Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To quickly return from a journal’s Table of Contents to the Table of Volumes…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

You can return with one click from a journal’s Table of Contents (TOC) to the Table of Volumes simply by clicking on “Volume n” at the top of the TOC (where n is the volume number).

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

Willard, C. (1939). Imago. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(3):399-415.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Imago

(1939). Psychoanalytic Review, 26(3):399-415



Clara WillardAuthor Information

(Vol. 21, No. 1)

1.   Alexander, Franz, and Healy, William D. A Victim of Criminal Morality and an Undetected Thief.

2.   Kubie, Lawrence S. The Relation Between the Conditioned Reflex and the Psychoanalytic Method.

3.   Schilder, Paul. Psychoanalysis and the Conditioned Reflex.

4.   Walder, Robert. Etiology and Course of Mass Psychoses.

5.   Sachs, Hans. Spitteler's Journey to the Earth.

6.   Sydow, Eckart V. Dreams and Visions of the North American Indian.

7.   Sterba, Richard. Remarks on Two Lines by Schiller.

1.   Alexander and Healy. A Victim of Criminal Morality and an Undetected Thief.—The writers describe the case of Sigrid Amenson, the first of two cases taken from their book, “Roots of Crime,” which has now appeared in English. A second case, of Richard Vorland, is described in the next following number of Imago.

2.   Kubie, L. S. The Relation Between the Conditioned Reflex and the Psychoanalytic Method.—This is a translation of one which appeared in the Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, Vol. 32, 1934. He concludes that the passive observer who avoids all stimulation of the patient and facilitates the patient's free flow of unguided and undirected speech is presenting a spoken version of a classic experiment on the conditioned reflex. He works on the premise that any two ideas which emerge from the patient together or with any characteristic sequence must by virtue of that fact alone have some dynamic relationship in that particular person's psychology.

3.   Schilder, P. Psychoanalysis and the Conditioned Reflex.—Admitting the importance of Pavlov's experiments, Schilder finds that Pavlov constantly uses the term reflex, but that what he calls reflex is far removed from a simple mechanistic response. It is a complicated total reaction in which the personality of the animal plays an important role. The same reactions are observed in human beings. The expression, reflex, in this connection loses its specific meaning and simply signifies that the one using it is not interested in the subjective aspect. It may be conceded that the study of objective reactions is simpler, but for many problems the study of the subjective side is indispensable. No one,

- 399 -

Schilder says, can deny the dependence of psychological processes on those of the brain cortex, but he questions Pavlov's formulations, excitation, inhibition, and irradiation and finds that they have quite other connotations than they have as used in physiology. French, for example, has attempted to compare Pavlov's use of inhibition with the concept of repression in psychoanalysis, and Beritoff has pointed out that Pavlov's description of inhibition does not correspond with what physiology understands by this term. Attention is called to other features of Pavlov's experiments, for the explanation of which appeal to psychoanalytic mechanisms seem necessary, such as transference and symbolic thinking. Schilder concludes: The right sort of physiology must lead to the same results as the right sort of psychology. It is inadmissible to oppose physiology to psychology. We have a choice; we must either give up the concept of the personality as a whole and the idea of totals and configurations or give up Pavlov's theories; we cannot retain both views. Pavlov's physiology is a pseudo-physiology, a popular mosaic-psychology which makes use of physiological terminology. We have no right to assume that the neurophysiology of the cortex is something simple. Schilder is for a psychology and neurology of the total personality and against a psychophysiology which regards the activity of the brain cortex as a mosaic of stimuli and inhibitions. If the attempt is made to penetrate to the sphere of the higher nervous activities by experiment with animal behavior, it should never be forgotten, that the results can have validity only if they are not in contradiction with established facts of psychology.

4.   Wälder, R. Etiology and Course of Mass Psychoses.—Wälder undertakes this study of mass psychoses, one of the most important causes of war, in the hope that social psychology, by understanding the mechanism, may discover a remedy against the evil of war. In contrast to persons mentally ill, who live shut in narcissistically in their private worlds of phantasy, those suffering from mass psychosis easily make contacts with others; they represent a social type not inclined to isolate themselves. In the clinical psychiatric sense they are normal. Communicated insanity, however, is a well-known phenomenon; it is often observed that a person mentally ill, especially those of paranoid type and strong character, are apt to have strong influence on normal persons, who then themselves come to believe in the delusional ideas. The narcissistic person who loves no one but himself, and who acknowledges no judge of his conduct but himself, may easily become the love object of others and the judge of their conduct. These others come to rely on him as they did on their parents in the lost paradise of childhood. A result is an overwhelming release of primal instinctive drives, particularly of aggression. Thus in mass psychoses an enormous quantity of aggression is set free in a great number of persons who are neither

