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Volume 17


Volume XVII: 
An Infantile Neurosis and Other Works (1917-1919)

1918B 17/3
From the history of an infantile neurosis (1918).
Editor’s note. (1955).
From the History of an Infantile Neurosis is the most elaborate and the most important of all Freud’s case histories. It was in February, 1910, that the wealthy young Russian who is its subject came to Freud for analysis. His first course of treatment, which is the one reported, lasted from then until July, 1914. The primary significance of the case history at the time of its publication was clearly the support it provided for his criticisms of Adler and more especially of Jung. Here was conclusive evidence to refute any denial of infantile sexuality. The analysis sheds light on the earlier, oral, organization of the libido. Perhaps the chief clinical finding was the evidence revealed of the determining part played in the patient’s neurosis by his primary feminine impulses. The marked degree of bisexuality of the patient is discussed.

1918B 17/7
From the history of an infantile neurosis (1918).
Part I. Introductory remarks about the “Wolfman.”
The case which Freud reports is characterized by a number of peculiarities which require emphasis. It is concerned with a young man whose health had broken down in his eighteenth year after a gonorrhoeal infection, and who was entirely incapacitated and completely dependent upon other people when he began his psychoanalytic treatment several years later. His early years were dominated by a severe neurotic disturbance, which began immediately before his fourth birthday as an anxiety hysteria (in the shape of an animal phobia), then changed into an obsessional neurosis with a religious content, and lasted as far as into his tenth year. Freud’s description and analysis of the case are restricted to the aspect of infantile neurosis, 15 years after its termination. The first years of the treatment produced scarcely any change. The patient remained for a long time unassailably entrenched behind an attitude of obliging apathy. His shrinking from a self-sufficient existence was a great problem. Freud waited until the patient became strongly enough attached to him to counterbalance this shrinking. Freud told the patient that the treatment had to come to an end at a fixed date; and under the pressure of this limit his resistance and his fixation to the illness gave way. It is concluded that the length of analysis and the quantity of material which must be mastered are of no importance in comparison with the resistance which is met within the course of the work, and are only of importance insofar as they are necessarily proportional to the resistance.

1918B 17/13
From the history of an infantile neurosis (1918).
Part II. General survey of the patient’s environment and of the history of the case.
A general survey is made of the patient’s environment and of the history of the case. His mother suffered from abdominal disorders, and his father from attacks of depression, which led to his absence from home. As a consequence of her weak health, the patient’s mother had little to do with her children. As far back as he could remember he was looked after by a nurse, an uneducated old woman of peasant birth, with an untiring affection for him. He seems at first to have been a very good natured, tractable, and even quiet child, so that they used to say of him that he ought to have been the girl and his elder sister the boy. But once, when his parents came back from their summer holiday, they found him transformed. He had become discontented, irritable and violent, took offense on every possible occasion, and then flew into a rage and screamed like a savage. This happened during the summer while the English governess was with them. The patient’s sister tormented him by always displaying a picture of a wolf which frightened him. During the years of his childhood he went through an easily recognizable attack of obsessional neurosis. He related that during a long period he was very pious. The patient’s more mature years were marked by a very unsatisfactory relation to his father, who, after repeated attacks of depression, was no longer able to conceal the pathological features of his character. All of the phenomena which the patient associated with the phase of his life that began with his naughtiness disappeared in about his eighth year.

