the narcissistic investment and the investment of the object may have heuristic value, the assumption that they are fundamental opposites does not seem justified, the object investment being rather an indicator of the condition of the narcissistic libido. It may be possible, the writers add, that the original “autarchic fiction” is responsible for the other fictions which permeate the life of man, and without which that life would scarcely be possible.

2.   Bernfeld, S. The Gestalt Theory. Bernfeld reviews the steps by which psychology arrived at the concept of Gestalt. It was found that associative psychology; i.e., of a whole built up of elements, was radically inadequate to explain what takes place. It was not sufficient to add the Gestalt, or form, to an inventory of sensations, concepts, emotions and will, but, as our psychic life was made up of forms, only a separate science founded on the laws of forms could do justice to psychic phenomena. The Gestalt was considered as the original phenomenon and the elements were explained by means of the Gestalt. The advances in the field of the Gestalt psychology, Bernfeld finds, have been made in four stages: 1. Realization that there are experiences which are inexplicable as composed of parts, for example perception of motion, and that here Gestalt is primary. 2. Realization that if there is such a phenomenon as Gestalt, it is superfluous to reconcile the old additive hypothesis with this fact. 3. Proof by experimental application of criteria that there are formations of Gestalt character which cannot be directly experienced as Gestalten—instincts, performances, affects, character, psychoses, development, the relations between individual and environment but which nevertheless conform to the criteria of Gestalt. 4. The fourth step is in the direction of applying the Gestalt concept to biology and physics. It may be seen that this concept is one of great importance for psychoanalysis. Even if it were limited to perception and performance (motor), it would be of great significance, but thanks to various writers, notably Wertheimer, its applicability to a much more extensive field has been demonstrated. Work of individual psychologists, as Hoppe, Koffka, Lewin, and others is described and forty-three references are given showing specific researches. Kohler, starting from the proved fact of forms or patterns in physics, attempts to bridge the gap between physics and biology by reflections

- 253 -

showing that the specific “purposeful” trends and those directed by instinct in the organism follow a course corresponding to that of the second law of thermo-dynamics, the so-called law of entropy. Such events follow the Gestalt criteria, whether in the systems of physics or in living beings. Scherer has noted that the terminology used in the Gestalt theory sounds not unlike a translation of psychoanalytic terminology. In solving problems of the psychoses the Gestalt psychology fails because it leaves out of consideration peculiarities of individual patterns. Solution of psychological problems in full are not possible without use of the genetic method inclusive of interpretation and judgments of indications. As yet the Gestalt theory has made little progress in the direction of advance from the qualitative to quantitative and physiological explanation of psychological processes. Every psychology which does not embrace the problems which psychoanalysis has made peculiarly its own must remain imperfect in comparison with psychoanalysis.

3.   Sachs, H. The Delay of the Machine Age. Sachs studies the psychological conditions which, notwithstanding a high degree of mathematical and technical knowledge, so long postponed the adoption of machines as aids to man in the accomplishment of work. At the foundation of this enigmatic delay in inventing or earnestly using machines for lightening the labor of man, he finds a narcissistic conflict. He turns to the knowledge gained from psychopathology for the explanation of this conflict. It is an overpowering narcissistic conflict which causes schizophrenics to invent the contrivances which trouble them, including those in hallucinations. The “influencing apparatus” is the patient's own body projected into the outer world. Sachs refers to Tausk's study on the “Origin of the apparatus in schizophrenia” (See Psychoanal. Rev., Vol. XI, page 191). As protection against the psychic tension caused by the narcissistic conflict the schizophrenic projects the unendurable elements, in the form of a machine. The ancients, in whom the narcissistic conflict was not so strong as in schizophrenics, set up a defense of. a different sort and avoided as “uncanny” any machine which imitated human behavior, and in preference to machines made use of slaves who were still men and not wierd automatons. This preference for slaves was in keeping with the adoration for the human body, which was a particular characteristic of the ancient Greeks. In the ancients the projection of the narcissism follows the same mechanism as that which leads schizophrenics to the construction of the “influencing apparatus,” but the results are contrasted as are the positive and negative poles. Animistic man fills lifeless objects with his excess narcissism; the schizophrenic changes his own body into a foreign and inanimate one, first by depersonalizing his own body and then, with further regression, by projecting it as the “influencing

- 254 -

machine.” For the ancients man was the central point of everything and all nature revolved about him, just as in the Ptolemaic system the earth was the center of the universe. In the next chapter of history every sort of narcissism was repressed and outrooted. The teaching now was that the body was sinful and shameful, and ascetic anchorites, martyrs and monks preached renunciation of the demands of the body and its humiliation. With the reformation the authority of the church was restricted and the laity reclaimed the power which had been ceded to the deity. The demands for the necessities of life and the comforts of the body and the wish for narcissistic satisfaction through the sense of a conquest of nature turned man in the direction of machines, which now had lost much of their “uncanniness.”

