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63. Significant Variants of the Shoe as a Vagina Symbol. [1916/17]

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub
Medium 9781855750876

11. Child-Analysis in the Analysis of Adults (1931)

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

I FEEL I ought to say a few words to explain or excuse the fact that I, a stranger, have been chosen to speak at this celebration by a society that includes so many who are worthy—more worthy than myself—to fulfil this honourable task. It cannot be merely the precedence accorded to those twenty-five years during which I have had the privilege of being in close contact with Professor Freud and under his leadership—for there are amongst you some of our colleagues who have been his faithful disciples even longer than I. Let me therefore look for some other reason. Perhaps you wanted to take this opportunity of giving the lie to a certain statement which is widely current and much favoured by the uninitiated and the opponents of psycho-analysis. Over and over again one hears irresponsible remarks about the intolerance, the ‘orthodoxy’ of our master. It is said that he will not suffer his associates to criticize any of his theories, and that he drives all independent talent out of his circle in order tyrannically to impose his own will in matters scientific. People talk of his ‘01d Testament’ severity, and even account for it on racial grounds. Now it is a sad truth that in the course of time certain men of conspicuous talent and many lesser lights have turned their backs on Freud after following him for a longer or shorter period. Were they in leaving him really actuated by purely scientific motives? It seems to me that their sterility in scientific work since then does not testify in their favour.

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8. The Elasticity of Psycho-Analytic Technique (1928)

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

Lecture given to the Hungarian Psycho-Analytical Society, 1927

EFFORTS to make the technique which I use in my psychoanalyses available to others have frequently brought up the subject of psychological understanding. If it were true, as so many believe, that understanding of the mental processes in a third person depends on a special, inexplicable, and therefore untransferable faculty called knowledge of human nature, any effort to teach my technique to others would be hopeless. Fortunately it is otherwise. Since the publication of Freud’s ‘Recommendations’(1912-15)2 on psycho-analytic technique, we have been in possession of the first foundations for a methodical investigation of the mind. Anyone who takes the trouble to follow the master’s instructions will be enabled, even if he is not a psychological genius, to penetrate to unsuspected depths the mental life of others, whether sick or healthy. Analysis of the parapraxes of everyday life, of dreams, and in particular of free associations, will put him in a position to understand a great deal about his fellows which was previously beyond the range of any but exceptional human beings. The human predilection for the marvellous will cause this transformation into a kind of craft of the art of understanding human nature to be received with disfavour. Artists and writers in particular appear to regard it as a kind of incursion into their domain and, after showing initial interest, summarily reject and turn their backs on it as an unattractive and mechanical technique. This antipathy causes us no surprise. Science is a process of progressive disillusionment; it displaces the mystical and the miraculous by universally valid and inevitable laws, the monotony and ineluctability of which provoke boredom and displeasure. However, it may serve as a partial consolation that among the practitioners of this craft, as of all others, artists will from time to time appear to whom we may look for progress and new perspectives.

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36. Paraesthesias of the Genital Regions in Impotence. [1913]

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

PSVCHO-SEXUALLY impotent patients are wont to complain that they’ do not feel’ their penis; others mention marked feelings of coldness in the genital region, while others again speak of the sensation of the penis shrinking up; all these illusions are intensified at the moment of attempted coitus. During the course of the analyses the patients then often say spontaneously that they can’ feel’ the penis better, that the cold feeling is decreasing, that the penis (unerected)’ has more consistence’ , is’ more turgid’ , etc. For technical reasons it is not advisable to undertake a physical examination on the strength of such complaints; in a few cases, however, I could not evade this, but was unable to confirm the occurrence of any particular’ coldness’ nor of any anaesthesia nor analgesia, but there certainly was a shrunken-together appearance of the penis. Analytically the unconscious source for these sensations was ascertained to be an infantile castration fear which, as I have detailed elsewhere,2 is also the origin for that feeling of retraction that many patients get at the root of the penis and in the perineum, especially when afraid of the analyst (father). One of these patients once wakened at night with the sensation that he had’ no feeling’ of his penis at all; he experienced great anxiety and had to convince himself by touch that he really had a penis. The explanation was as follows: as a child he was threatened with castration for onanistic manipulation of his genitals; whence the’ dread of touching’ the genitals. The anxious clutching at the penis proved to be a compromise between the wish to masturbate and the dread to be so sorely punished for it. (‘ The return of the repressed.’) Those here described and similar paraesthesias often show quite well by their variations the improvements and aggravations in the patient’s condition. Besides unconscious (onanistic) incest phantasies,3 castration threats are the most frequent causes of psychic impotence; most often it is both (fear of castration on account or the incestuous wish).

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21. Notes and Fragments (1920 and 1930-2)

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

ON Ferenczi’s death a number of notes were found among his papers. These were jottings of ideas that were to be worked up later, if occasion arose, into more permanent form. They were for his private use, in the four languages which served as the medium of his thought, and were scribbled on odd bits of paper, using abbreviations for phrases and ideas which needed some effort to discover and correctly to transcribe.

Ferenczi’s literary executors translated the bulk of these notes into German(where that language was not originally used) and published them in the Bausteine, Vol. IV.

The originals were burnt when Ferenczi’s charming house in Buda was destroyed in the siege of 1944-5.

I(1920)

26.9.1920

Nocturnal Emission, Masturbation, and Coitus

1. Nocturnal emission is always unconscious masturbation(often brought about by means of unconscious fantasies).

2. It always follows as a substitute on the giving up of masturbation. In some cases masturbation in sleep slips in as a transitory stage.

3. Complementary scries. Onanism=masturbation + fantasy, The more the masturbation, the smaller the role played by fantasy, and vice versa. Fantasy is more exhausting, both physically and morally.

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