1918B 17/19
From the history of an infantile neurosis (1918).
Part III. The seduction and its immediate consequences.
A case history of seduction and its immediate con-sequences are discussed. When Freud’s patient was very small, his sister seduced him into sexual practices. His sister took hold of his penis and played with it. The phantasies that the patient had were meant to efface the memory of an event which later on seemed offensive to his masculine self-esteem. According to these phantasies it was not he who had played the passive part towards his sister, but he had been aggressive, had tried to see his sister undressed, had been rejected and punished, and had for that reason got into the rage which the family tradition talked of. The boy’s age at the time at which his sister began her seductions was 3Y4 years. He held aloof from her and her solicitations soon ceased. The patient envied her the respect which his father showed for her mental capacity and intellectual achievements, while he, intellectually inhibited since his neurosis, had to be content with a lower estimation. But he tried to win, instead of her, his nurse, Nanya. He began to play with his penis in Nanya’s presence but Nanya disillusioned him and threatened castration. His sexual life which was beginning to come under the sway of the genital zone, gave way before an external obstacle, and was thrown back by its influence into an earlier phase of pregenital organization. At the suppression of his masturbation, the boy’s sexual life took on a sadistic anal character. There was an intense and constant ambivalence in the patient, shown in the development of both members of the pairs of contrary component instincts. After the refusal by his Nanya, his libidinal expectation detached itself from her and began to contemplate his father as a sexual object. By bringing his naughtiness forward he was trying to force punishments and beatings out of his father, and in that way to obtain from him the masochistic sexual satisfaction that he desired. The signs of alteration in the patient’s character were not accompanied by any symptoms of anxiety until after the occurrence of a particular event (wolf dream).

1918B 17/29
From the history of an infantile neurosis (1918).
Part IV. The dream and the primal scene.
The dream of Freud’s patient in relation to the primal scene is discussed. The patient dreamed that the bedroom window opened and he saw 6 or 7 white wolves in the walnut tree outside the window. In great terror, evidently of being eaten up, he screamed and woke up. Interpretation of this dream was a task which lasted several years. The only piece of action in the dream was the opening of the window. The wolves sat quite still and without making any movement on the branches of the tree. He had always connected this dream with the recollection that during these years of his childhood he was most tremendously afraid of the picture of a wolf in a book of fairy tales. What sprang into activity that night out of the chaos of the dreamer 5 unconscious memory traces was the picture of copulation between his parents, copulation in circumstances which were not entirely usual and were especially favorable for observation. The child’s age at the date of the observation was established as being about 1-1/2 years. The postures which he saw his parents adopt had the man upright, and the woman bent down like an animal. He thought that the posture of the wolf in the fairy tale The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats, might have reminded him of that of his father during the constructed primal scene. At all events, the picture became the point of departure for further manifestations of anxiety. His anxiety was a repudiation of the wish for sexual satisfaction from his father, the trend which had put the dream into his head. The form taken by the anxiety, the fear of him being eaten by the wolf, was only the transposition of the wish to be copulated with by his father, that is, to be given sexual satisfaction in the same way as his mother. His last sexual aim, the passive attitude towards his father, succumbed to repression, and a fear of his father appeared in its place in the shape of the wolf phobia. His mother took the part of the castrated wolf, which let the others climb upon it; his father took the part of the wolf that climbed. He had identified with his castrated mother (no penis) during the dream and was fighting against the fact. His masculinity protested against being castrated (like Mother) in order to be sexually satisfied by Father. It was not only a single sexual current that started from the primal scene but a whole set of them.

1918B 17/48
From the history of an infantile neurosis (1918).
Part V. A few discussions.
Scenes from early infancy, such as those brought up by an exhaustive analysis of neuroses, are not reproductions of real occurrences. They are products of the imagination, which are intended to serve as some kind of symbolic representation of real wishes and interests, and which owe their origin to a regressive tendency, to a turning away from the tasks of the present. The influence of childhood makes itself felt at the beginning of the formation of a neurosis, since it plays a decisive part in determining whether and at what point the individual shall fail to master the real problems of life. The occurrence of a neurotic disorder in the fourth and fifth years of childhood proves, that infantile experiences are in a position to produce a neurosis. In the case of Freud’s patient, the content of the primal scene is a picture of sexual intercourse between the boy’s parents in a posture especially favorable for certain observations. Shortly before his dream, the boy was taken to visit flocks of sheep, and there he saw large white dogs and probably also observed them copulating. What probably supervened during the expectant excitement of the night of his dream was the transference on to his parents of his recently acquired memory picture, with all its details, and it was only thus that the powerful emotional effects which followed were made possible. The transference from the copulating dogs on to his parents was accomplished not by means of his making an inference accompanied by words but by his searching out in his memory a real scene in which his parents had been together and which could be coalesced with the situation of the copulation.