4.   Grant Duff, J. F. Snow White. Grant Duff notes that the wishes of the human heart which find expression in folk tales are of two sorts: those which may be freely expressed, as in the “happy ending,” where, after the conquest of the enemy, the hero marries the heroine; and repressed wishes which can be indicated only symbolically. Wishes of both sorts are met with in the tale of Snow White. Snow White is a king's daughter and belongs to a rich and important family. This wish appears without disguise. With the next wish it is otherwise. It is pleasant to live and to do so it is necessary to be born, but it is not pleasant that the father should love the mother and should create children with her. This wish that the father should not unite with the mother is hidden under symbolic disguises. The negative attitude toward the mother and the death wish is suggested by the early death of the mother. The stepmother is beautiful and expresses her narcissism in the symbol of the mirror. The hunter's conduct is a disguise of the fear of being eaten by the parents. The life of Snow White with the dwarfs indicates puberty rites studied by Winterstein (Imago, Vol. 14). One determinant for the dwarfs may be discovered in the nursery; they represent the small brothers and sisters. Assuming that the sojourn in the cave indicates the “exile of the maiden” at puberty, the events of the tale in the various versions may be regarded as symbols indicating clitoris, womb, vagina, masturbation phantasies, aggression against the mother and other incidents of the Œdipus situation. The color white as symbol of death occurs. The ending of the tale reflects a primitive usage. In many primitive peoples there is a custom requiring the parents to perform the sexual act after the daughter's first menstruation. In the tale the Queen puts her feet into red-hot shoes and dances until she expires—a cruel talion which the daughter's jealousy imposes.

5.   Wolff, W. A Research Report. As foundation of an experimental psychology of the unconscious, Wolff suggests a detailed program of procedures, including interrogations and interpretations, for the purpose

- 255 -

pose of revealing character and for furnishing proof of manifestations of the unconscious. Illustrations of experimental application of depth psychology are given. The paper is a preliminary report of a forthcoming book on “Foundation of an Experimental Depth-Psychology.”

(Vol. 20, No. 2)

1.   Burlingham, Dorothy Tiffany. The Urge to Confide and the Compulsion to Confess.

2.   Winterstein, Alfred. The Affect of Anger.

3.   Landmark, Johannes. The Concept of the Instincts.

4.   Kielholz, Arthur. Riddle and Miracle of Cure.

5.   Mette, Alexander. Psychology of the Dionysian Spirit.

6.   Schilder, Paul. Psychology of Everyday Telepathic Experiences.

7.   Bernfeld, Siegfried, and Feitelberg, Sergei. Report on Some Contributions to Psychophysiology.

8.   Fenichel, Otto. Analysis of a Change of Name After Twenty Years.

9.   Velikovsky, Immanuel. Can a Newly Acquired Language Become the Language of the Unconscious?

10.  Storfer, A. J. Psychoanalysis as Treated in Compilations and Encyclopaedias.

1.   Burlingham, D. T. The Urge to Confide and the Compulsion to Confess. Burlingham notes that confidences of children are of three sorts: 1. The communications of needs. 2. The voluntary confession of forbidden wishes or acts in order to obtain pardon and the continued love of the parents. 3. The confession of forbidden wishes (usually of sexual content and in disguised form) under the pressure of the feeling of guilt for the purpose of being punished and thus alleviating the guilty feeling. Illustrative examples of all three sorts are given from child life. The confidences of the child are made only to the immediate family. At puberty this urge extends to persons of the outer world. Adolescents take their interests very seriously and they seek sympathetic companions with whom they may discuss and analyze their experiences. The conversation, however, may suddenly take a different turn. Instead of philosophizing, there is nonsense, silly badinage, giggling. This behavior is a disguise for sexual wishes—a form of exhibitionism. The aim of the exhibitionist is to show the body, the genitals. The exhibitionist has need of a partner who is willing to enjoy the exposed parts with him and perhaps submit to seduction: for the purpose of the exhibition is seduction. Though bent on seducing his companion, the exhibitionist confesses his guilt by the fact that he disguises his real objective under persiflage. In the neuroses the same mechanism appears

- 256 -

in exaggerated form. In adults, as in children, uncalled-for avowals, as it were compulsive confessions, are due to a feeling of guilt and accompanying need of punishment. In the first stages of the psychoanalytic treatment, before the patients are aware of the ability of the analyst to penetrate to the real feeling which impels confessions, the most valuable confidences and confessions are obtained. At this stage exhibitionism is consciously or unconsciously used to seduce the analyst. Subsequent repression of material is due to the fact that the patients feel that their exhibitionistic advances are not sympathetically received. Burlingham finds that the simple urge to communicate is a positive craving, serving to attract, win and seduce the partner, that is to say it is in the service of the pleasure principle in the form of positive gain. The compulsion to confess, on the other hand, originates under the pressure of the feeling of guilt; its purpose is to relieve conscience and obtain the masochistic pleasure of being punished.

