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(1951). American Imago. Psychoanal. Rev., 38(1):81-93.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago

(1951). Psychoanalytic Review, 38(1):81-93


American Imago

(Vol. 5, No. 1)

1.   Leites, Nathan. Trends in Moral Temper.

2.   Wells, F. L. The Beans of St. Botolph's; and Other Letters to Screw-tape.

3.   Tarachow, Sidney. Totem Feast in Modern Dress.

4.   Roheim, Geza. The Bear in the Haunted Mill.

1.   Leites, Nathan. Trends in Moral Temper. A paper referring largely to the writings of Camus and Sartre. The material refers only to the non-totalitarian part of western culture, and more specifically to the metropolitan areas of North America and Western Europe. The material is illustrative and not designed to prove general statements. In the last quarter century two long prepared events emerged on a large scale, one by now commonplace, the other less so. First, the core of moral agreement tended to vanish as western culture split into a totalitarian and a non-totalitarian part. Second, the degree of felt certainty in moral reactions, of whatever content, tended to decline in the non-totalitarian part. A Moral statement began to seem by its very nature incapable of the massive certainty of statements about facts. With this, there was a decline in the feeling that ethical statements could be as conclusively proved as statements about facts. Rational persuasion in moral matters has become less conceivable. The newer attitude tends to look for extra-verbal means of resolving a verbal deadlock. The philosophic counterparts of these feeling trends can be found in logical empiricism and existentialism. The disappearance of ethical certainty may be followed by a fading out of the ethical dimension of feeling. There is probably a direct relationship between the weakening of religious and metaphysical beliefs and the decline of ethics. The elimination of God affects ethical attitudes in at least three ways: as the elimination of the creator of ethical norms; as the elimination of the being who punishes their violation and rewards conformity; and as the elimination of after-life. Beliefs in the second function of God had probably decreased earlier and more rapidly than beliefs in the first and third. Dostoievski wrote: ‘If God did not exist, everything would be permissible.’ This is a starting point of existentialism. Presumably the forecast of one's death as annihilation has been steadily gaining in frequency and emotional certainty during the past decades. Closely related to this experience of universal equivalence is the feeling of pointlessness of a life rushing towards annihilation-including the pointlessness of ethics. When in the later nineteenth and twentieth

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centuries the belief in death as annihilation increased, two extreme reactions developed. On the one hand there was a tendency to eliminate death from consciousness, on the other hand a tendency to be overwhelmed by the awareness of death. A second major change related to the decline of ethics is the growing feeling that human behavior is determined. A related trend is this: The violator of an ethical norm tends to feel his act as less alien to his central self. This is shown, among other things, by changes in the style of neuroses. A relevant distinction is that between neurotic symptoms which the person experiences as intruding foreign bodies; and non-symptomatic neurotic acts which the person feels to belong to the core of his self. Conversely conscience reactions are increasingly felt as alien to the core of the self. Another adaptation to the decline of moral certainty is the tendency to set up moral norms not for all men and all times, but—in the extreme case—for myself alone, or even for a unique situation in my unique life. Another defense against the decline of moral feelings is the tendency to reduce the content of moral norms to a minimum in the hope of reaching a core of certainty. Related to the point that every moment counts morally is the affirmation that only completed overt actions are morally relevant, not subjective preparations for them. A further adaptation to the decline in ethical feelings is the tendency to confine them to an ever smaller area.

2.   Wells, F. L. The Beans of St. Botolph's; and Other Letters to Screwtape. The author refers to the ‘delightful work’ entitled “The Screwtape Letters” by the British scholar and theologian, C. S. Lewis. Screwtape is the name of a departmental under-secretary in Hell, and the correspondence consists of advice to a junior devil assigned to temptation duty on this earth, with a particular human individual. There is an allusion to a colleague named Scabtree, who seems to be more of a sociological turn of mind. “It has been my fortune, good or otherwise, to come into possession of an English version of some correspondence addressed to Screwtape by this same Scabtree, and dealing with topics that are of local concern. It would seem that Scabtree was recently promoted to serve as a sort of inspector-at-large for the interests of the Infernal Powers in this country, and the material here excerpted deals particularly with this phase of his duties.” The first communication deals with Scabtree's evaluation of his new assignment, and has little to say about the implications of the atom bomb. The second is mainly an answer to an inquiry of Screwtape's about the attitude to take concerning some local birth control legislation. Another, prompted by a local Fourth of July observance, deals with some general uses of noise and illustrates Scabtree's attitude toward the historical background of the occasion. In another, he discusses some work of an agency he mentions more or less throughout, under the name of the OSRC; the initials could mean Office of Semantics, Rationalization and Clichés. On a further occasion, he may possibly have strayed into a gathering of rather esoteric