1918B 17/61
From the history of an infantile neurosis (1918).
Part VI. The obsessional neurosis.
Obsessional child neurosis is discussed. When the patient was 4_ years old, and as his state or irritability and apprehensiveness had not improved, his mother determined to make him acquainted with the Bible story in the hope of distracting and elevating him. His initiation into religion brought the previous phase to an end, but at the same time it led to the anxiety symptoms being replaced by obsessional symptoms. Up to then he had not been able to get to sleep easily because he had been afraid of having bad dreams; now he was obliged before he went to bed to kiss all the holy pictures in the room, to recite prayers, and to make innumerable signs of the cross upon himself and upon his bed. His childhood falls into the following epochs: 1) the earliest period up to the seduction when he was 3Y~ years old, during which the primal scene took place; 2) the period of the alteration in his character up to the anxiety dream (4 years old); 3) the period of the animal phobia up to his initiation into religion (4_ years old); and 4) the period of the obsessional neurosis up to a time later than his tenth year. After the rebuff from his Nanya and the consequent suppression of the beginnings of genital activity, his sexual life developed in the direction of sadism and masochism. His knowledge of the sacred story gave him a chance of sublimating his predominant masochistic attitude towards his father.

1918B 17/72
From the history of an infantile neurosis (1918).
Part VII. Anal erotism and the castration complex.
Anal erotism in relation to the castration complex is discussed. The obsessional neurosis grew up on the basis of a sadistic anal constitution. For a long time before the analysis, feces had the significance of money for the patient. During his later illness he suffered from disturbances of his intestinal function. He found a great deal of enjoyment in anal jokes and exhibitions, and this enjoyment had been retained by him until after the beginning of his later illness. Under the influence of the primal scene he came to the conclusion that his mother had been made ill by what his father had done to her (intercourse); and his dread of having blood in his stool, of being as ill as his mother, was his repudiation of being identified with her in this sexual scene. But the dread was also a proof that in his later elaboration of the primal scene he had put himself in his mother’s place and had envied her this relation with his father. The organ by which his identification with women, his passive homosexual attitude to men, was able to express itself was the anal one. The disorders in the function of this zone had acquired the significance of feminine impulses of tenderness, and they retained it during the later illness as well. He rejected castration, and held to his theory of intercourse by the anus. His identification of his father with the castrator became important as being the source of an intense unconscious hostility towards him and of a sense of guilt which reacted against it.

1918B 17/89
From the history of an infantile neurosis (1918).
Part VIII. Fresh material from the primal period-Solution.
It happens in many analyses that as one approaches their end new recollections emerge which have hitherto been kept carefully concealed. Early in the analysis, the patient told Freud of a memory of the period in which his naughtiness had been in the habit of suddenly turning into anxiety. He was chasing a beautiful big butterfly but suddenly, when the butterfly had settled on a flower, he was seized with a dreadful fear of the creature, and ran away screaming. In this anxiety scene, a recollection of some female person had been aroused. Behind the screen memory of the hunted butterfly, the memory of the nursery maid lay concealed. When the patient saw this girl scrubbing the floor, he had micturated in the room, and she had rejoined with a threat of castration. When he saw the girl on the floor engaged in scrubbing it, and kneeling down, with her buttocks projecting and her back horizontal, he was faced once again with the posture which his mother had assumed in the copulation scene. She became his mother to him; he was seized with sexual excitement; and, like his father, he behaved in a masculine way towards her. The disturbance of appetite, the wolf phobia, and the obsessional piety constituted the complete series of infantile disorders which laid down the predisposition for his neurotic breakdown after he had passed the age of puberty. Every neurosis in an adult is built upon a neurosis which has occurred in his childhood. The phase used by the patient to sum up the troubles of which he complained was that the world was hidden from him by a veil. The veil was tom in 1 situation only: at the moment when, as a result of an enema, he passed a motion through his anus, at which time he felt well again, and briefly saw the world clearly. He remembered that he had been born with a caul, thus the caul was the “veil” (birth veil) which hid him from the world. The phantasy of re-birth is discussed in relation to the birth veil.