- 400 -

criminal nor mentally ill. En masse they unreasonably direct their released instincts against the “enemy” of the moment. In every mass situation there is a regression, an abandonment of the individual conscience in favor of the command of the leader. As Freud points out in “Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego,” the individual super-ego yields a part of its force to the leader and from the leader comes the rules of conduct. If the leader countenances or commands aggression, each one gives up to it with clear conscience, and conduct, otherwise forbidden by inner morality, becomes a divine imposition. A contributory element in modern life to the facile release of aggression is the realization that concentration of population and the ananke of civilization has brought with it such extreme “domestication” of the original instincts, that loss of vital force and consequent decadence is threatened. Man is confronted with the antinomy: adaptation to reality in the form of life in community endangers the biological force of the instincts; preservation of the force of the instincts endangers adaptation to reality. The decision is often in favor of aggression. A further pathological characteristic of mass psychoses is loss of critique and it is in this disturbance that the phenomenon most resembles real mental disease. There is partial or total loss of judgment of objective reality, of which history presents numberless examples, notably the persecution of witches. In every mass psychosis, such as is here studied, a delusional idea of the “enemy” is formed, and, like all delusions, is not influenceable by reason or facts. There is also a profound disturbance of self-criticism which further increases the loss of critique of reality. In normal conditions Eros and aggression are diffusely distributed among various persons in the environment. The same person may in one situation be friend, in another enemy. Quite other is the situation in groups formed on morbid principles. There is love exclusively for members of the same group; hatred for all others. Such a splitting of Eros and aggression is a prominent characteristic of the pathological condition—paranoia. In this disease ever-increasing circles of persons are regarded as enemies, as persecutors, but the paranoiac, too, usually makes exception of a small group who escape the persecutory system. Etiological moments for strengthening aggression as found in mass psychoses are: (1) Deprivation and denial of wishes, to which it is well known the reaction is revolt; (2) Pressure of aggression within (in the form of reproaches of conscience), which may become so strong that relief is found by externalization; (3) Educational methods which encourage aggressive impulses. A mass psychosis may take one or two directions: (1) The aggressive impulse may be curbed by outer necessity; or it may be directed inward, shut in, as in a prison, and take the form of self-reproaches and depression. (2) The aggressive drive may succeed and the evil intended may be accomplished; the aggression

- 401 -

then subsides and equilibrium with Eros is restored. In an appendix Walder adds sociological reflections on the present economic situation. From a historical study he makes inferences concerning production and consumption. Starting from a simple agricultural existence where the relation between needs and production are in stable equilibrium he traces the development of the vast and complicated but unstable structure which binding space and time, has been built up between producer and consumer, involving dangers of overproduction, disturbances of values, crises and depressions. A time of spending, of dissipation of capital and suspension of production brings about a recession of the bloom of culture which comes with urbanization; it means a de-urbanization and triumph of the village and farm. For the farmer it has the advantage of shortening and simplifying the way from production to consumption, but this is more an emotional advantage than a real gain. What, in former times constituted an uprising of village and farm, has now become a revolt against mechanization and mass production. In economic fields mankind is again confronted by an antinomy: that of sacrificing civilization or that of sacrificing human dignity and self-sufficiency. Here again arises a tension between instinctive life and adaptation to the realities of life in community. In psychoanalysis the manipulation of the external world is called alloplastic; the reforming of the inner world autoplastic. Our western civilization, particularly in modern times, is purely alloplastic; in other civilizations, as the East Indian, autoplastic endeavors predominate. In the frenzy of alloplastic effort, a civilization of such complexity has been created that man is unable to adapt himself to it. Some part of the autoplastic must be regained. Psychoanalysis can contribute an autoplastic supplement to our alloplastic civilization.

5.   Sachs, H. Spitteler's Journey to the Earth.—Criticizing Robert Faesi's book Spitteler's “Weg und Werk” for its lack of psychological insight into Spitteler's character, Sachs praises the biological excellence of the work.

6.   Sydow, E. Dreams and Visions in the Religion of the North American Indian.—Sydow gives examples of dreams and visions of American Indians, including those of the medicine men who made a profession of communicating with spirits through the aid of an intermediary, more permanent phantasy image, a protecting spirit. Heroism is the fundamental principle in these dreams and visions and from this element others become understandable, as the rejection of heterosexuality (wife and children being impediments to heroic deeds), and the idea of a guardian spirit as protector of the hero. This striving for heroism probably springs from the dangerous struggle for existence which fell to the lot of the North American Indians.

- 402 -

7.   Sterba, R. Remarks on Two Lines by Schiller.—In an earlier paper (Imago, Vol. 14, 1928) Sterba called attention to the fact that poetic representation of motion in the outer world gives rise to pleasurable response in the feeling of active power of the ego. He called this device the “technique of cosmic motility.” He now cites two lines from Schiller's Bells:

And the clouds of heaven

high aloft—

The effect here depends on the adverbs. This Sterba calls the “technique of the static,” as motion is not indicated, there being, nevertheless, an extension of the power of the ego in the form of expansion to embrace a vast space.