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psychoanalysts. The last of them to be cited deals with some overall question of future strategy, as for example the management of research in the physical and social sciences. In letter five, “St. Botolph, as you may know, pave his name to one of the more cultural centres of my people; and this humble legume has played a conspicuous part in their traditional symbols and ceremonial meals.”

3.   Tarachow, Sidney. Totem Feast in Modern Dress. The modern custom of the banquet with its speaker and entertainment can be considered a derivative of the totem feast both as to content and symbolic meaning. In the original custom the symbolism of eating the totem animal and the mourning more directly the aggression and the guilt toward the father figure, with a hedonistic release following the death of the father. In the modern custom the forces are displaced in a slightly different manner and are also offered a somewhat different solution, a solution more in the nature of a compromise between the ambivalent attitudes of the authority and the group. The eating now carries little of the original meaning. The token of submission to authority is carried out by listening to a speaker. The rituals connected with this indicate the ambivalence of both the speaker and the audience. The speaker controls the audience, yet he shows signs of fear. The audience hates the speaker, yet is eager to be led to idealize him. The destruction of the father figure takes place last, in the entertainment. The entertainment offers the younger members of the group opportunity to act out the parts of the authorities, to destroy the authorities, and at the same time win the approval of the authorities. The function of the feast is fulfilled. The father and sons are reconciled. The father controls his sons and overcomes his fear of them. The sons accept his control, but also destroy him, identify with him and succeed in remaining friends with him.

4.   Roheim, Geza. The Bear in the Haunted Mill. The fairy tale is described of the proud princess who would marry only the one who discovered her riddle. Finally a little tailor guesses the color of her hair which was gold and silver. So she had to accept the tailor but made another condition that he must spend a night in the stable with the bear. The tailor saves himself by the ruse of getting the bear to put his claws in a vise. The next day on the way to the church marriage the bear is in pursuit, having been released by two other envious tailors. The tailor stood on his head and stuck his legs out of the window of the carriage, saying to the bear, “Do you see the vise?” This frightens the bear away. Other similar tales are described in which more often it is the female genital that is exposed to frighten away the enemy. The vise or cleft is the vagina. The stories represent the hero's anxiety of the vagina projected to the bear. The stories sometimes blend into another folk-tale that of the hero who has to learn what fear is. It is the Oedipal and super-ego factors that transform the dream-wish into a nightmare.

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(Vol. 5, No. 2)

1.   Cox, Howard L. The Place of Mythology in the Study of Culture.

2.   Devereux, George. Mohave Indian Obstetrics.

3.   Fodor, Nandor. Nightmares of Water.

4.   Lourié, Anton. The Jewish God and the Greek Hero.

1.   Cox, Howard L. The Place of Mythology in the Study of Culture. It is considered true as Symonds says, that in mythology it is as if the people project their conflicts, desires, ethics and values (which are a part of the previously introjected culture) onto a stage where they are objectified—and where the people can, by identification with the characters, work out a solution to their personal problems. Of course a certain amount of vicarious satisfaction is gained in these oblique and devious expressions of the unconscious desires. There is also a therapeutic element in mythology in so far as it serves to drain off aggression. Mythology, it is clear, is a cultural Rorschach in which the elements are structured according to the needs of the people arising from the culture, and the psychic stresses imposed by the culture.