2.   Winterstein, A. The Affect of Anger. Winterstein explains the relation between anxiety, hate and anger, finding orientation in Freud's exposition: “We are tempted to assume the existence of a historical factor which unites the sensation with the innervations. In other words the state of fear is the reproduction of an experience which contains the conditions of an increase of irritation and leads off along certain paths whereby the pain of fear receives its specific character. As such a visualized experience birth in mankind presents itself and therefore we are inclined to see in a fear state a reproduction of the birth trauma. At the same time we have not maintained that fear is an exception in this respect as compared with other affective states. We believe that other affects are also reproductions of old experiences which are important to life and perhaps preindividual and we adduce them as general, typical, congenital hysterical attacks in comparison with late and individually acquired attacks of hysterical neurosis. Naturally it would be very desirable to be able to carry this notion out for a series of other affects in a demonstrable fashion, but at present we are far removed from this prospect.” Thus it may be seen, Winterstein says, that differences in the psychic experiences of affects do not imply that the original genetic conditions are different. Bodily expressions accompanying affects indicate a common derivation from the bodily expressions accompanying birth, particularly the behavior of the breathing apparatus and the circulation of the blood. In this behavior may be traced phylogenetic reactions to the approach of danger, which, in fear, takes the form of flight, and, in anger, of devouring and annihilation. In support of this view is Darwin's description of the expressions of hate and anger, by drawing back the lips and baring the teeth. According to Freud's new theory of anxiety the automatic id-anxiety recedes into the background in comparison with the ego-anxiety, and the fact

- 257 -

that the anxiety signal is formed in the ego gives rise to inquiry as to the nature of the danger feared. It becomes apparent that this signal is in response to the threat of punishment by the superego. With the gradual differentiation of the psychic apparatus a distribution of the affects took place, though the ego and superego continued to draw the energy necessary to produce anxiety from the reservoir of the id (Eros and destructive instincts). There are two sorts of anger, that belonging to the superego, most forcibly illustrated in “righteous indignation” (the parental attitude, originally introjected and then projected), and the anger belonging to the ego, directed immediately against the outer world (in last analysis against the parents—often in a permanent attitude of hate). Although anxiety in its relation to the neuroses constitutes a much more complex problem than the normal manifestation of affects, yet anger is worthy of study in view of the increasing importance accorded to the destructive tendencies.

3.   Landmark, J. The Concept of Instincts. Landmark believes that the same principle is at the foundation of both hunger and the sexual instinct. The individual acts at every instant in accordance with the “prevalence of the momentary interest.” This prevalence is determined by two fundamentally different series of factors, by the condition of the organism at the time and by the totality of peripheral stimuli. Bleuler speaks of “receptive dispositions for life stimuli” and emphasizes that they are dependent in part on the chemical conditions of the body: “Hormones obviously participate essentially in the dispositions to receive or to reject.” The peripheral stimuli to a certain degree influence the humoral chemism, so that there is a complicated mutual play of the two factors (compare the dual component principle of the theory of hunger). No stimulus works singly and isolatedly, but there are always sensory factors, which are members of the total experience. Landmark finds decisive for an instinct of “drive” that condition of the organism which “drives” the individual to react in a characteristic manner to the various peripheral stimuli. There is much evidence that the substratum of these instinctive conditions may be found in the behavior of the chemistry of the tissues.

4.   Kielholz, A. The Riddle and Miracle of Cure. Hans Zullinger's paper on “Teufelsdreck—drugs,” in which he treated of oral pharmacological therapy suggested to Kielholz a study of the psychic foundation of healing baths and water cures. In the writings of the ancients numerous mention of the curative properties of baths, wells, and springs is found. Recently interpreted tablets from Epidaurus give descriptions of miraculous cures by Aesculapius and Hygieia. Relief for all sorts of distress are recounted, from cure of paralysis to recovery of lost objects. There were no physicians at Epidaurus, as at Kos and Pergamon

- 258 -

No hypnotism and no somnambulism was used, but there were professional interpreters of dreams, called Symboloi who analyzed the dreams of the sufferers experienced during the time they slept in the temple, and determined the treatment, which consisted in hydrotherapy, exercise, cupping, blood-letting and enemas. The dwellers in these health resorts were chthonic deities (demigods or demons). Through the serpent, sacred to them these demigods showed the way to the healing water. In early Christendom extensive circles, demanding the mortification of the flesh, required complete renunciation of bathing. Turtullian exclaims ironically “Is it proper that one should repent in scarlet and purple. If so then come on with combs to part the hair, with tooth-powder, with scissors of iron and bronze to cut the nails and powder and rouge to paint the lips and cheeks—and go seek delightful baths in parks or by the sea.” Bathing was specifically prohibited to Oriental anchorites. A way to escape these prohibitions was found, however. Baths were connected with events of Christ's life or with the lives of martyred saints and divine powers and virtues were ascribed to them, of which visions and apparitions were offered as evidence. This is in line with the observations of C. G. Jung in central African races, where hallucinations are still a normal function; i.e., that the hallucinations of the patient, which concerned only his personal fate, differ from those of the medicine man or seer, which concern the destiny of the tribe. Among modern cultural races there are still miracle workers and miraculous wells and baths, which differ from earlier ones only in that their influence has increased with increased facilities of communication and transportation. From the most ancient times until comparatively recently disease was universally regarded as a punishment imposed for sin by the angry deity. The psychological attitude is the sinner has isolated himself from the community and instead of following the superego as representative of the deified parents he has placed himself under the domination of the demons or chthonous gods representing the animal instincts. In order to be healed, to placate the angry supernal powers, he must find his way back to the community. For this he needs someone who will intercede for him; someone, who, like him, has been under the anger of the gods, but has succeeded in obtaining forgiveness and pardon, as did Aesculapius, Mythras, Sebastian, the crippled medicine man of the Navahos, the asthmatic Bernadette, the blind and lame Therese Neumann. The histories connected with all these wells, springs and baths reveal the same hidden wishes and incentives. At the foundation of these incentives is the hate and aggression against the parent of the same sex connected with the incest wish and accompanied with guilt and anxiety. Objections to this explanation of miraculous cures where organic diseases are involved may be answered by reference to the fact that as yet the boundaries between soul and body have by no means been definitely determined.