1918B 17/104
From the history of an infantile neurosis (1918).
Part IX. Recapitulations and problems.
The advantage of having a wealth of information about the patient’s childhood was purchased at the expense of disjointed analysis. The first sign of the patient’s sexual development is in the disturbance of his appetite. This earliest recognizable sexual organization is called the cannibalistic or oral phase, during which the original attachment of sexual excitation to the nutritional instinct still dominates the scene. The sadistic anal organization is regarded as a continuation and development of the oral one. The boy’s anal erotism was not particularly noticeable. His seduction continued to make its influence felt, by maintaining the passivity of his sexual aim and it transformed his sadism into the masochism which was its passive counterpart. The sadistic anal organization continued to exist during the phase of the animal phobia which set in, only it suffered an admixture of anxiety phenomena. The phobia came into existence on the level of the genital organization, and showed the relatively simple mechanism of an anxiety hysteria. The ego, by developing anxiety, was protecting itself against homosexual satisfaction but the process of repression left behind a trace. What became conscious was fear not of the father but of the wolf and the anxiety that was concerned in the formation of these phobias was a fear of castration. Religion achieved all the aims for the sake of which it is included in the education of the individual: It put a restraint on his sexual education, and lowered the importance of his family relationships.

1917C 17/125
On transformations of instinct as exemplified in anal erotism (1917).
Observations made during psychoanalysis led Freud to suspect that the constant coexistence in any one of the 3 character traits of orderliness, parsimony, and obstinancy indicated an intensification of the anal erotic components in a subject’s sexual constitution, and that these modes of reaction, which were favored by his ego, had been established during the course of his development through the assimilation of his anal erotism. In the development of the libido in man, the phase of genital primacy must be preceded by a pregential organization in which sadism and anal erotism play the leading parts. It appears that, in products of the unconscious such as spontaneous ideas, phantasies, and symptoms, the concepts of feces (money, gift), baby, and penis are ill distinguished from one another and are easily interchangeable. If we penetrate deeply enough into the neurosis of a woman, we meet the repressed wish to possess a penis like a man. The female’s wish for a penis and the wish for a baby are fundamentally identical. The ultimate outcome of the infantile wish for a penis, in women in whom the determinants of a neurosis in later life are absent, is that it changes into the wish for a man, and thus puts up with the man as an appendage to the penis. This transformation, therefore, turns an impulse which is hostile to the female sexual function into one which is favorable to it. Anal erotism finds a narcissistic application in the production of defiance, which constitutes an important reaction on the part of the ego against demands made by other people. A baby is regarded as feces (“lumf”), as something which becomes detached from the body by passing through the bowel. Interest in feces is carried over first to interest in gifts, and then to interest in money.

1917A 17/135
A difficulty in the path of psycho-analysis (1917).
A difficulty in the path of psychoanalysis is discussed. The difficulty consists of the reaction of man to the psychological blow to his narcissism, due to an awareness of the limitations of the ego. When we try to understand neurotic disorders, by far the greater significance attaches to the sexual instincts. Neuroses are, in fact, the specific disorders of the sexual function. In general, whether or not a person develops a neurosis depends on the quantity of his libido, and on the possibility of satisfying it and of discharging it through satisfaction. The form taken by the disease is determined by the way in which the individual passes through the course of development of his sexual function, or as it is put, by the fixations his libido has undergone in the course of its development. Therapeutic efforts have their greatest success with a certain class of neuroses which proceed from a conflict between the ego instincts and the sexual instincts. The psychoanalytic method of treatment is able to subject the process of repression to revision and to bring about a solution of the conflict, one that is compatible with health. During the work of treatment, we have to consider the distribution of the patient’s libido; we look for the object presentations to which the libido is bound and free it from them, so as to place it at the disposal of the ego. The condition in which the ego retains the libido is called narcissism. The individual advances from narcissism to object love. Psychoanalysis has sought to educate the ego, which is not master in its own house.