2.   Devereux, George. Mohave Indian Obstetrics. A psychoanalytic study. A considerable amount of bibliographical material is used. Psychoanalysis has shown that children attempt to solve the mystery of procreation by means of elaborate and phantastic theories, commonly spoken of as infantile theories of birth. The point of departure is Ahma Huma: re's account of the mythical precedent of childbirth. The identity of the super-naturals mentioned in Ahma Huma: re's account is of particular interest. There are exemplified phantasies of the reversal of generations. One is tempted to assume that the reference to the Sky-Male and the Earth-Female being under the earth suggests that Sky-Male and Earth-Female were copulating at the time of Matavilye's birth. This cannot be shown to be exclusively so. It seems that the correct interpretation is that Sky-Male and Earth-Female were figuratively speaking engaging in intercourse. The evidence for this is given in some detail. Mohave data suggests that a psychological reversal of the generations appears to be at least compatible with Mohave belief. There is evidence tending to suggest an identification of the child with the parent, and of the parent with the child. According to Mohave belief, the foetus may be expelled from the womb either through an intrusion of the phallus, or else through the eating of stallion meat, which is a phallus-surrogate. There is a tendency to equate the womb with the vagina. Mohave shamans are especially prone to engage in real incest. This behavior indicates that the Mohave shaman does not derive an adequate amount of pleasure from ordinary intercourse. The Mohave believe that a shaman whose power comes from his ancestors is more powerful than a shaman whose power was given to him by the Gods. A homosexual

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shaman is believed to be more powerful than a heterosexual one, and a female shaman more powerful than a male one. Previous analytic studies shed light on Mohave Indian dynamics. The psychoanalytic study of the reproductive processes in other cultures is considerably less advanced than the comparative study. This is considered the first psychoanalytic investigation of primitive obstetrics.

3.   Fodor, Nandor. Nightmares of Water. There is a parallelism between the Phylogeny of mankind and physiological and psychological ontogeny which nightmares of water display. Many of these dreams seem to recapitulate the birth of the dreamer. This paper is clinical and answers a few of the questions which arise in this connection. Nightmares of water can be conceived as biogenetic phenomena, akin to the phenomena of physical development from single cell to human adult, within and without the uterus. The mechanism is less important than the fact that insight into the birth trauma has completely relieved or greatly benefited many patients whose symptoms were resistant to interpretations on the Oedipus or other childhood levels. There is as strong evidence for the unconscious origin of birth dreams, and of birth themes in literature, as there is for the Oedipus and castration complexes. Case material is given. Water is the symbol of life but also of death. A symbolic death is the price one has to pay for a new life and, as nightmares of water testify to it, man is as afraid of paying it as he was at the time of his first arrival into this world.

4.   Lourié, Anton. The Jewish God and the Greek Hero. This paper is the introductory chapter of a book now in preparation in which a psychoanalytic search into the Jewish personality is attempted. The theory is set forth that the Jew as a psychologic type, is determined by a specific pattern of resolving the Oedipus complex, and that other national types are similarly characterized by specific patterns of repression. Jewish and Hellenic trends are contrasted. In both mythologies there is a story of primeval rebellion of the son against the father. The Garden of Eden punishment seems severe because the real meaning of the prohibition and of the crime has been censored. In the Greek version of Cronos against Uranos, there is little censorship. The Greeks did not feel repelled at the thought that the son rebels and overthrows the father, as long as he stays away from the mother. In Jewish mythology an attempt is made to deny the rebellious implication of mastering nature, by claiming that God granted permission. The Greeks of the eighth century B.C. could accept the father's mutilation, but not the son's. The Jewish attitude is the reverse. To the Greek mind only the aspect of incestuous love is shocking, so that the brother's jealousy must be caused by a woman other than the mother; but rivalry for succession to the father may appear uncensored. Both motivations are objection able to Jewish sentiment and must be changed into filial devotion. In Jewish ritual and mythology filial submission has become so all-important as to exclude any other ideology.

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(Vol. 5, No. 3)