- 259 -

5.   Mette, A. The Dionysian Psychology. Supplementing his article on Nietzsche's “Birth of tragedy in the light of psychoanalysis” (Imago, 18, 1932), in which Apollonian and Dionysian artistic creations are analyzed, Mette gives fuller exposition of the Dionysian spirit. Abandoning ideals belonging to the ego and the individual, forgetting the everyday world, and uniting with the formless All, Dionysian poets plunge into the boundless emotional chaos of love and hate and give expression to wild songs of drunken passion. Not only the choice of material but also the form is determined through this inner source. The task which the Dionysian artist sets for himself is not to paint in words complete pictures of the phenomenal world, but to give lyrical expression to the manifold of his inner experiences, or, in Mette's words to eject them. Therefore he is catexochen the stylist and the seeker for the mot propre. He probably understands the essential nature of speech better than any other civilized human being and is the antipode of the artist who creates a world of plastic forms. The poets Liebmann and Walt Whitman are cited as representatives of the Dionysian art. Mette emphasizes the relation of the lyrical poetry to oral erotism and to oral fixation and refers in this connection to Brill's study “Poetry as an Oral Outlet” (see Psychoanal. Rev., Vol. 18, page 357, 1931).

6.   Schilder, P. Psychology of Everyday Telepathic Experiences. Schilder comments on Hóllos’ article on telepathy (Imago, Vol. 19, 1933). To explain occurrences of this sort he recalls the facts that there are typical symbols with which every analyst is acquainted: that the language of the unconscious is common to all mankind: that the deeper one descends into the symbolic sphere, the more similarity is there between the thoughts of different persons: that the possibility of independent thought in any given cultural circle is very limited: that there is little originality in human nature; that in general analyst and patient belong to the same social level. Taking these circumstances into consideration he believes that the examples of telepathy given by Hóllos as well as those given by Freud can be explained without assuming a transference of thought without the aid of the senses.

7.   Bernfeld And Feitelb Report on Some Contributions to Psychophysiology. Bernfeld and Feitelberg seek to meet the objections raised by Bálint and Czillag, Kapp, and Penrose to their article on the measurability of the libido (Imago, Vol. 16, 1930), and further develop their idea of the relation of the Freudian concepts and the Weber-Fechner law.

8.   Fenichel, O. Analysis of a Change of Name After Twenty Years. Finding in a patient inclination to believe in an early sexual approach by the mother and also a tendency to forget, distort and

- 260 -

condense the name Potiphar (Potiphar's wife) twenty years after he first became acquainted with the story of Joseph, Fenichel sees in this case corroboration of Freud's view that the phantasy of being seduced by adults is one of the “original phantasies.”

9.   Velikovsky, I. Can a Newly Acquired Language Become the Language of the Unconscious? Velikovsky cites instances to show that for a part of the Jewish population who have settled in Palestine the Hebrew language has become the language of the unconscious. This discovery is of general interest as it contributes to the solution of the problem whether a language acquired in youth may be chosen by the unconscious.

10.  Storfer, A. Psychoanalysis as Treated in Compilations and Encyclopaedias. In a collective review Storfer gives examples of the definitions of psychoanalysis found in various recent books of reference, which show wide diversity of understanding of the concepts.

(Vol. 20, No. 3)

1.   Nunberg, Hermann. The Feeling of Guilt.

2.   Fenichel, Otto. The Psychology of Ennui.

3.   De Saussure, Raymond. On Genetic Psychology and Psychoanalysis.

4.   Wittles, Fritz. Mona Liza and Feminine Beauty.

5.   Bergler, Edmund. On the Problem of the “Oral” Pessimist as Demonstrated by Christian Dietrich Grabbe.

1.   Nunberg, H. The Feeling of Guilt. Nunberg, with Freud, discriminates between two kinds of feeling of guilt. One makes itself known as social fear, fear of outer authority; the other is a fear of inner authority. The feeling of guilt originating in fear of outer authority coincides with the fear of the loss of love. The fear of inner authority coincides with the fear of the superego. As the feeling of guilt is a reaction to a crime committed psychically or actually, the first group can represent only an effort to undo this crime, to bring about a reconciliation with the outer world; the second one, an attempt to punish one's self, hence to suffer. There may seem, then, to be a contradiction between the qualms of conscience and the desire for punishment, but they spring from a common root and originate simultaneously; they differ only in their phenomenal form. In the feeling of guilt, the libidinal side is prevalent; in the need for punishment, the destructive one. In this connection Freud's observation must be remembered, that, in warding off an instinct, the tendency arises to break the instinctual life into its components, into the libidinal and destructive ones. But as the ego does not tolerate contrasts and as it always retains the striving for synthesis, it tries