(Vol. 21, No. 2)

1.   Bernfeld, Siegfried. The Classification of the Instincts.

2.   Fenichel, Otto. The Psychology of Jealousy.

3.   Alexander, Franz, and Healy, William. A Victim of Criminal Morality and an Undetected Thief.

4.   Mosonyi, Desiderius. The Irrational Foundation of Music.

5.   Hermann, Johanna. The Cure of Elizabeth Browning in Her Sonnets.

1.   Bernfeld, S. The Classification of the Instincts.—Bernfeld notes that from the beginning psychoanalysis has posited a dualism of instincts. Originally a distinction was made between the sexual instinct and all other instincts. The first formulation of a criterion was in the “Three Contributions”; “What distinguishes the instincts from one another is their relation to their sources and to their aims.” As source Freud assumes a definite process in the body, and the instincts are distinguished according to differences there existing. He at that time regarded the chemical point of view as indispensable for the understanding of the psychoanalytic theory of the instincts, and has not altered his opinion in the New Introductory Lectures. Bernfeld comments that while chemistry and likewise physiology have important functions to fulfill in psychoanalysis, their functions are not as principles of classification. The earliest criterion of classification, he calls the psychoanalytic. Everything which belonged genetically to sexuality was grouped together; everything else, so far as it is an expression of an instinct, was attributed to the ego-instinct. With the progress of research it was found that in fact the “ego-instinct,” aside from a few remainders of little psychological interest, was almost without content. The ego-instinct as a separate group was then abandoned and the classification was made of object-libido and ego-libido (in the sense of a lack of object-libido). In

- 403 -

this second, transitional phase, marked by the introduction of narcissism, the formulation was accepted that, while there were two instincts, according to the psychoanalytic criterion they could not be distinguished. Criticism of this ambiguous view brought about the substitution of another criterion, which merged in “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” as the death-instinct and the life-instinct wherein Freud made a distinction between Eros and aggression. Marked aggression (hate) and all that, on inspection, presents the same physiognomic characteristics is to be classed as belonging to the death-drives; all other instinctive expressions, tending to love, union, preservation, as belonging to the life-drives. Difficult as it is to determine with precision the physiognomy or characteristic aspects of a process, this criterion of classification is gaining increasing favor in the sciences, Gestalt psychology being an outstanding example. A physiognomic principle, however, is not exactly applicable to psychoanalysis. The science which seems here fitted to supply a criterion of classification is topology, better known under Leibnitz's name, analysis situ. The hiatus in the older theory of instincts, between those accessible to psychoanalysis and all other phenomena, is overcome through the new criterion of classification, which contains principles applicable to the entire biological, physiological and sociological fields. Using the physiognomic similarities as foundation Bernfeld gives a schema presenting the topical relations of the new criterion to the psychoanalytic: The classification of instincts has as

Group Object Topological   Psycho-analytic
a) Living substance Eros Death drive  
b) Single cells in their behavior to one another Eros Death drive ……
c) Organisms (meta-zoa) in their relation to the environment Eros Death drive ……
d) Total behavior of man determined by inspection, by psychoanalysis, by behavioristic methods Eros Aggression, also synonyms destruction, conquest ……
e) Cultural circumstances Eros Death drive
f) Material discovered by psychoanalysis Libidinous components of the sexual instinct Aggressive components of the sexual instinct Sexual instinct

- 404 -

2.   Fenichel, O. The Psychology of Jealousy.—Fenichel writes that jealousy is not simply a reaction to deprivation of a love-object previously a source of satisfaction. Quite the contrary; persons inclined to jealousy are those incapable of finding satisfaction in love, who constantly change their love object, and who suddenly become jealous of persons formerly awakening only indifference. If jealousy were nothing more than painful reaction to loss, then, like all painful experiences, it would soon succumb to repression, but it persists with the character of a compulsive, overdetermined idea. The fear of the loss of love is strongest in those for whom the desire to be loved outweighs the power to love. As Freud pointed out, it is felt by persons in whom the narcissistic and erotic needs are not sufficiently differentiated, by persons with oral fixation whose feeling of self-satisfaction depends in part or entirely on the approval of the environment; they need narcissistic nourishment from without, just as the nursling needed material nourishment from the mather, in order to live. This same disposition is at the foundation of the oral neuroses, particularly of manic-depressive phenomena, and of the masochistic character, the distinguishing mark of which is to secure outer approval by self-imposed pain. Fenichel gives the analysis of a case of anxiety neurosis taking the form of jealousy. In keeping with the oral fixation he sees the meaning of the jealous aggression as a wish to possess, to seize from another. This aggressive trend brings about the characteristic triangle consisting of the patient, the person despoiled and the thing of which he is despoiled. The feeling of being unable to tolerate the triangular situation (and yet the compulsion to keep this situation present in phantasy) corresponds to the conflict between the effort to repress oral sadism and at the same time to satisfy it. Fenichel's case, in its main features, corresponds astonishingly with the one described by Riviere (Jealousy as a Mechanism of Defence, Intern. Jl. Psa., 13, No. 4), but he disagrees with Riviere's introduction of the super-ego element. According the Riviere, her patient finding in early experiences that she could indulge sadism with impunity, against the kind mother, carried this pattern as a defence throughout life, until overwhelmed by reality, the defence gave way and she succumbed to the neurosis. Fenichel asks if it is not much simpler to regard the compulsion giving rise to the triangle phantasy as a compromise between the constitutional moments and special experiences of satisfaction (or deprivation) which the child at the oral stage lived through, therefore to regard jealousy as an Id-phenomenon, instead of a complicated defence of the ego against the super-ego. In Riviere's view he sees an undervaluation of the libido as a fundamental biological fact.

