Psychopathology of Everyday Life [NOOK Book]

Overview

Starting with the story of how he once forgot the name of an Italian painter - and how a young acquaintance mangled a quotation from Virgil through fears that his girlfriend might be pregnant - it brings together a treasure trove of muddled memories, inadvertent actions, and verbal tangles. Amusing, moving, and deeply revealing of the repressed, hypocritical Viennese society of his day, Freud's dazzling interpretations provide the perfect introduction to psychoanalytic thinking ...
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Psychopathology of Everyday Life

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Overview

Starting with the story of how he once forgot the name of an Italian painter - and how a young acquaintance mangled a quotation from Virgil through fears that his girlfriend might be pregnant - it brings together a treasure trove of muddled memories, inadvertent actions, and verbal tangles. Amusing, moving, and deeply revealing of the repressed, hypocritical Viennese society of his day, Freud's dazzling interpretations provide the perfect introduction to psychoanalytic thinking in action.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486122120
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 2/8/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 905,968
  • File size: 647 KB

Meet the Author


Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in Moravia; between the ages of four and eighty-two his home was in Vienna: in 1938 Hitler's invasion of Austria forced him to seek asylum in London, where he died in the following year.



His career began with several years of brilliant work on the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. He was almost thirty when, after a period of study under Charcot in Paris, his interests first turned to psychology, and another ten years of clinical work in Vienna(at first in collaboration with Breuer, an older colleague) saw the birth of his creation, psychoanalysis. This began simply as a method of treating neurotic patients by investigating their minds, but it quickly grew into an accumulation of knowledge about the workings of the mind in general, whether sick or healthy. Freud was thus able to demonstrate the normal development of the sexual instinct in childhood and, largely on the basis of an examination of dreams, arrived at his fundamental discovery of the unconscious forces that influence our everyday thoughts and actions. Freud's life was uneventful, but his ideas have shaped not only many specialist disciplines, but the whole intellectual climate of the last half-century




Anthea Bell translated E. T. A. Hoffman's The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr for Penguin Classics and has received a number of translation awards.



Paul Keegan is the poetry editor at Faber and Faber.
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Psychopathology of Everyday Life


By Sigmund Freud, A. A. Brill

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2003 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-12212-0



CHAPTER 1

FORGETTING OF PROPER NAMES

During the year 1898 I published a short essay On the Psychic Mechanism of Forgetfulness. I shall now repeat its contents and take it as a starting-point for further discussion. I have there undertaken a psychologic analysis of a common case of temporary forgetfulness of proper names, and from a pregnant example of my own observation I have reached the conclusion that this frequent and practically unimportant occurrence of a failure of a psychic function—of memory—admits an explanation which goes beyond the customary utilization of this phenomenon.

If an average psychologist should be asked to explain how it happens that we often fail to recall a name which we are sure we know, he would probably content himself with the answer that proper names are more apt to be forgotten than any other content of memory. He might give plausible reasons for this "forgetting preference" for proper names, but he would not assume any deep determinant for the process.

I was led to examine exhaustively the phenomenon of temporary forgetfulness through the observation of certain peculiarities, which, although not general, can, nevertheless, be seen clearly in some cases. In these there is not only forgetfulness, but also false recollection: he who strives for the escaped name brings to consciousness others— substitutive names—which, although immediately recognized as false, nevertheless obtrude themselves with great tenacity. The process which should lead to the reproduction of the lost name is, as it were, displaced, and thus brings one to an incorrect substitute.

Now it is my assumption that the displacement is not left to psychic arbitrariness, but that it follows lawful and rational paths. In other words, I assume that the substitutive name (or names) stands in direct relation to the lost name, and I hope, if I succeed in demonstrating this connection, to throw light on the origin of the forgetting of names.

In the example which I selected for analysis in 1898 I vainly strove to recall the name of the master who made the imposing frescoes of the "Last Judgment" in the dome of Orvieto. Instead of the lost name—Signorelli—two other names of artists—Botticelli and Boltraffio—obtruded themselves, names which my judgment immediately and definitely rejected as being incorrect. When the correct name was imparted to me by an outsider I recognized it at once without any hesitation. The examination of the influence and association paths which caused the displacement from Signorelli to Botticelli and Boltraffio led to the following results:—

(a) The reason for the escape of the name Signorelli is neither to be sought in the strangeness in itself of this name nor in the psychologic character of the connection in which it was inserted. The forgotten name was just as familiar to me as one of the substitutive names—Botticelli—and somewhat more familiar than the other substitute— Boltraffio—of the possessor of which I could hardly say more than that he belonged to the Milanese School. The connection, too, in which the forgetting of the name took place appeared to me harmless, and led to no further explanation. I journeyed by carriage with a stranger from Ragusa, Dalmatia, to a station in Herzegovina. Our conversation drifted to travelling in Italy, and I asked my companion whether he had been in Orvieto and had seen there the famous frescoes of—