- 261 -

to unite the instincts in a compromise of guilt and punishment. Whether the feeling of guilt or the need for punishment should prevail in a given case apparently depends on the instinctual constitution, on the degree of instinct fusion or defusion. Libido is a derivative of Eros; aggression, a derivative of the death instinct. Eros unites men, aggression drives them apart. Wherever two individuals meet, and wherever a group is formed, conflict and feelings of guilt must arise. Briefly the feeling of guilt and the need for punishment seem to be the end-products of the eternal struggle between the life and the death instincts. This struggle shows with what self-conquest and with what suffering humanity has gained mastery over its instincts. The development of community life seems to be a compensation for all these sacrifices.

2.   Fenichel, O. The Psychology of Ennui. Fenichel finds only one previous study of ennui from the viewpoint of psychoanalysis, that by Winterstein. From a descriptive point of view ennui may be characterized as the unpleasant experience of lack of impulse—a sort of hunger for stimuli. The tension is present, but the objective is absent. This state of tension may give rise to pictures which are quite different externally. There may, for instance, be motor unrest. The inner relationship of boredom and certain forms of restlessness, however, is unmistakable. In boredom energy is tonically bound, in restlessness clonically. The relation of monotony to boredom is discussed. When stimuli from the external world are reduced, the libido is usually withdrawn, but at times reduction of stimuli in the form of monotony may produce excitement, particularly of narcissistic coloring, as the ecstasy produced by the monotony of prayers or primitive dances. Often in the analysis it is discovered that monotonous experiences, particularly monotonous rhythmic sensations in the fields of equilibrium and vision remain as memory traces of infantile sexual excitement. Under some circumstances monotony causes intensely unpleasant feelings and there is an impulse to break the monotony at any cost. Such feeling is comparable to that which arises when sexual activity is suddenly interrupted. Here the monotonous stimuli have aroused tension without discharge. Excitement, anxiety and the discomfort of interrupted discharge are closely akin and may be interchangeable. In this form monotony may be looked upon as an intense excitement which has abated and as allied to depersonalization. Illustrative cases of pathological boredom are cited and the relationship with “normal” boredom is noted. In both something expected does not happen; in one case the expected goal is repressed because of anxiety; in the other the real situation prevents the expected emotional discharge. The relief of ennui found in eating, drinking and smoking betray oral components, and the fear of being alone indicates connection with the fear of masturbation. The German word for ennui “Langeweile” (slow passing

- 262 -

of time) reveals the relation of this experience to a disturbance of the feeling of time, a mechanism related to the sexualization of time as described by Harnik (see Psychoanal. Rev., Vol. 24, page 299), Fenichel refers to variants of boredom which are due to exhaustion of capacity to enjoy (with physiological implications) and to others which are due to overdetermination of the sense of duty, so that leisure is boring.

3.   De Saussure, R. On Genetic Psychology and Psychoanalysis. De Saussure compares the views of Freud and Piaget on child development. Piaget's studies have been discussed in two Special Reviews by Dr. W. A. White in Psychoanal. Rev., Vol. 16 (1929), page 312 and page 411. De Saussure says that, though the methods of Freud and Piaget differ it is of interest to note the similarities in the actual phenomena observed by the two writers. For obvious reasons it was impossible for Piaget to extend his inquiries to the facts of sexuality. However there is one field which Freud's and Piaget's investigations have in common, namely, that of the development of moral ideas in the child. The primary identification of psychoanalysis corresponds to what Piaget has called “inability to differentiate.” The child feels the significance of adults for his existence and because he feels part of them he makes no distinction between himself and the father (for example); he has no clear idea of any distinction between himself and the person he would like to be. The fulfilment of his wishes by the adult induces the child to remain at the stage of “incapacity to differentiate.” Corresponding to the secondary identification of psychoanalysis, the identification through fear, de Saussure finds Piaget's concept “moral realism,” based apparently on the conjunction of two causal series, of which one consists of the free thoughts of the child (infantile realism) and the other of the compulsions imposed by adults. This conjunction is in no wise accidental but is essentially characteristic of the principal psychological processes, in both intellectual and moral spheres. Piaget refers particularly to harmful results which may arise from compulsion, saying that compulsion has an effect entirely different from work in collaboration, reinforcing the egocentric tendencies in definite directions. Discussing the development of the superego in relation to Piaget's views, de Saussure notes that the superego of psychoanalysis represent the residuum of the realistic and egocentric thinking in Piaget's sense. A fact of importance for psychoanalysis is Piaget's discovery that the thought of the child undergoes an entire transformation at the seventh or eighth year of life in the form of diminution of egocentric thought as result of increased socialization of the child's thinking. The release from dependence on the parents and the renunciation of the egocentric position are the two main factors which determine the abandonment of animism and of the belief in the

- 263 -

artificial creation of all things. Piaget thus finds that advances in development depend on socialization of thought. Psychoanalysis attributes the development at this stage to the abandonment of fixations and the establishment of object relations, the superego the typical residuum of the fixation on authority being a hindrance and not a progressive factor. Piaget's idea of conflict, especially that caused by the birth of younger children in the family is also discussed. Piaget finds that if younger children are born after the child has reached the stage of recognition of equal rights for others, these conflicts do not arise. De Saussure believes that children's conflicts of this sort depend on many other contributory factors.