3.   Alexander and Healy. A Victim of Criminal Morality and an Undetected Thief.—A continuation of their paper begun in the previous

- 405 -

number of Imago, describing the case of Richard Vorland, which has appeared in English in their book, “The Roots of Crime.”

4.   Mosonyi, D. The Irrational Foundation of Music.—In this discussion of music Mosonyi distinguishes as “irrational” those activities which, while not without aim, are not fitted to attain the goal; rational are those actions which experience has taught will arrive at the goal. The first cry of the child, the inarticulate wails of pain are primary, acoustic, pleasure-toned and irrational forms of expression. From this primary motor discharge of inner tension, music developed, the acoustic expression, as by-product, taking over a part of the primary discharge. In this process the original free motor discharge is in part inhibited and at the same time the primary vocal utterance is subjected to repression and changed into a modulated expression, which however, only at times and under certain circumstances, when the inhibitions of reason and social situations and the like, are absent assumes a markedly pleasurable emphasis. Walking and its playful imitation, dancing, in which there is a measured repetition of the same motion is the source of rhythm, not, as has been assumed from Aristotle to Riemann, the beating of the heart. Music, however, begins, not with rhythm, but with melody. The dying down of the rhythmic emphasis corresponds to a reduction of the force of the tone and to a lowering of it. Thus the dynamic variation of the rhythm conditions the alternation of high and low tones. Harmony is a social product. The pleasure in it has its source in the elementary ecstasy belonging to group psychology. The outbreak of the group soul is chaotic, but pleasure arises from this chaos when it is bound by the ordered inhibitions of group music. Music and dreams have essential similarities; both are irrational and founded on the wish, the more general wish to play again as in childhood, and the special wishes to indulge affects. The special gift of a musician consists in ability to associate all experiences and emotions with sounds and to express them by this means. In the production of a composition the emotional factor comes from the unconscious; if it is little intense the foreconscious elaborates the material at hand in a composition within the bounds of conventional forms. If the tension of the latent conflict is more intense, its elaboration calls forth greater opposition on the part of the censor. Disquietude, frequent change of motif, of rhythm, of harmony, of emotional character betray the conflict. Great composers give little information as to how their productions originate; saying “They come to them.” Beyond explaining the complexes from which the music originates, psychoanalysis also throws little light on the subject.

5.   Hermann, J. The Cure of Elisabeth Browning in Her Sonnets.—Through a study of the life of Elizabeth Browning, Hermann finds that her neurosis was determined by the following factors: (1) It served

- 406 -

as a protection against her own trends which aroused the sense of guilt and against her stern father's aggression. (2) It provided an identification with the mother. (3) She longed for death as a means of union with her lost brother. (4) She sought death as expiation for the guilt aroused by her wish phantasies. The influence of these factors in the life of the poetess and the chronological course of her cure is traced by expressions in her “Sonnets from the Portuguese.” In the very first, the inclination to regard love and death as identical is apparent.

“Guess now who holds thee?”—“Death!” I said. But there The silver answer rang, “Not Death, but Love.”

The renunciation of the CEdipus complex and the acceptance of Browning is indicated in the 7th Sonnet:

The name of country, heaven, are changed away

For where thou art or shalt be, there or here,

Passages showing entire dissolution of the Œdipus attachments and complete transference to the love-object, necessary for the cure of the neurosis, are given in the last strophe of the 42nd Sonnet:

And write me new my future's epigraph

New angel mine, unhoped for in the world.

Insight into the sources of her former suffering and doubts and realization of the right to full and complete love and of independence of will an action, is expressed in the last two Sonnets, beginning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach.…

(Vol. 21, No. 3)

1.   Schilder, Paul. Psychopathology of Time.

2.   Pfandl, Ludwig. The Concept of Narcissism.

3.   Winterstein, Alfred, and Bergler, Edmund. The Psychology of Pathos.

4.   Kris, Ernst. The Psychology of the Older Biography.

5.   Landmark, Johannes. The Freudian Concept of the Instincts and the Erogenous Zones.

6.   Eidelberg, Ludwig. The Forbidden Is Sweet.

1.   Schilder, P. Psychopathology of Time.—Schilder's article has appeared in English in the J. Nerv. Ment. Dis., Vol. 82, Page 59.