1917B 17/145
A childhood recollection from ‘Dichtung und Wahrheit’ (1917).
A childhood recollection from Goethe’s Dichtung und Wahrheit is discussed in relation to cases of psychoanalysis. If we try to recollect what happened to us in the earliest years of childhood, we often find that we confuse what we have heard from others with what is really a possession of our own derived from what we ourselves have witnessed. In every psychoanalytic investigation of a life history, it is usually possible to explain the meaning of the earliest childhood memories along the line of screen memories. Screen memories are unimportant or indifferent memories of childhood that owe their preservation not to their own content but to an associative relation between their content and another which is repressed. Goethe wrote about having thrown all his dishes, pots, and pans out of the window. The opinion might be formed that the throwing of crockery out of the window is a symbolic action, or, a magic action by which a child gives violent expression to his wish to get rid of a disturbing intruder. The bitterness children feel about the expected or actual appearance of a rival finds expression in throwing objects out of the window and in other acts of naughtiness or destructiveness.

1919A 17/157
Lines of advance in psycho-analytic therapy (1919).
The task of physicians is to bring to the patient’s knowledge the unconscious, repressed impulses existing in him, and, for that purpose, to uncover the resistances that oppose this extension of his knowledge about him-self. The work by which we bring the repressed mental material into the patient’s consciousness is called psychoanalysis. The neurotic patient presents us with a torn mind, divided by resistances. As we analyze it and remove the resistances, it grows together; the great unity which we call his ego fits into itself all the instinctual impulses which before had been split off and held apart from it. The psychosynthesis is thus achieved during analytic treatment without intervention, automatically and inevitably. Analytic treatment should be carried through, as far as is possible, under privation, in a state of abstinence. It is frustration that made the patient ill, and his symptoms serve him as substitutive satisfactions. Activity on the part of the physician must take the form of energetic opposition to premature substitutive satisfactions. The patient looks for his substitutive satisfaction in the treatment itself, in his transference relationship with the physician; and he may even strive to compensate himself by this means for all the other privations laid upon him. It is necessary to deny the patient precisely those satisfactions which he desires most intensely and expresses most importunately. If everything is made pleasant for the patient he is not given the necessary strength for facing life.

1919J 17/169
On the teaching of psychoanalysis in universities (1919).
The teaching of psychoanalysis in the Universities is discussed. The inclusion of psychoanalysis in the University curriculum would be regarded with satisfaction by every psychoanalyst. At the same time, it is clear that the psychoanalyst can dispense entirely with the University without any loss to himself. So far as the Universities are concerned, the question depends on their deciding whether they are willing to attribute any value at all to psychoanalysis in the training of physicians and scientists. The training has been criticized during the last few decades for the one-sided way in which it directs the student into the field of anatomy, physics and chemistry while failing, to make plain to him the significance of mental factors in the different vital functions as well as in illnesses and their treatment. This obvious deficiency led to the inclusion in the University curriculum of courses of lectures on medical psychology. Psychoanalysis, more than any other system, is fitted for teaching psychology to the medical student. The teaching of psychoanalysis would have to proceed in 2 stages: an elementary course, designed for all medical students, and a course of specialized lectures for psychiatrists. In the investigation of mental processes and intellectual functions, psychoanalysis pursues a specific method of its own. The application of this method extends to the solution of problems in art, philosophy and religion. A University stands only to gain by the inclusion in its curriculum of the teaching of psychoanalysis.

1919E 17/175
‘A child is being beaten’: A contribution to the study of the origin of sexual perversions (1919)
Editor’s note. (1955).
The greater part of the paper called A Child is Being Beaten, a. Contribution to the Study of the Origin of Sexual Perversions, consists of a very detailed clinical enquiry into a particular kind of perversion. Freud’s findings throw a special light on the problem of masochism; and, as the subtitle implies, the paper was also designed to extend our knowledge of the perversions in general. The mechanism of repression is exhaustively discussed in 2 of Freud’s metapsychological papers; but the question of the motives leading to repression is nowhere examined more fully than in the present paper. The problem was one which had interested and also puzzled Freud from very early days.

