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X. SYMBOLISM

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

I

The Symbolic Representation of the Pleasures and Reality Principles in the Oedipus Myth1

SCHOPENHAUER writes :2 “Every work has its origin in a happy thought, and the latter gives the joy of conception; the birth, however, the carrying out, is, in my own case at least, not without pain; for then I stand before my own soul, like an inexorable judge before a prisoner lying on the rack, and make it answer until there is nothing left to ask. Almost all the errors and unutterable follies of which doctrines and philosoplues are so full seem to me to spring from a lack of this probity. The truth was not found, not because it was unsought, but because the intention always was to find again instead some preconceived opinion or other, or at least not to wound some favourite idea, and with this aim in view subterfuges had to be employed against both other people and the thinker himself. It is the courage of making a clean breast of it in face of every question that makes the philosopher. He must be like Sophocles’ Oedipus, who, seeking enlightenment concerning his terrible fate, pursues his indefatigable enquiry, even when he divines that appalling horror awaits him in the answer. But most of us carry in our hearts the Jocasta, who begs Oedipus for God’s sake not to enquire further; and we give way to her, and that is the reason why philosophy stands where it does.3 Just as Odin at the door of hell unceasingly interrogates the old prophetess in her grave, disregarding her opposition and refusals and prayers to he left in peace, so must the philosopher interrogate himself without mercy. This philosophical courage, however, which is the same thing as the sincerity and probity of investigation that you attribute to me, does not arise from reflection, cannot be wrung from resolutions, but is an inborn trend of the mind.”

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67. The Fan as a Genital Symbol. [1915]

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub
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V. ON THE PART PLAYED DY HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE PATHOGENESIS OP PARANOIA

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

IN the summer of 1908 I had the opportunity of opening up the problem of paranoia in the course of conversation with Professor Freud, and we arrived at certain tentative ideas, which for the main part were developed by Professor Freud, while I contributed to the final shaping of the train of thought with detached suggestions and criticisms. We laid down to begin with that the mechanism of projection, as explicated by Freud in the only case of paranoia at that time analysed, is characteristic of paranois in general. We assumed further that the paranoiac mechanism stands midway between the opposite mechanisms of neurosis and of dementia praecox. The neurotic gets rid of the affects that have become disagreeable to him by means of the different forms of displacement (conversion, transference, substitution); the patient suffering from dementia praecox, on the other hand, detaches his intcrcst from objects 2 and retracts it to his ego (auto-erotism, grandiose delusions).

The paranoiac also would make an attempt to withdraw his participation (in external interests), but it meets with only a limited success. Some of the desires get happily retracted into the ego— grandiose delusions occur in every case of paranoia—but a greater part of the interest, varying in amount, cannot disengage itself from its original object, or else returns to it. This interest, however, has become so incompatible with the ego that it gets objectified (with a reversal of affect, t. e. with a “negative sign in front”) and thus cast out from the ego. The tendency that has become intolerable, and has been withdrawn from its object, in this way returns from its love-object in the form of a perception of its own negative. The feeling of love is turned into the sensation of its opposite.

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Around this Correspondence

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

Around this correspondence

André Haynal

Si duo faciunt idem non est idem (if two (people) do the same, it is not the same) says the Latin proverb. The letters in this book show a beautiful example of two men, both interested in one's inner life, exploring ways to help other human beings and also, possibly, themselves. With this purpose, they both strive to be part of Freud's inner circle: two men so similar, but, nevertheless, so different.

Sándor Ferenczi's family originated from territories belonging to Austria (now Poland) in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Habsburg Empire). He considered himself Hungarian, although he spoke Yiddish, a German dialect, with his mother, and studied medicine at the Vienna University.

He was part of the light-hearted Budpest bohème, for whom inner freedom was one of the highest ideals and fantasy an important value. His professional life took place close to literary and artistic circles. Developing rich mutual relationships through what he called introjection, he considered cementing solidarity as the best possible achievement of human development. Central to this was what he called “sincerity” with others and himself—what would later be called authenticity. It was a way of life where the inner person should match the outer conduct. He conceptually opposed this to “hypocrisy”, meaning, to him, hiding one's true personality.

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15. Technical Difficulties in the Analysis of a Case of Hysteria. [1919]

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

{Including Observations on Larval Forms of Onanism and Onanistic Equivalents ‘)

A PATIENT who was endeavouring with great intelligence and much zeal to carry out the directions for psychoanalytic treatment, and who left nothing to be desired in the way of theoretical insight, nevertheless, after a certain degree of improvement, probably due to the first transference, made no progress for a long time.

As the proceedings made absolutely no headway, I decided on extreme measures and fixed a date up to which I would continue to treat her, in the expectation that by this means I should provide her with an adequate incentive to effort. Even this, however, proved only of temporary assistance; she soon relapsed into her former inactivity, which she concealed behind her transference love. The hours went by in passionate declarations of love and entreaties on her side, and in fruitless endeavours on mine to get her to understand the transference nature of her feelings, and to trace her affects to their real but unconscious object. On the completion of the period set I discharged her un-cured. She herself was quite content with her improvement.

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