- 407 -

2.   Pfandl, L. The Concept of Narcissism.—Pfandl attempts a new interpretation of narcissism. He gives the result of his study in a summary: (1) The original form of the myth, before poets occupied themselves with it, was a simple expression of the archaic belief in a shadow soul and of the fear of seeing its reflection in water. Into the ready garment of this tale glided the myth with deeper meaning—of a person who could love neither man nor woman, whose fate it was to love only himself. (2) Freud's theory revealed the deep and essential connections between the most important manifestations of the unconscious, the myth, the folk-tale, the dream and the neuroses, the uniform psychic laws of their common foundation. (3) In keeping with these conditions, the myth admits of only one interpretation, namely, as the symbolically disguised, aesthetically adorned representation of the narcissistic complex. (4) There is no longer any ground for accepting an alternative interpretation of the myth. (5) In forming judgments of poems on the Narcissus theme the latent meaning is not the criterion according to which they should be estimated. The deep connection between myth and presentation is no longer binding. Not the real meaning of the legend is laid bare, but the soul of the poet. For understanding the poet it is necessary to recognize whether his relation to his subject is deep and internal and to a certain degree psychoneurotic, or merely luke-warm, formal and superficial.

3.   Winterstein and Bergler. The Psychology of Pathos.—The writers, Winterstein and Bergler, explain that the word “pathos” ordinarily signifies lofty expression in speech of a passionate emotion. But inasmuch as emotion and its expression in words overlap, the word “pathos” (Greek) signifying the state of suffering, of being carried away by emotion, is used to describe any vehement affect underlying this mode of expression, and in particular a mood of solemnity and exaltation. The idea of it is readily associated with the notion of something inflated, vague, shallow, and rather spurious; the type of person with little command of expression mostly regards the pathetic individual as half a lunatic, half a comedian. True pathos only really develops with the onset of puberty. Those who have the task of bringing up children are accustomed to assume a pathetic tone when they reproach or instruct them. One has only to think of the number of times a child has to hear the pathetic reproach “Faugh! People don't do things like that!” When children behave badly it stirs similar unconscious wishes in those who have charge of them, which are then exaggeratedly repudiated by means of the pathetic mood. Every reproach, no matter how nonsensical evokes in the average man as a defence, a reaction of pathos in some form. The super-ego, in its chronic state of readiness to cast reproaches, makes full use of every opportunity for reproaching the anxiety-ridden ego. The pathetic type treats his object as aggressively

- 408 -

as his super-ego does his ego. The advantage of this displacement onto an object consists in establishing the fiction that one's indignation is justified, and in converting an internal conflict into one which is projected, and so more easily resolved. Thus everyone reacts pathetically to the attacks of the external world. But besides the aggressive solution of the super-ego conflict, there is also a masochistic one, distinguished by the pathos of surrender, of the martyr. Pathos then constitutes a technique of defence employed by the ego in its endopsychic struggle with the super-ego. The “accuser” and “martyr” types of pathetic both deal with a conflict between the ego and the super-ego, but along different lines; the former chooses projection and aggression, the latter submission and masochistic self-surrender. But it seems that pathos is not merely the passive reaction of the ego to an attack proceeding from the super-ego; it also includes aggression on the part of the ego as a measure of precaution against the super-ego. It is not rare for the super-ego, by reason of the ego's interpolation of the mechanism of “pathos” to find itself deprived of one of its most useful weapons of attack against the ego. That, moreover, is why the pathetic “beating-one's-breast” in which the ordinary citizen indulges is such an excellent means of self-deception.

4.   Kris, E. The Psychology of the Older Biography.—Kris calls attention to the recurrence of certain anecdotes in the biographies of great men, and to the preference for particular ones at certain epochs. He calls them “formulae of biography,” and seeks the psychoanalytic reason for the emergence of certain formulae at certain epochs. He analyzes incidents related of great artists, particularly of plastic artists, at the epoch of mystic thinking. Prophetic signs of future greatness was then the formula for the biographies. Thus, of Giotto, the most important painter of the 14th century, it is related that as a child herding his father's sheep he sketched their pictures in the sand; of Michelangelo, that he was nursed by the wife of a stonemason and “thus from his nurse drank in with her milk his inclination for hammer and chisel.” In these legends of the early disclosure of remarkable talent Kris sees a variation of the myth of the birth of the hero. The inclination to accept these tales of wonder-children springs also from a narcissistic source, as each one is inclined to see in his children signs of the gifts which he himself does not possess, but most covets. Other widepread formulae reveal the tendency to attribute to the sculptor and artist the role of hero or deity. For example there are anecdotes of wonderworking artists, as Zeuxis who chose the points of beauty of five beautiful models, thus creating a work transcending human beauty; or Parrhasios who painted grapes that were so natural that the birds pecked at them; or Praxiteles who fell in love with his statue of Venus. These formulae, repeated in numberless variations, are constructed, Kris finds, on the