1.   Roheim, Geza. Metamorphosis.

2.   Sterba, Richard. Kilroy Was Here.

3.   Bergler, Edmund. John Ruskin's Marital Secret and J. E. Millais's Painting ‘The Order of Release.’

4.   Moloney, James Clark and Rockelein, Laurence. An Insight Into Richard Wagner and His Works.

5.   Sterba, Richard. On Hallowe'en.

6.   Webster, Peter Dow. Arrested Individuation or the Problem of Joseph K. and Hamlet.

1.   Roheim, Geza. Metamorphosis. Gods and magicians alike have the power of shape-shifting. They change both their own shape and that of mortals whom they encounter without the slightest difficulty. The Kangaroo ancestors of the Pitjentara can transform themselves into kangaroos, another mythical ancestor sets the dogs to chase them. In a Pitjentara kangaroo myth the wind blows a public tassel away. The public tassel becomes a child who is then taken away to be initiated. Mouse women after having been made into women (i.e., cut, deflorated) by a kangaroo man, become dogs and attack the kangaroo man. Numerous other examples are given. The gods who can change their own shape can effect the same transformation in others. Shape-shifting belongs to the sphere of magic and the gods. It reflects the most essential attribute of the primary process, namely the motility of all cathexis. Emotional cathexis is easily displaced, the gods are in a fluid state. Moreover symbol and symbolized content may alternate, this is clearly expressed in Hindu mythology, the phallus is constant, the symbols variable. Many of these myths are simply dreams in myth form; this is stated in one of the Kiwai stories. In these, as in the myth of the Ca Rove (where the women are sleeping) the sensation of lifting, rising and the urinating at the end (urethral waking dream) indicate the dream as origin of the myth. The three explanations given (a) primary process, (b) symbol formation, (c) dream material, are really one and the same, as (b) and (c) are but specific instances of (a).

2.   Sterba, Richard. Kilroy Was Here. Unconscious contents and mechanisms constantly penetrate the conscious, forcing one to unreasonable emotional actions and behavior, influence thinking and lead to mental productions which defy all rational explanation. The most convincing psychoanalytic experience is the analysis of dreams. Myths and legends are those mental products which are the closest to dreams. In their unconscious content they are so much alike that Freud called myths the secular dreams of mankind. The myths and legends of a group or a nation correspond to dreams, but are common to all the members, and express the wishes of

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their unconscious which they share with all the others. Myths and legends are therefore sociological phenomena in contrast to the dream that is solipsistic and egotistical. In recent days there has been an American legend in the making. Its title is ‘Kilroy was here.’ There were many Kilroy stories during the war and the expression appeared drawn, carved, painted, or cut in all sorts of places from the highest to the lowest. If the name is cut in two Kill Roi (Kill the king), it is obvious that he is the one who killed the king and this is well known analytic material and territory. He is the revival of the most daring member of the brother horde who killed the original father, and is idealized since as the great hero at all times and by all nations. In the unconscious the enemy in war is identical with the father figure as the little boy experiences him emotionally in the Oedipus phase of his libido development. The Kilroy legend confirms the symbolic significance of the enemy as the Oedipal father and the locality possessed by him as the Oedipal mother. Kilroy's inscription is supposed to be found on the most inaccessible places. It is this inaccessibility of a place which gives it mother significance in the unconscious in accordance with the emotionally frustrating situation of the little boy in the Oedipus phase. Kilroy's presence in all inaccessible places is the expression of a grandiose fulfillment of Oedipal wishes. If Kilroy is the murderer of his father, the oversized nose-penis is his privilege and the fruit of his deed. Kilroy is the hero figure of all legends. The father murderer of primitive times and the representative of the most ardent wishes of the unconscious.

3.   Bergler, Edmund. John Ruskin's Marital Secret and J. E. Millais's Painting ‘The Order of Release/ Admiral Sir William James published in December 1947 a vindication of his grandmother, Effie Chalmers Gray, John Ruskin's former wife. Effie Gray divorced Ruskin in 1855 and remarried one year later, the painter, Sir John Everett Millais with whom she subsequently had eight children, one of the descendants being this later contributor to the famous art critic's matrimonial mystery. The official legend, fostered by Ruskin's biographers, Cook and Collingwood, assumed that Ruskin had never been in love with his wife, whom he allegedly married out of filial duty. Admiral Jones has now published a selection of newly discovered letters of both participants proving the official story a camouflaging legend. The facts are that Ruskin had, before his marriage, been in love with Effie, that his parents interfered, being afraid that their son would marry Effie, and that the whole mystery had a very banal solution: Ruskin's impotence, letters and the painting in question are examined in some detail. John Millais painted in 1853, during the time Effie Gray was still married to Ruskin, a painting called ‘The Order of Release.’ Did Millais know and suggest indirectly Ruskin's impotence which was documented only 94 years later? The Scottish soldier of the painting represents symbolically Effie and the Effie of the painting, the rescuing Millais. The child symbolizes what she needs (sex), the broken arm—Ruskin's castration

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leading to impotence. Millais symbolically says, “It is not true that I'm looking for masochistic troubles in attaching myself to Ruskin's wife; I'm the rescuer of the poor sexually starved woman (infantile rescue fantasy).”