(b) The forgetting of the name could not be explained until after I had recalled the theme discussed immediately before this conversation. This forgetting then made itself known as a disturbance of the newly emerging theme caused by the theme preceding it. In brief, before I asked my travelling companion if he had been in Orvieto we had been discussing the customs of the Turks living in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I had related what I heard from a colleague who was practising medicine among them, namely, that they show full confidence in the physician and complete submission to fate. When one is compelled to inform them that there is no help for the patient, they answer: "Sir (Herr), what can I say? I know that if he could be saved you would save him." In these sentences alone we can find the words and names: Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Herr (sir), which may be inserted in an association series between Signorelli, Botticelli, and Boltraffio.

(c) I assume that the stream of thoughts concerning the customs of the Turks in Bosnia, etc., was able to disturb the next thought, because I withdrew my attention from it before it came to an end. For I recalled that I wished to relate a second anecdote which was next to the first in my memory. These Turks value the sexual pleasure above all else, and at sexual disturbances merge into an utter despair which strangely contrasts with their resignation at the peril of losing their lives. One of my colleague's patients once told him: "For you know, sir (Herr), if that ceases, life no longer has any charm."

I refrained from imparting this characteristic feature because I did not wish to touch upon such a delicate theme in conversation with a stranger. But I went still further; I also deflected my attention from the continuation of the thought which might have associated itself in me with the theme "Death and Sexuality." I was at that time under the after-effects of a message which I had received a few weeks before, during a brief sojourn in Trafoi. A patient on whom I had spent much effort had ended his life on account of an incurable sexual disturbance. I know positively that this sad event, and everything connected with it, did not come to my conscious recollection on that trip in Herzegovina. However, the agreement between Trafoi and Boltraffio forces me to assume that this reminiscence was at that time brought to activity despite all the intentional deviation of my attention.

(d) I can no longer conceive the forgetting of the name Signorelli as an accidental occurrence. I must recognize in this process the influence of a motive. There were motives which actuated the interruption in the communication of my thoughts (concerning the customs of the Turks, etc.), and which later influenced me to exclude from my consciousness the thought connected with them, and which might have led to the message concerning the incident in Trafoi—that is, I wanted to forget something, I repressed something. To be sure, I wished to forget something other than the name of the master of Orvieto; but this other thought brought about an associative connection between itself and this name, so that my act of volition missed the aim, and I forgot the one against my will, while I intentionally wished to forget the other. The disinclination to recall directed itself against the one content; the inability to remember appeared in another. The case would have been obviously simpler if this disinclination and the inability to remember had concerned the same content. The substitutive names no longer seem so thoroughly justified as they were before this explanation. They remind me (after the form of a compromise) as much of what I wished to forget as of what I wished to remember, and show me that my object to forget something was neither a perfect success nor a failure.

(e) The nature of the association formed between the lost name and the repressed theme (death and sexuality, etc.), containing the names of Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Trafoi, is also very strange. In the scheme inserted here, which originally appeared in 1898, an attempt is made to graphically represent these associations.

The name Signorelli was thus divided into two parts. One pair of syllables (elli) returned unchanged in one of the substitutions, while the other had gained, through the translation of signor (sir, Herr), many and diverse relations to the name contained in the repressed theme, but was lost through it in the reproduction. Its substitution was formed in a way to suggest that a displacement took place along the same associations—"Herzegovina and Bosnia"—regardless of the sense and acoustic demarcation. The names were therefore treated in this process like the written pictures of a sentence which is to be transformed into a picture-puzzle (rebus). No information was given to consciousness concerning the whole process, which, instead of the name Signorelli, was thus changed to the substitutive names. At first sight no relation is apparent between the theme that contained the name Signorelli and the repressed one which immediately preceded it.

Perhaps it is not superfluous to remark that the given explanation does not contradict the conditions of memory reproduction and forgetting assumed by other psychologists, which they seek in certain relations and dispositions. Only in certain cases have we added another motive to the factors long recognized as causative in forgetting names, and have thus laid bare the mechanism of faulty memory. The assumed dispositions are indispensable also in our case, in order to make it possible for the repressed element to associatively gain control over the desired name and take it along into the repression. Perhaps this would not have occurred in another name having more favourable conditions of reproduction. For it is quite probable that a suppressed element continually strives to assert itself in some other way, but attains this success only where it meets with suitable conditions. At other times the suppression succeeds without disturbance of function, or, as we may justly say, without symptoms.