1919E 17/179
‘A child is being beaten’: A contribution to the study of the origin of sexual perversions (1919).
Parts I, II, & III.
People who seek analytic treatment for hysteria or an obsessional neurosis often confess to having indulged in the phantasy: A child is being beaten. The phantasy has feelings of pleasure attached to it, and on their account the patient has reproduced it on innumerable occasions in the past or may even still be doing so. At the climax of the imaginary situation there is almost invariably a masturbatory satisfaction. At first this takes place voluntarily, but later on it does so in spite of the patient’s efforts, and with the characteristics of an obsession. The first phantasies of the kind are entertained very early in life: before school age, and not later than in the fifth or sixth year. This phantasy is cathected with a high degree of pleasure and has its issue in an act of pleasurable autoerotic satisfaction. A phantasy of this kind, arising in early childhood and retained for the purpose of autoerotic satisfaction, can be regarded as a primary trait of perversion. One of the components of the sexual function has developed in advance of the rest, has made itself prematurely independent, has undergone fixation and in consequence been withdrawn from the later processes of development, and has in this way given evidence of a peculiar and abnormal constitution in the individual. If the sexual component which has broken loose prematurely is the sadistic one, then we may expect that its subsequent repression will result in a disposition to an obsessional neurosis. Between the ages of 2 and 4 or 5, the congenital libidinal factors are first awakened. The beating phantasies appear toward the end of this period or after its termination. Analysis shows that these beating phantasies have a hysterical development that involves many transformations (as regards the phantasies’ relation to the author of the phantasy and as regards their object, content and significance). In the first phase of beating phantasies among girls the child beaten is never the one producing the phantasy but is most often a brother or sister. It is always an adult that is beating the child in all these phantasies. The first phase is completely represented in the phrase ‘My father is beating the child.’ The second (and most important) phase can be stated as ‘I am being beaten by my father.’ The third involves a phantasy with strong and unambiguous sexual excitement attached to it, thus providing a means for masturbatory satisfaction.

1919E 17/186
‘A child is being beaten’: A contribution to the study of the origin of sexual perversions (1919).
Parts IV & V.
If analysis is carried through the early period to which the beating phantasies are referred and from which they are recollected, it shows us that the child is involved in the agitations of its parental complex. The affections of the girl are fixed on her father. The first phase (sadism) of the beating phantasy in which another disliked sibling is beaten by the father gratifies the child’s jealousy and is dependent upon the erotic side of the child’s life, but is also powerfully reinforced by the child’s egoistic interest. The phantasy of the second phase, being beaten by the father is a direct expression of the girl’s sense of guilt: the phantasy therefore has become masochistic. A sense of guilt is invariably the main factor that transforms sadism into masochism; another factor is the love impulse. This phantasy is not only the punishment for the forbidden genital relation, but also the regressive substitute for that relation, and from this latter source, it derives the libidinal excitation which is attached to it, and which finds its source, it derives the libidinal excitation which is attached to it, and which finds its outlet in masturbatory acts. The third phase of the beating phantasy is again sadistic. A perversion in childhood may become the basis for the construction of a perversion having a similar sense and persisting throughout life, one which consumes the subject’s whole sexual life. Masochism is not the manifestation of a primary instinct, but originates from sadism which has been turned round upon the self, by means of regression from an object to the ego. People who harbor phantasies of this kind develop a special sensitiveness and irritability towards anyone whom they can include in the class of fathers. They are easily offended by a person of this kind, and in that way bring about the realization of the imagined situation of being beaten by their father.

1919E 17/195
‘A child is being beaten’: A contribution to the study of the origin of sexual perversions (1919).
Part VI.
The little girl’s beating phantasy passes through 3 phases, of which the first and third are consciously remembered. The 2 conscious phases appear to be sadistic; the middle and unconscious one is masochistic in nature; it consists in the child’s being beaten by her father, and it carries with it libidinal charge and a sense of guilt. In the first and third phantasies, the child who is being beaten is someone other than the subject; in the middle phase it is the child herself; in the third phase it is usually boys who are being beaten. The person who does the beating is the father, replaced later on by a substitute taken from the class of fathers. The unconscious phantasy of the middle phase has a genital significance and develops by means of repression and regression out of an incestuous wish to be loved by the father. There are only a few male cases with an infantile beating phantasy that do not have some other gross injury to their sexual activities. They include persons who can be described as masochists, in the sense of being sexual perverts. These men invariably transfer themselves into the part of a woman, while their masochistic attitude coincides with a feminine one. In the male phantasy, being beaten stands for being loved (in a genital sense). The boy’s beating phantasy is passive and is derived from a feminine attitude towards his father. Adler proposes, in his theory of the masculine protest, that every individual makes efforts not to remain on the inferior feminine line of development, and struggles towards the masculine line, from which satisfaction alone can be derived. The theory of psychoanalysis holds firmly to the view that the motive forces of repression must not be sexualized. No great change is effected by the repression of the original unconscious phantasy. Infantile sexuality, which is held under repression, acts as the chief motive force in the formation of symptoms; and the essential part of its content, the Oedipus complex, is the nuclear complex of neuroses.