4.   Moloney, James Clark and Rockelein, Laurence A. An Insight Into Richard Wagner and His Works. Analysts have long recognized that painters, writers, composers, architects and other creative artists project their emotional feelings and conflicts into their creations. Further, they have recognized that observers who have been sensitized by an antecedent biography similar to a given artist are generally deeply moved by the works of that artist. From continued references, it was apparent that the patient's absorption in Wagner would prove important to the analysis. The material reported, once started, was readily developed in consecutive sessions. In addition to its obvious analytical value, it demonstrates the extent to which one observer had projected himself into an artists works and to which the artist's conflicts were, in turn, revealed through the observer's excessive sympathy. The patient began by reporting a dream. There follows a verbatim report of conversation between patient and analyst.

5.   Sterba, Richard. On Hallowe'en. The name Hallowe'en is an abbreviation of All Hallows' Evening, the evening before All Hallows' Day. It designates the evening before All Saints' Day, which is the first of November. The celebration of Hallowe'en long antedates Christianity. In Celtic cults, November first was the day, including the preceding night, that was especially devoted to the dead and their memory. On this day the dead were supposed to have freedom to return to the homesteads which they had inhabited while alive, and all superstitions, customs, and magical practices manifested at this occasion served the single purpose of warding off the dead souls, or appeasing them, so that the living could pass through the dangerous night and day unharmed. After Christianization of the originally Druidic countries the Church exerted vigorous efforts to distinguish the pagan custom of Hallowe'en, which was in contradiction with the Christian tenet that God alone is the avenger of evil and that in general no return of the dead is possible before the day of the last judgment. Around the year 1000, the church could not help but establish a second holy day right beside the one which Gregory IV tried in vain to eliminate the pagan festival, and this holy day was devoted to the dead, particularly the dead of one's own family. In this country both holy days have passed practically unnoticed, and only Hallowe'en marks the festive occasion. In some European countries this is not so. Freud's Totem and Taboo is referred to. It is necessary to explain why it is difficult to recognize the significance of children's acting out at Hallowe'en. The reason is that when children are identified with the evil spirits of the dead, this identification works in both directions. The dead become one's children,

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but the children become the dead in return. If children are permitted to act out being the evil spirits of the dead at Hallowe'en, there is unconsciously offered to the dead the greatest sacrifice possible. The children are permitted to be dead temporarily and in this way there is temporarily made up the neglect of obligations toward the dead. One of the most common masks is that of the skeleton. It plainly signifies that the child himself has died and become a skeleton. But this idea of such an outrageous sacrifice is so painful to the mind that its significance has to become unconscious.

6.   Webster, Peter Dow. Arrested Individuation or the Problem of Joseph K. and Hamlet. Franz Kafka's disturbing allegory of the contemporary humanistic psyche is for our age what Hamlet was for the Elizabethans. Although Shakespeare presented a universal dilemma in a hero-prince defeated by a challenge and obstacle externally determined in part, he made it clear even to those of his own day that inner tumult and a soul divided against itself were the essential cause of Hamlet's tragic defeat. And now in The Trial, Franz Kafka has dramatically universalized this conflict of a divided self in Joseph K. Adapting and recreating a legendary folk hero, Shakespeare projected his inner crisis, and veiled the torture of a soul undergoing the preparation for final individuation. In The Trial, the outer world virtually ceases to exist. Joseph K. has little contact with society; subjectivity is reality. He also is in the very prime of life, thirty-one years of age. This is a most curious age at which to think of casting off this mortal coil; yet each man unconsciously and ignorantly wills and accomplishes his own death. This is Joseph K., passive victim of his own ignorance, Franz Kafka's projection of his own arrested individuation and modern man's dilemma, and a prototype of what more and more men will become as the ego advances and loses contact with the unconscious, where alone the healing myth is formed. In Hamlet and Joseph K. this process does not occur neither hero is reconciled to the objective world neither makes appropriation of a subjective order of a religious or mystical in nature. It takes great patience and sympathy to keep from becoming exasperated with these self-defeating heroes of negation. Joseph K. never sees the judge because he never acknowledged the guilt in specific form as personal experience. He insists that he is no more guilty than any other man. For him as for Hamlet, the burden of former emotional orientations has never been alleviated by discharge into the conscious mind. These complexes therefore plague him because they are concealed and are no longer consonant with a changed reality. What is difficult to understand in the light of modern psychology is the absence of any contrasting, withstanding, or redeeming image or urge in Joseph K. The negativity may be the unconscious price paid in maturity for a psychic orientation derived from childhood experience before the capacity for inner resolution or reflective thought has developed.