When we recapitulate the conditions for forgetting a name with faulty recollection we find: (1) a certain disposition to forget the same; (2) a process of suppression which has taken place shortly before; and (3) the possibility of establishing an outer association between the concerned name and the element previously suppressed. The last condition will probably not have to be much overrated, for the slightest claim on the association is apt in most cases to bring it about. But it is a different and farther-reaching question whether such outer association can really furnish the proper condition to enable the suppressed element to disturb the reproduction of the desired name, or whether after all a more intimate connection between the two themes is not necessarily required. On superficial consideration one may be willing to reject the latter requirement and consider the temporal meeting in perfectly dissimilar contents as sufficient. But on more thorough examination one finds more and more frequently that the two elements (the repressed and the new one) connected by an outer association, possess besides a connection in content, and this can also be demonstrated in the example Signorelli.

The value of the understanding gained through the analysis of the example Signorelli naturally depends on whether we must explain this case as a typical or as an isolated process. I must now maintain that the forgetting of a name associated with faulty recollection uncommonly often follows the same process as was demonstrated in the case of Signorelli. Almost every time that I observed this phenomenon in myself I was able to explain it in the manner indicated above as being motivated by repression.

I must mention still another view-point in favour of the typical nature of our analysis. I believe that one is not justified in separating the cases of name-forgetting with faulty recollection from those in which incorrect substitutive names have not obtruded themselves. These substitutive names occur spontaneously in a number of cases; in other cases, where they do not come spontaneously, they can be brought to the surface by concentration of attention, and they then show the same relation to the repressed element and the lost name as those that come spontaneously. Two factors seem to play a part in bringing to consciousness the substitutive names: first, the effort of attention, and second, an inner determinant which adheres to the psychic material. I could find the latter in the greater or lesser facility which forms the required outer associations between the two elements. A great many of the cases of name-forgetting without faulty recollection therefore belong to the cases with substitutive name formation, the mechanism of which corresponds to the one in the example Signorelli. But I surely shall not venture to assert that all cases of name-forgetting belong to the same group. There is no doubt that there are cases of name-forgetting that proceed in a much simpler way. We shall represent this state of affairs carefully enough if we assert that besides the simple forgetting of proper names there is another forgetting which is motivated by repression.

CHAPTER 2

FORGETTING OF NAMES AND ORDER OF WORDS


Experiences like those mentioned concerning the process of forgetting a part of the order of words from a foreign language may cause one to wonder whether the forgetting of the order of words in one's own language requires an essentially different explanation. To be sure, one is not wont to be surprised if after awhile a formula or poem learned by heart can only be reproduced imperfectly, with variations and gaps. Still, as this forgetting does not affect equally all the things learned together, but seems to pick out therefrom definite parts, it may be worth our effort to investigate analytically some examples of such faulty reproductions.

Last summer, while journeying on my vacation, I renewed the acquaintance of a young man of academic education, who, as I soon noticed, was conversant with some of my works. In our conversation we drifted—I no longer remember how—to the social position of the race to which we both belonged. He, being ambitious, bemoaned the fact that his generation, as he expressed it, was destined to grow crippled, that it was prevented from developing its talents and from gratifying its desires. He concluded his passionately felt speech with the familiar verse from Virgil: Exoriare ... in which the unhappy Dido leaves her vengeance upon Ɔneas to posterity. Instead of "concluded," I should have said "wished to conclude," for he could not bring the quotation to an end, and attempted to conceal the open gap in his memory by transposing the words:—

"Exoriar(e) ex nostris ossibus ultor!"

He finally became piqued and said: "Please don't make such a mocking face, as if you were gloating over my embarrassment, but help me. There is something missing in this verse. How does it read in its complete form?"

"With pleasure," I answered, and cited it correctly:—

"Exoriar(e) aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor!"

"It is too stupid to forget such a word," he said. "By the way, I understand you claim that forgetting is not without its reasons; I should be very curious to find out how I came to forget this indefinite pronoun 'aliquis.'"

I gladly accepted the challenge, as I hoped to get an addition to my collection, and said, "We can easily do this, but I must ask you to tell me frankly and without any criticism everything that occurs to your mind after you focus your attention, without any particular intention, on the forgotten word."

"Very well, the ridiculous idea comes to me to divide the word in the following way: a and liquis."

"What does that mean?"

"I don't know."

"What else does that recall to you?"

"The thought goes on to reliques—liquidation—liquidity—fluid."

"Does that mean anything to you now?"

"No, not by a long shot."

"Just go ahead."

"I now think," he said, laughing sarcastically, "of Simon of Trent, whose relics I saw two years ago in a church in Trent. I think of the old accusation which has been brought against the Jews again, and of the work of Kleinpaul, who sees in these supposed sacrifices reincarnations or revivals, so to speak, of the Saviour."

"This stream of thoughts has some connection with the theme which we discussed before the Latin word escaped you."

"You are right. I now think of an article in an Italian journal which I have recently read. I believe it was entitled: 'What St. Augustine said Concerning Women.' What can you do with this?"

I waited.

"Now I think of something which surely has no connection with the theme."