4.   Wittels, F. Mona Lisa and Feminine Beauty. Wittels studies the relation of bisexuality to certain types of feminine beauty. The painter of androgyny (bisexuality) is Leonardo da Vinci. Freud in his study of Leonardo traces the famous smile of Mona Lisa back to the master's memory of his mother's smile. Freud does not state explicitly that this smile is masculine. Nevertheless, utilizing the meagre biographical material on Leonardo, he shows that Leonardo, as is usually the case in earliest years, regarded his mother as a masculine creature; i.e., possessing a phallus. Hence we have reason to surmise that the smile which the world has dubbed “Leonardesque” is also related to the mother-phallus complex. As a rule, even a superficial analysis of women who are reputed to possess a Leonardesque smile reveals that the masculine component is an active element in their personality structure. Smiling stands in a definite relation to beauty; without her smile Mona Lisa could not be called beautiful. We would be much further advanced in our knowledge of the smiling woman if we could state with psychoanalytical precision what feminine beauty really is. Emile Zola, in his series of twenty novels, Les Rougon-Maquarts, has portrayed the history of a degenerate family. In this history appear drunkards, criminals, hysterics, obsessional people of all types, amongst them Nana, the poisonous beauty who corrupts and destroys everything noble and dignified in the land. It should not be difficult to insert pathological beauty into the group of diseases to which it belongs. If beauty is a symptom it is a conversion symptom and belongs to hysteria. The repressed desire: I want to please, I want to attract a man, to be satisfied by him, and all the conflicts between the ego and the id which arise out of the desire have been converted into organ language written upon the surface of the body. We know that castration plays a role here, that there is a struggle for the possession of the penis manifested in a thousand hysterical symptoms. The symptoms make it possible to dispense with the penis in that they allegorize it, or “taut-egorize” it, to use the words of Schelling. This reflection suggests the idea that there is a certain type of feminine

- 264 -

beauty which is masculine in origin. There are beautiful women who fulfill the promise of their beauty. Bisexual components, indeed, reside in all of us, and are found in harmonious union in the postulated normal persons. But harmonious beauty never possesses the overwhelming power of disintegrated beauty. Wittels describes the analyses of three beautiful women of this masculine type, who had succumbed to neuroses. Peggy, the first case, bore out his theory that feminine beauty, or at least split-off (pathological) beauty of riotous type is nourished by the masculine component of the woman. Flora, the second case, had sublimated her overdetermined masculine component with Lesbian tendencies, by narcissistic emphasis of her very feminine characteristics, finding by this means assurance of her attraction for the male, and compensatory “flight into heterosexuality.” Bella, the third case, originally not comely, had succeeded in rendering herself beautiful through a severe regimen. In this last example, of artificial beauty, aggression and penis-envy became metamorphosed into the will for beauty. Wittels comments that theoretically, that is in a vacuum, if beauty is traced back to its phallic (genital) origin, it should be possible to analytically dissolve it. Women who become neurotic by dint of the poison of their own beauty cannot possibly preserve this beauty from a certain amount of decomposition if they are to be cured. But, in reality, beauty is an almost “irreversible” symptom, because it is too valuable a good, and most women would undergo any pain rather than give it up.

5.   Bergler, E. On the Problem of the “Oral” Pessimist as Demonstrated by Grabbe. Bergler describes a pessimist as one who recognizes the sun by its shadow. The pessimism, he says, represents a narcissistic defense belonging to the ego; by taking precautions in thought, the pessimist protects himself from the danger of being duped. This convulsive defense against deception suggests that the infantile delusion of omnipotence of the pessimist must have suffered a severe blow in earliest life, that is to say that these persons have been crushed by the overthrow of the “autarchic fiction” (Jekels and Bergler, Imago, Vol. 20. No. 1). The infantile disillusion has taken entire possession of the pessimist to the exclusion of all other attitudes. An analysis of pessimistic literature including the works of Schopenhauer is given. Grabbes’ life history and personality traits are studied, particularly his alcoholism. The influence of his oral fixation and his regression to pregenital sexuality on his poetic creations is traced and numerous illustrative citations are given. In closing Bergler comments that the person who is able to work, to love, to form fictions is relatively free from neurosis and has overcome the Œdipus complex, at least in its main features. The oral pessimist has not accomplished this. Oral distrust, hate, envy, disturbances of digestion, complaining, putting others in the wrong, discontent, dominate his personality. The unconscious

- 265 -

technique of these persons consists in organizing with grandiose adroitness their self-imposed subjection and disillusionment, so that from unconscious need of punishment they no longer seek fulfillment of wishes but pursue only disappointment from which they derive masochistic pleasure and which constitutes their way of living out their pregenital wishes.