- 409 -

principle of the magic effect of pictures and images and on the ontogenetic model of the play of children, who imagine a broom to be a horse, a spool, a gun. Here the intensity of the illusion and the reality of the play situation depends on the liveliness of phantasy, that is to say on the narcissistic investment. When adults regress to the extent that the boundaries between original and representation are confused they are at the level of “magic” thought. In keeping with the veneration of the artist is the formula which ascribes to him the creative prerogative of deity or the attributes of evil demons. In the 16th century biography of artists began to make use of a new formula. “The inner voice of inspiration” was emphasized. Great creative personalities were exempt from the norms which regulate social life and bind it together. The formula of the hero myth arises from the fact that identification is made with the father on the pattern of the construction of the super-ego. All biography seeks to introduce a new form into the series of infantile patterns; it creates the young hero, the hero, and the new father.

5.   Landmark, J. The Freudian Concept of Instincts and the Erogenous Zones.—In commenting on Freud's theory of instincts Landmark discusses exteroceptive and proprioceptive stimuli. Sexual excitement is effective only when the organism is in a condition to be stimulated, and this depends on the chemical sexual element. This element is absent in persons who have been castrated in early life and, as Steinach has demonstrated, can be restored by implanting fragments of testicular substance. The presence of the chemical element Landmark calls the predisposing condition. The hypothesis which he defends is that the elements from the sex zones do not influence the course of behavior directly.

The formulation is: Such and such a need exists and the images possess the character of an invitation to behavior which leads to the satisfaction of a need. The change of needs entails a change in the character of the response to the invitation. With satisfaction a certain series of images and conditions lose the character of incitement to activity and become neuter. Therefore Landmark finds that Freud's pronouncement should be amplified. His definition, instead of being “Instinct seems to be the measure of an incitement to work which is imposed on the psyche by the body,” should be “imposed on the psyche by the entire sensory milieu capable of giving stimuli, as well by the inner-somatic part as by the externally received stimuli.” Instinct, therefore, denotes any one of all the possible incitements to work which, in the psyche, may be set in activity by stimuli.

6.   Eidelberg, L. The Forbidden Is Sweet.—Eidelberg explains that satisfaction of aggressive instincts is possible only if the object defends itself. This fact seems bound up genetically with the first manifestations of aggression as result of the earliest prohibitions and deprivations. The prohibition is responded to according to the formula “If I am not omnipotent I will at least be so to the extent of actively projecting to

- 410 -

others the wound which my narcissism has passively suffered.” Many persons seek to satisfy the aggressive and sexual impulse in one act, due to the fact that by the first frustrations both the sexual impulse and the feeling of omnipotence are interfered with.

(Vol. 21, No. 4)

1.   Weiss, Edoardo. Death Instinct and Masochism.

2.   Hermann, Imre. The Unconscious and the Instincts from the Standpoint of a Vortex Theory.

3.   Burlingham, Dorothy Tiffany. The Infant Empathy in Relation to the Mother.

4.   Schmideberg, Melitta. The Understanding of Group Psychological Phenomena.

5.   Fenichel, Otto. The Critique of the Death Instinct.

6.   Lichtenstein, Heinz. The Phenomenology of the Repetition Compulsion and the Death Instinct.

7.   Lorand, Sandor. The Psychology of the Inventor.

8.   Servadio, Smilio. Psychoanalysis and Telepathy.

9.   Bergmann, Gustav. The Analytic Theory of Literary Standards.

1.   Weiss, E. Death Instinct and Masochism.— Federn proposed the name “mortido” for the manifestations of the death instinct. Weiss in this article proposes to substitute the term “destrudo.” He holds that the name “Thanatos,” which Freud makes use of, is inexact, because Thanatos means death and not the striving for destruction. The antonym of Thanatos would be Bios, not Eros. In bringing masochism in line with the destructive trends and the pleasure principle, Weiss explains that the assumption of a pleasure-pain principle for the id is an egomorphism, a process in the unconscious being given a name which has meaning only in the conscious life. When this fact is taken into consideration the manifestations of destrudo and the investment of pain with libido, as in masochism, becomes more clearly understandable. He distinguishes three forms of self-destroying trends: (1) There is emergence of destrudo which the ego fears and from which it wishes to free itself. This is the condition in real anxiety, but also in neurotic anxiety. The mechanism of repression presupposes this behavior of the ego. The more masochistic the ego is, the fewer are its repressions. Neurotic anxiety is the sign of an unsuccessful repression; the ego is not able to protect itself from the destrudo thrust upon it by the id. (2) The unwelcome effects of destrudo are sexualized in order to give them a more tolerable form and to diminish the anxiety. (3) The ego exposes itself deliberately to destrudo, deriving a (sublimated or non-sublimated) satisfaction from suffering. It is essential not to confuse these three forms. In setting forth the function and method of operation