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This mania for reasoning, or reflecting, or rationalizing in Hamlet and in Joseph K., and this obsession with guilt are part of the universal pattern, unfortunately unresolved in these heroes. It is obvious that these heroes who do not individuate are also unreligious. A final consideration makes the whole problem clear. If one does not believe that the necessary light and power are within, then one must believe that they exist and operate from without, or one is doomed to a psychological fatalism which absolves the psyche of moral or spiritual responsibility.

(Vol. 5, No. 4)

1.   Bergler, Edmund. The Relation of the Artist to Society.

2.   Seiden, Morton Irving. Patterns of Belief Myth in the Poetry of William Butler Yeats.

3.   Zimmerman, Frank. The Book of Ecclesiastes in the Light of Some Psychoanalytic Observations.

4.   Ellis, Albert. A Study of Trends in Recent Psychoanalytic Publications.

5.   Fodor, Nandor. The Role of the Mother in the Fear of Rape.

1.   Bergler, Edmund. The Relation of the Artist to Society. Partisan Review in its November, 1948 issue, published an exchange of letters among three distinguished writers. Their theme was, ‘What, if any, is the artist's relation to society?’ This in their discussion is slowly but surely superseded by an unconscious one, an unspoken reproach: ‘You shouldn't have asked that question.’ Excerpts of the discussion are given. The author's comments follow. It is the inability, the fact that, in a way he is an unwitting puppet of his own unconscious, which offends the writer's self-esteem. Many writers try to deny this dependance on the unconscious by stressing, to the exclusion of all else, the secondary process of elaboration. The problem of the relation of the artist to society is inexplicable without taking cognizance of the unconscious reasons for artistic productivity. Clinical experience proves that the writer seeks analytical help mainly for one reason, writers' block. With slight exaggeration one could say that the sterile writer is the newest addition to the family of analytical patients. A writer is a person who tries to solve an inner conflict through the sublimatory medium of writing. The less productive a critic is as a writer, the more devastating his reviews. Benevolent and relatively objective critics are those who are at one and the same time productive writers. Paradoxically, the acid test is to be found in psychiatry. A real writer must be capable of describing human feelings in situations which correspond in their unconscious implications to inner reactions of real people, in other words, to a clinical case.

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The writer's basic inner conflict pertains with amazing monotony to the psychic masochist's solution of his relation to the mother image. Having established his first alibi by achieving autarchy, the writer busily formulates his second alibi. This second alibi is an attack. Accused by his inner conscience of masochistic submission, he counters with aggression. The writer's self-cure from a pressing inner conflict corresponds to a sublimation. Whether a writer strikes out at institutions, mores, prejudices or injustices, the basic common denominator is identical: attack. Unconsciously and, of course, compulsively the writer needs this aggressive mechanism as an alibi in his intrapsychic struggle with his own conscience. How is one to explain the great variety of topics and conflicts described by different writers? Why isn't writing uniform? Every neurotic person attempts to climb from the deepest layers of his inner conflict to the more superficial ones. Since in this attempt there are varying and different ‘rescue stations’ the secondary defenses are different too. The writer is the most antisocial human being conceivable. Psychologically speaking the writer's daily bread is the urgent need for an unconscious alibi.