(Vol. 20, No. 4)

1.   Winterstein, Alfred. The Genuine and the Spurious in the Psyche.

2.   Jekels, Ludwig, and Bergler, Edmund. Intellectual Dualism in Dreams.

3.   Wittels, Fritz. The Psychological Content of Masculine and Feminine.

4.   Pfister, Oscar. The Care of the Soul in the New Testament and Psychoanalytic Therapy.

5.   Deutsch, Helene. Don Quixote and Quixotism.

6.   Kris, Ernst. The Psychology of Caricature.

1.   Winterstein, A. The Genuine and the Spurious in the Psyche.—In distinguishing genuine from spurious feeling Winterstein considers that genuine which is fully covered with narcissistic investment and is in harmony with all the actual and preconscious tendencies of the personality. In spurious affect and behavior there is not full contact with the ego, though not such complete deprivation of ego-feeling as in depersonalization. Genuine feeling, in contrast to spurious, breaks through from those deeper layers of the psyche which constitute the real background of the personality. In a wider meaning the concepts genuine and spurious, in the sense of intrinsic and assumed may be applied to cases where there is compensatory defense against a tendency through anticathexis, that is where a genuine feeling has been repressed into the unconscious and replaced by trend of opposite nature or by indifference. Phenomenologically such false attitudes are usually characterized by exaggeration and rigidity. Spurious feeling is not the same as hypocrisy. While in hypocrisy the purpose is to deceive or to hide some feeling, the deception may be undertaken from genuine motives. The spurious transference in the analysis is burdened with infantile love relations; it is really a fixation. The boundaries between the genuine and the spurious are fluctuating. In the majority the soul is never free from some admixture of spurious feeling. This is probably due to the facile interplay of the mechanism of identification. Increased narcissism and a weakly developed superego favor spurious feelings (as in hysteria). An active ego-ideal, on the other hand, soon detects a spurious feeling and secondary contradictions prevent its acceptation.

- 266 -

2.   Jekels and Bergler. Intellectual Dualism in Dreams.—The writers, Jekels and Bergler, defend the thesis of the dualism of instinct—Eros and the death instinct—by describing pertinent phenomena in dreams. They argue that sleep is not, as Reich assumes, simply a passive cessation of activity, and warn that fear of “over-biologizing” in psychoanalysis, which influences the opponents of the Thanatos theory should not lead to the other extreme of entirely rejecting the obvious facts of biology. The writers are inclined to see in death the ultimate expression of the reduction of functional level which is less completely manifested in sleep, and, with Schopenhauer, believe that every night we anticipate death. Physiological recovery takes place in the case of sleep because of the intermingling of libidinal drives; it is due to a persistence of Eros in the form of infantile sexual wishes in dreams, there being really no sleep without dreams, and one function of the dream is to protect life. The ego-ideal is desexualized Eros and represents an indifferent narcissistic energy which may come to the aid of either of the fundamental drives, Eros or Thanatos, and strengthen the total force of either. Thus the ego-ideal is a neutral zone between the two gigantic adversaries and its influence is not absent in sleep. If the Eros-Thanatos theory is accepted for dreams, it seems that in every dream, besides the wish-fulfilling tendencies, there is another group of tendencies which are connected with the superego. The writers find that a regular factor of every dream is a more or less successful defense against the reproaches of the daemon of the superego, which constitutes the Thanatos factor. Every dream then fulfills two functions (1) That of modifying the reproaches of the daemon, and (2) that of fulfilling repressed infantile wishes. The interplay of these functions is illustrated by examples of dreams.

3.   Wittels, F. The Psychological Content of Masculine and Feminine.—After examining concepts of bisexuality, Wittels ventures a definition of masculine and feminine at the level of the id, namely, as that which, with the addition of supplementary factors presses for realization as masculine or feminine. These supplementary factors are found in the outer world and belong to the object, but the inclination to accept them is previously present within, in the id. The proposed definition still leaves dark that which one would like greatly to know: what is it that longs, and toward what is the longing directed? But this question cannot be answered from the standpoint of the id because sexuality does not exist there in a separation which can be logically grasped. Theoretically, in an entirely narcissistic condition, the id is bisexually complete or completely bisexual, but this degree of narcissism is never attained in actuality, neither in stupor nor in the original narcissism of the nursling reaching out for the mother's breast and the oxygen of the air. In the situation of love, the bisexuality is distributed to two

- 267 -

individuals. The tension between the two components finds satisfaction within and without. Quantities of libido flow back and forth and in this process the libido gives rise to secondary narcissism and recognition of the difference between the sexes, because at this stage the ego, with the organs of sense and thought exerts its influence. This secondary narcissism clothes all endopsychic factors, even the non-sexual, with the qualities of masculine and feminine, and this opposition comes to pervade all intellectual activities in the form of polarity of concepts. With the development of the ego the factors of masculine and feminine are first accessible to psychoanalysis. It is artificial and futile to try to determine the content of masculinity and femininity by studying the earliest conditions, the swimming of the foetus in the liquor annii, the trauma of birth, sucking at the mother's breast, and infantile onanism. In order to grasp masculine and feminine as different, an ego must be present with the revelations connected with the Œdipus complex and castration anxiety.