- 411 -

of destrudo, Weiss describes the manner in which it is extraverted in ego-functions, especially in the muscle system. In perception, attention, orientation, intellectual performances, all the functions for mastering the outer world destrudo is directed outward, always associated with libido. The effects of destrudo are painful only when directed against the ego itself. Aggression is pleasure-toned because thereby the self is relieved of destrudo and because the narcissistic libido is satisfied by self-assertion. Freud describes a protective mechanism which the individual possesses against the stimuli of the outer world, which consists in admitting through the portals of the senses small samples of these stimuli. Weiss draws a parallel between this protection and one existing between the ego and the id—the inner alien territory; the ego absorbs minimal quantities of destrudo and is not only protected from invasion of greater quantities of destrudo, but uses these small quantities for mastery of the outer world. Destrudo seems to play a role similar to that of bodily pain; if the individual felt no pain, he would be without a necessary signal to ward off injuries. In like manner destrudo sets defensive mechanisms in activity. In conclusion Weiss says that while the existence of the death instinct is probable it is not scientifically proved, but that destrudo is an established fact. Masochism is not wholly covered by destrudo, but presupposes its existence.

2.   Hermann, I. The Unconscious and the Instincts from the Standpoint of a Vortex Theory. Hermann believes a useful oversight may be obtained by representing the unconscious as following a “curved” path and the instincts as vortex-like. By a curved path he understands an inconstant, not uniform progression, therefore, spacially regarded, a path with ambivalent directions, not aiming at the shortest distance. By “vortex-like” he implies a graphic representation of a force developing not in a direct line, a process with arrests at different levels in which attraction to a center increases in ratio to the proximity to the center. From the manner in which the unconscious emerges in the analysis he finds evidence in support of his concept and notes that every symbol follows such a “curved” path. This concept explains many phenomena in a natural manner, as the return of the object libido into the ego after abstinence, the production of anxiety by repression of libido, the alternation of anxiety and aggression. It is as though in the discharge in any of the instinctive spheres there is contained from the start an intention to return to the original locus. Examples are cited to illustrate the vortex-like properties of the instincts, which, like an overwhelming current with ever-increasing speed, sweep the patient along with irresistible force, as well as examples to show the neurotic fear which patients have of being thus carried away. Theoretical evidence in support of his concept Hermann finds in the evolution of preservation of equilibrium and of orientation; the ego oriented to the environment under the direction of the senses (sight for example) proceeds in a

- 412 -

straight line directly to the aim, but the original system for preservation of equilibrium, the vestibular apparatus, is a system of movement in curved paths, with turns and deviations. With an inner impulse in curved direction and the direct orientation of the ego, the return to earlier conditions follows automatically, because the curved direction may be a return to the former position. The repetition compulsion then appears as a phenomenon at the boundary between the instinct vortex and the ego system—in effect a compromise between ego and id.

3.   Burlingham, D. Infant Empathy in Relation to the Mother. Continuing a previous contribution on child analysis (Zeitschrift für Psychoanalytische Paedagogik, Band VI), Burlingham explains that children often have much greater powers of observation than is believed. They observe not only direct expression of feeling, but also efforts at concealment. Repressed impulses which play a specially important role in the character formation of the mother attract their attention. The child with intuition of deception on the part of the mother, itself uses deception to mislead the mother. With development the child loses this capacity for intuitive adaptation to adults. In other words the early irrational, almost uncanny, mutual understanding of thought and affect between mother and child may in great part be explained by keenness of observation on the part of the child. With this assumption two other explanations which have been offered lose force: (1) that there is direct transference of thought between mother and child; (2) that there is understanding by inheritance. The theory of transference implies a factor in the child's unconscious which permits unconscious relation with the mother. The theory of inheritance would indicate that the child is like the mother from the start and that certain forms of understanding are transmitted directly from the mother to the child. The parents are likely to believe in this possibility. Their anxiety in regard to che inheritance of traits is constantly betrayed in their discussions of the child; with lively sense of guilt they look for traits which they fear the child may have inherited. Burlingham's observations, however, lead her to believe that her theory offers surer ground for the explanation of empathy between mother and child than does either telepathy or inheritance, both of which are not susceptible of analytic influence.