2.   Seiden, Morton Irving. Patterns of Belief Myth in the Poetry of William Butler Yeats. A forty-two page article. Each poem which makes use of any part of A Vision, symbol or concept, must be conceived of as implying or making explicit a mythopoeic value. Similarly all the poems which avail themselves of the system of the Great Wheel must be thought of as collectively creating out of themselves a single mythological narrative in which there are several levels of meaning: for example, those which describe historic flux, the transmigration of life, and psychological conflict. Moreover, since A Vision states the same values and ideas which are implicit in ‘The Wanderings of Oisin,’ one must also imagine that each of the main themes of his early poetry, as well as those not immediately concerned with the twenty-eight phases of the moon, are all implicit in the Great Wheel: the political poems, the solar allegories, the poems on the occult, the lyrics on the imagination, the lyrics on fulfilled and unfulfilled love. It is in this way that all of Yeats' poetry and the mythology which is indistinguishable from it both fall into a mould of many dimensions, specific intellectual and emotional patterns, and a single core. That core, that which has been referred to as ‘the psycho-esthetic center of his art’ is, as has been seen, the Oedipus complex. Yeats' excellence as a poet consists in his having dealt with it, whether through implication or direct statement, in all its conscious and unconscious aspects. It consists also, in his having successfully developed out of so basic a preoccupation of psychic life a new mythology—new, and yet very old—a mythology which he hoped would give psychological and moral direction to other men in the same way that it had given purpose and direction to him. This, it is suspected, was the compelling factor which, in his later years, led him to

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explain that in all he did he wished primarily ‘to write many poems where an always personal emotion was woven into a general pattern of myth and symbol.’

3.   Zimmerman, Frank. The Book of Ecclesiastes in the Light of Some Psychoanalytic Observations. In chapter 12 of the book of Qohelet (Ecclesiastes), there is a poignant description of an old man and his declining, failing powers. In Qohelet is a poetic piece in which the author has let his imagination take flight, and which may be interpreted as a dream, the sexual content of which is quite evident. This passage has defied interpretation for centuries and it would be presumptuous to say that a complete interpretation is here disclosed. But psychologically the picture is quite recognizable and genuine. The following is a paraphrase which touches the highlights. 1—Be mindful of your health while you are young before the evil days come when you shall say I have no (sexual) pleasure in them. 2—Before your life is darkened by the loss of sexual powers. 3—Before your arms, legs, teeth and eyes fail. 4—And the female doors are closed because the ‘grinding’ has faltered (the old man cannot penetrate the vagina because he fails in erection). It is the sense of inadequacy, of incompetence, and finally failure to measure up sexually, that gave rise to his pessimism and cynicism.

4.   Ellis, Albert. A Study of Trends in Recent Psychoanalytic Publications. A study of the psychoanalytic periodical literature published during the years 1946-7, 1940-1, and 1934-5 was made to determine what percentage of articles was mainly devoted to different subject categories. It was found that during the 1946-7 period 32% of the published analytic papers were largely concerned with the psychoanalytic theory and the psychodynamics of personality; 24% were devoted to neurosis and the other forms of psychopathology; 17% were about therapeutic techniques and the training of analysts; and 4% were concerned with the history and biography of analysis. At the same time, 13% of the published papers were largely devoted to social science applications and 10% to art and literature. These percentages were basically similar to those found for articles published during the 1940-1 and 1934-5 periods, except that therapy and training of analysts made appreciable (relative) gains, while psycho-dynamics made sizeable (relative) losses over the stipulated periods. It was also found that there were understandable reasons for the relative gains and losses in the proportions of articles devoted to different categories. It was finally found that, because of the relative ease of their research aspects, the observed proportions of analytic articles devoted to social science, art, and literary applications were probably (relatively) inflated over those proportions devoted to ‘pure’ psychoanalytic formulations. It was concluded that the primary emphasis of psychoanalytic writers is still on the aspects of analysis originally investigated by Freud—

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namely, the psychodynamics of human personality, the causes and development of neuroses and other psychopathological manifestations, and the techniques of psychoanalytic therapy.

5.   Fodor, Nandor. The Role of the Mother in the Fear of Rape. A case is described. The data are sufficient to warrant the conclusion that the fainting dream (of the patient) re-enacts birth and that the patient's rape fears were cover symptoms for the greater fear of birth, by a displacement of the all-over pressure on her body into a pressure within her own genitalia. The memory of the ordeal of birth laid the bedrock for her neurosis, and also seriously interfered with her sexual gratification, as intercourse always tended to mobilize the forgotten injury. To escape it, she preferred men with a small penis, as that permitted her unconscious mind to be less alarmed. In her sexual behavior she was still the little girl who, with a frighteningly small anus-vagina, fantasied herself in her mother's place with her father and also re-experienced anal-vaginal birth in each intercourse. It took forty analytic sessions to uncover this identification between rape fears and birth.

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Article Citation

(1951). American Imago. Psychoanal. Rev., 38(1):81-93

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