4.   Pfister, O. The Care of the Soul in the New Testament and Psychoanalytic Therapy.—Pfister draws parallels between psychoanalytic therapy and Christian teachings. He elaborates the religious and the profane (pathogenic) conflict of guilt. Jesus did not aim to dull conscience but sought to turn all psychic energies in moral direction. Not sublimation, which, according to Freud, implies desexualization, but complete morality including ethical sexuality, was his aim. This presupposes a radical abandonment of all previous sinful activity and a turning of energy in the direction of love. Notwithstanding essential differences between salvation in the sense of the New Testament and psychoanalytic therapy both strive to save through truth and restored love, so that they do not stand in opposition as certain persons assume, but should be regarded as allies.

5.   Deutsch, H. Don Quixote and Quixotism.—Deutsch analyzes the appeal which the romance of Don Quixote makes to different classes of readers. The “Donquixotesques” see in Don Quixote the wondrous prototype of a hero striving for the fulfillment of an ideal. They attribute to him striving for the greatness of truth which is so sadly lacking from the crude world of reality. This reality under which they themselves suffer seems to them shadow-like and grey, in comparison with the ego-ideal which they harbor within. For them that which is ludricrous and in the nature of caricature in Don Quixote does not reside in him but in the crude world of reality which is incapable of seeing higher things, idealities, except in the form of windmills, illusions and fantasms. The demand which these idealists make upon reality—that it shall adjust itself to their narcissistic ego-ideal—this is the eternal quixotism of the human spirit. For those adjusted to reality, however,

- 268 -

who accept rather than deny their instincts, the pleasure derived from the aesthetic enjoyment of this epos lies in an altogether different direction. For them Don Quixote is an anachronistic caricature of the father, the father of the child's non-sexual period, who asserting his own instincts, enforces asceticism on the child. Every disillusionment with, and depreciation of, the father flows into the great stream of castration wishes directed against him. And so it is not surprising that even the outward semblance of Don Quixote would be like a symbol in a dream in which the lean and lanky figure represents the castrated phallus. But the father has always at his side the mother, the mother ever receptive of the child's ideals and accepting them uncritically, still, thanks to her maternal instinct, never loses sight of crude, practical reality. The strongly emphasized oral character of Sancho Panza, the fat, greedy nurturing principle in the epos, the faithful fellow who in touchingly maternal manner takes care of Don Quixote's excretory functions seems to Deutsch to be a tenderly humorous ridiculing of the mother. For the “Donquixotesques” Don Quixote pictures an ideal struggle against a world consisting of windmills. For the realist, the romance is a depreciatory triumph of caricature, and for both it is a bit of pleasurable mastery of the infantile past. It is this that is the immortality of Don Quixote.

6.   Kris, E. The Psychology of Caricature.—From sociological data, history of caricature and clinical material, Kris reaches some conclusions of general significance for the psychoanalytic theory of the comic. The aggressive nature of caricature is mentioned in the earliest definitions. Caricature serves the purpose of unmasking another person, and belongs to the technique of degradation. The difference between dreams and caricature is that in dreams the ego abandons its supremacy and the more primary processes obtain control, whereas in wit and in caricature these primary processes remain in the service of the ego. This contrast between an ego overwhelmed by regression and a “regression in the service of the ego” covers a vast and imposing range of mental experiences. Situations where the ego enrolls the primary processes in its service and makes use of them for its purposes are not confined to the sphere of wit and caricature, but extends to the vast domain of art and of symbol-formation, preconscious or unconscious, which, beginning with cult and ritual, permeates the whole of human life. The comic originates in the conflict between instinctual trends and the superego's repudiation of them. Its next relation in the household of man's mind is play. The play of adults, like their comic invention, may be partially understood in terms of a “holiday from the superego.” The ego, acting in the service of the pleasure principle seeks to elude the prohibitions of the superego and obtain satisfaction of forbidden affect, of libidinal and aggressive tendencies. The instinctual trends of the id are given their

- 269 -

way, but are not gratified in their true and original form. Instead of a direct action, we have a reproduction, the half measures characteristic of the comic. The claims of the instinctual life are satisfied by the content, the objections of the superego, by the manner of its disguise. The double-edged character of comic phenomena is seen to be a quality conditioned by the conflict in which they originate, for in its tendentious form at least, the comic has its roots in the ambivalence-conflict of adults and may be regarded as a means of mastering simultaneously feelings of admiration and aversion, and by converting “unpleasure” into pleasure, of lessening tension in the psychic apparatus. Mania is the great pathological parallel of the comic. We know that it is distinguished by the triumph of the ego, in whose favor the superego renounces its power and realizes on an enlarged scale what the comic attempts in a small way, namely, the equalization of tensions which constitute a menace. Ecstasy is at the opposite pole to mania; it is a condition distinguished by the triumph of the superego. If mania is to be regarded as the pathological correlate of the comic, we must look to the sublime for the experience which, in normal life, corresponds to ecstasy. The contrast between the comic and the sublime is an old “topos” of aesthetics and by giving them positions at the opposite poles of the mental economy it may be possible to solve an old problem by a new approach.

- 270 -

Article Citation

Willard, C. (1939). Imago. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(2):252-270

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.