4.   Schmideberg, M. The Understanding of Group Psychological Phenomena. Schmideberg seeks to show that rational behavior and attitudes are amalgamated with irrational factors and libidinal tendencies. Work reduces the feelings of anxiety and guilt caused by primitive destructive drives and overcomes the feeling of inferiority and irrational doubt of one's own capacity. In the unemployed these doubts and feeling of guilt and inferiority reappear with redoubled force. Many persons who for a time are unemployed experience great difficulty in setting to work again, either from the growing doubt of capacity or

- 413 -

from fear of having to go through the distress of again losing employment. This anxiety is due to the same unconscious factors as the neurotic inability to work. Newspapers are read for other reasons than for the information they convey. The pleasure arises from a certain satisfaction in learning that there are others who suffer more or are more unhappy than the readers. Primitive sadism finds satisfaction and harmless outlet in reports of the misfortunes of others. In a somewhat sublimated form these instincts are satisfied by reading reports of sports, political conflicts or scientific discussions. The lively interest for detailed description of court cases, divorces, sexual abnormalities and crimes, or for the love adventures of popular heories and cinema stars, betrays survival of the curiosity which, as analysis shows, originates in the child's wish to spy on the weaknesses and sexual life of the parents. Crime is of great psychic importance for society. It is a serious problem what would become of the aggression of respectable citizens if this outlet for their sadism were suddenly shut off. The consequence might be that they themselves would become criminal in order to satisfy their sadism, that the probabilities of war and revolution would become greater, or that the neurotic diseases and automobile accidents would increase. However, just as in the neurosis in the individual, many other factors than the predisposing cause must be taken into consideration; so also single factors, such as mere sadism, or hate, or anxiety caused by deprivation or the fear of loss, are not sufficient to explain group reactions. In a revolution, for instance, the interplay of all inner and outer conditions, psychological, economic, and social must be taken into account.

5.   Fenichel, O. Critique of the Death Instinct. Fenichel does not deny the philosophical profundity of Freud's hypothesis of a death instinct, nor the facts presented by him. He believes, however, that the observations set forth as well as a trend toward death may be understood otherwise than as instinct opposed from the start to a life instinct. He is inclined to see in the process the working of a general biological principle with highest prospective potency in early life and a gradual structuralization with age, leading at the end of life to a stage of complete structuralization—death.

6.   Lichtenstein, H. Phenomenology of the Repetition Compulsion and the Death Instinct. In the psychoanalytic schools there has been less opposition to the recognition of the death trend than to acceptation of the phenomenon as belonging to the instincts. Lichtenstein does not believe that the death trend belongs to the instincts and argues that if repetition be assumed to be an essential characteristic of instinct, then a tendency leading to an ultimate permanent condition cannot be subsumed under the concept of instinct. Regression and death which follow the law of entropy are catexochen irreversible and not subject to

- 414 -

repetition, that is to say do not possess the quality of an instinct. The facts which phenomenologically seem to support a death trend in instinctive life are the contributions of sadism. When it is taken into account, however, that the aim of instinct is to preserve an ideal and full life and that this is not the same as preservation of life as such, the destructive tendencies and oral aggression may without contradiction appear as expression of an instinct with the quality of enhancing existence in individual cases. It would then not be necessary to assume a death instinct for explanation of sadism.

7.   Lorand, S. The Psychology of the Inventor. Lorand discusses the psychogenic factors which run parallel with a biological disposition to artistic and inventive ability. In invention the erotic character is present, but not so obviously as in artistic production, where Eros occupies the foreground. In the case of the inventor the erotic inclination has become located at the periphery and desexualization has progressed to a greater degree. He describes a patient whose inventive activity served various purposes: it provided freedom and flight from a painful situation, caused by unconscious sense of guilt; it supplied narcissistic satisfaction for the ego; it had sexeual significance as a form of creation and production.

8.   Servadio, E. Psychoanalysis and Telepathy. Servadio discusses particularly the “hallucinatory” form of telepathy. He describes the mechanism of hallucinatory experiences and is inclined with Freud to believe that telepathic experiences may be the original archaic way of establishing understanding between individual beings, which, in the course of phylogenetic development has been supplanted by signs. He does not believe that telepathic transference can be produced experimentally at a logical, rational and conscious level.

9.   Bergmann, G. The Analytic Theory of Literary Standards. Aesthetic mystagogues, whatever their views as literary fetishists, are united in the opinion that a drama of Shakespeare is to be more highly valued than a detective story. Bergmann presents a psychoanalytic criterion of values by which productions may be judged which are not, like these, at the extremes of the scale. “Innate talent” may be interpreted as a congenital plasticity of the psychic substance with a certain slackness of repression. A production has value in proportion to the intensity of identification with the figures of the original ontogenetic developmental situations, and in proportion as these attain presentation with a minimum of disguise, approaching in this feature myths and religious traditions. The deeper the poet descends to the unconscious, the higher he must elevate what he there finds, in order that the aesthetic release, the “purification of passion” may be presented with such beauty, such play of sound, coloring and gesture as to win the toleration of the super-ego.

- 415 -

Article Citation

Willard, C. (1939). Imago. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(3):399-415

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.