"Oh, please abstain from all criticism, and——"

"Oh, I know! I recall a handsome old gentleman whom I met on my journey last week. He was really an original type. He looked like a big bird of prey. His name, if you care to know, is Benedict."

"Well, at least you give a grouping of saints and Church fathers: St. Simon, St. Augustine, and St. Benedict. I believe that there was a Church father named Origines. Three of these, moreover, are Christian names, like Paul in the name Kleinpaul."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Psychopathology of Everyday Life by Sigmund Freud, A. A. Brill. Copyright © 2003 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
I. Forgetting of Proper Names
II. Forgetting of Foreign Words
III. Forgetting of Names and Order of Words
IV. Childhood and Concealing Memories
V. Mistakes in Speech
VI. Mistakes in Reading and Writing
VII. Forgetting of Impressions and Resolutions
VIII. Erroneously Carried-out Actions
IX. Symptomatic and Chance Actions
X. Errors
XI. Combined Faulty Acts
XII. "Determinism, Chance, and Superstitious Beliefs"
Index
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    Psychopathology of Everyday Life

    The personal stories and examples make this book an interesting read rather than an academic read. It's a wonderful insight into the everyday "mistakes" in behavior, and easily applicable in one's own life. Also, being in his own words, the lectures give the reader an idea of Freud's own character.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

    Ugh this book is boring...

    Some of the ideals in this book really helped me to be selfaware. Some ideals in this book did not make any sense..... n & m in I think chapter V .. to me n & m have nothing to do with "the difference between a boy and a girl" .. I think the kid was trying to learn his letters... I apologize in advance if Freud is your idol .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    Christie says...

    Ooh, spooky! Keep it up! Can't wait for more!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    I love this

    Plz write more

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Good

    Wow

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Life As A Highschooler- Chapter 4: The Truth Is Revealed

    Dropping my bag and house keys on the spot, I ran into my house. Everything looked normal, until I reached my bedroom. Boxes were turned over and all of my belongings were strown across the floors. Mouth agape, I ran into my bathroom. On my mirror, written in bloodred lip stick was this message-<p>
    WATCH YOUR BACK BIT<c>CH. I'M COMING FOR YOU<p>
    I gasped and ran into the living room to call my mom. She answered on the 1st ring. "Mom!!!!!!!", I squealed. "Someone was in the house!!". "What?", she exclaimed. "And they wrote something on my mirrior!", I cried. "Calm down sweetie. I'm keaving work right now", she reassured. I ran back into ghe bathroom, and to my astonishment, the message was gone!<p>
    When my parents arrived at home, the went to take a look at my room and mirror. "Belle, there is nothing on your mirror, but we did see the damage to your room", my dad stated. "We will get everything repaired and it'll be alright", my mom said, stroking my hair. I grabbed a glass of water and headed up to my wrecked room, where thankfully, the intruder spared my bed. I climbed in and pulled the covers up to my nose, my eyes darting around the dark room.<p>
    Just as I was drifting off to sleep, I saw a shadow near my window. I noticed that the window was open, so I padded over to shut it mumbling,"Oh sh<c>it". The shadow darted around and came at me. I squealed and dove back into my bed, hiding in my comforter. I pulled my pillow over my head and thought about good happy things.<p>
    The next morning at school, I walked down the hallway, chatting with Laura about last night's events. "Dude, that's creepy!", Laura exclaimed as I told her about the mirror message. "I know! Who would want it out for me the first day I get here!!", I questioned. "Amelia. Sara. Cara", Laura began to list off people who didn't like me or had given me wierd looks. Suddenly, Cole joined us on my left side and said,"Whoa Belle! I heard about what happened to your room!". I nodded and looked down. "So what are you gonna do about it?", Cole and Laura asked in unison. "I'm just going to try to forget about it", I said as I spun the combo to my locker. "Let's talk about something else", Laura said, trying to lighten the mood. I nodded and began to walk to Science.<p>
    As I entered the classroom, I immidiatly felt Tyler's eyes on me. I ignored his prying eyes and found my seat. Mr. Clark began to teach us about the human body and announced that we would need partners for an upcoming activity. Tyler was at my desk in a flash, grabbing my shoulder possessivly. "Partners?", he asked. I shrugged and he took that as a yes. I sighed and thought,'This is going to be a long day'. We began to work on our project when the entercome sparked to life. "Belle WhiteWood to the admin. office please. Belle WhiteWood to admin.", the secretary said. I gathered up my supplies and headed down to the office. When I arrived, the secretary handed me a package and said,"This came in for you". I reluncantly took it and looked at the return address. There was none. Grabbing a pair of sissors from the desk, I began to slice open the box, fearing what I would find inside.<p>
    Thanks for reading! Chapter 5 will be up in result 6 tomorrow! Rate and review and tell eeryone about it!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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