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58. The Dream of the'Clever Baby'. [1923]

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

NOT too seldom patients narrate to one dreams in which the newly born, quite young children, or babies in the cradle, appear, who are able to talk or write fluently, treat one to deep sayings, carry on intelligent conversations, deliver harangues, give learned explanations, and so on. I imagine that behind such dream-contents something typical is hidden. The superficial layer of dream-interpretation in many cases points to an ironical view of psychoanalysis, which, as is well known, attributes far more psychical value and permanent effect to the experiences of early childhood than people in general care to admit. The ironic exaggeration of the intelligence of children, therefore, expresses a doubt as to analytical communications on this subject. But as similar appearances in fairy tales, myths, and traditional religious history very often occur, and in the painter’s art are also effectively represented (see the Debate of the young Mary with the Scribes), I believe that here the irony serves only as a medium for deeper and graver memories of their own childhood. Therefore the wish to become learned and to excel over’ the great’ in wisdom and knowledge is only a reversal of the contrary situation of the child. One part of the dreams of this content observed by me is illustrated by the pithy observation of the ne’er-do-well, when he said,’ If I had only understood how to make better use of the position of the baby.’ Lastly, we should not forget that the young child is familiar with much knowledge, as a matter of fact, that later becomes buried by the force of repression.2

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18. On Epileptic Fits. Observations and Reflections (c. 1921)

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

As registrar in a hospital for incurables, the Budapest Salpe-tricre, I had in my time to observe hundreds of epileptic fits. This turned out to have been a useful experience during the war years, when I became medical superintendent of a department of a military hospital, where one of my duties was the ‘verification’ of such fits. I do not propose here to go into the difficult and sometimes insoluble problems presented by individual cases in which we were called on to decide whether we were confronted with malingering, hysteria, or true, ‘genuine’ epilepsy, but shall confine myself to a few observations and reflections on those cases in which the typical picture of true epilepsy was presented without any doubt—that is to say, dilated, reactionless pupils, tonic-clonic spasms, complete extinction of sensibility, including corneal sensibility, biting of the tongue, noisy, laborious breathing, foaming at the mouth, ejection of the contents of the bowels, and post-epileptic coma. The impression made on the psycho-analyst by these fits is of a regression to an extremely primitive level of organization in which all inner excitations are discharged by the shortest motor path and all susceptibility to external stimuli is lost. In observing such cases I was continually reminded of the first attempt2 made by me long ago to classify epilepsy among the psycho-neuroses. I then suggested that an epileptic fit signified a regression to an extremely primitive level of infantile ego-organization in which wishes were still expressed by uncoordinatcd movements. It will be remembered that this suggestion was subsequently taken up by the American psychoanalyst McGuidy, who modified it by showing that the epileptic’s regression went back even further, to the intra-utcrinc situation, that of the unborn child in the womb. A similar opinion was expressed by my colleague Hollos, who in a paper read to the Hungarian branch of the International Psycho-Analytical Association compared the mental state of an epileptic during a fit to the unconsciousness of an unborn child.

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34. A Forerunner of Freud in the Theory of Sex (1912)

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

DRS. LINDNER, a Budapest children’s specialist, has died in his seventy-second year. He was one of the few whom Freud could look upon as a forerunner in the establishment of his theory of sex. Dr. Lindner’s most important work was Uber Ludeln oder Wonnesaugen2 (‘Thumb-Sucking’), published in the Archiv fur Kinderheilkunde (1879), in which he reported his observations on the various sucking habits of infants and older children, embellished with many excellent illustrations. He specifically emphasized the erotic nature of this ‘bad habit’ and recognized its gradual transition to masturbation. Naturally nobody would believe him; as he vigorously defended his proposition against the mockers, he was held to be an eccentric. After the old gentleman had retired from medical practice, the writer had the privilege of drawing his attention to the triumphant resurrection of his theory in the works of Freud.

Notes

1 German original in Zb. f. Psa. (1912), 2, 162. First English translation.

2 Reprinted in the Zeitschriftjur Psychanalytische Pddagogik, Vol. VIII, 1934.

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39. Ptyalism in an Oral-erotic. [1923]

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub
Medium 9781855750869

24. A Transitory Symptom: the Position during Treatment. [1913]

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

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