1919D 17/205
Introduction to ‘psycho-analysis and the war neuroses’ (1919).
The war neuroses, in so far as they are distinguished from the ordinary neuroses of peacetime by special characteristics, are to be regarded as traumatic neuroses whose occurrence has been made possible or has been promoted by a conflict in the ego. The conflict is between the soldier’s old peaceful ego and his new warlike one, and it becomes acute as soon as the peace ego realizes what danger it runs of losing its life owing to the rashness of its newly formed, parasitic double. The precondition of the war neuroses would seem to be a national army; there would be no possibility of their arising in an army of professional soldiers or mercenaries. The war neuroses are only traumatic neuroses. The traumatic neuroses and war neuroses may proclaim too loudly the effects of mortal danger and may be silent or speak only in muffled tones of the effects of frustration in love. In traumatic and war neuroses the human ego is defending itself from a danger which threatens it from without or which is embodied in a shape assumed by the ego itself. In the transference neuroses of peace, the enemy from which the ego is defending itself is actually the libido, whose demands seem to it to be menacing. In both cases the ego is afraid of being damaged.

1955C 17/211
Introduction to ‘Psychoanalysis and the war neuroses (1919).
Appendix: Memorandum on the electrical treatment of war neurotics (1955) (1920).
A memorandum on the electrical treatment of war neurotics is presented. Although the war neuroses manifested themselves for the most part as motor disturbances, tremors and paralyses, and although it was plausible to suppose that such a gross impact as that produced by the concussion due to the explosion of a shell nearby or to being buried by a fall of earth would lead to gross mechanical effects, observations were nevertheless made which left no doubt as to the psychical nature of the causation of these so-called war neuroses. It was inferred that the immediate cause of all war neuroses was an unconscious inclination in the soldier to withdraw from the demands, dangerous or outrageous to his feelings, made upon him by active service. It seemed expedient to treat the neurotic as a malingerer and to disregard the psychological distinction between conscious and unconscious intentions. Just as he had fled from the war into illness, means were adopted which compelled him to flee back from illness into health. For this purpose painful electrical treatment was employed. This treatment, however, was not effective. In 1918, Dr. Ernst Simmel, head of a hospital for war neuroses at Posen, published a pamphlet in which he reported the extraordinarily favorable results achieved in severe cases of war neurosis by the psychotherapeutic method introduced by Freud. With the end of the war, the war neurotics disappeared.

1919H 17/219
The ‘uncanny’ (1919). Part I. Linguistic approach to the uncanny.
The uncanny is discussed. The uncanny is related to what is frightening, to what arouses dread and horror. As good as nothing is to be found upon this subject in comprehensive treatises on esthetics. In his study of the uncanny, Jentsch lays stress on the obstacle presented by the fact that people vary greatly in their sensitivity to this quality of feeling. Not everything that is new and unfamiliar is frightening. The German word unheimlich is the opposite of heimlich (homelike), heimisch (native); the opposite of what is familiar. Among its different shades of meaning the word heimlich exhibits one which is identical with its opposite, unheimlich – The word heimlich is not unambiguous, but belongs to 2 sets of ideas, which without being contradictory, are yet very different (homelike and secretly). Thusheimlich is a word, the meaning of which develops in the direction of ambivalence, until it finally coincides with its opposite, unheimlich. Unheimlich is in some way or other a subspecies of heimlich.

1919H 17/226
The ‘uncanny’ (1919). Part II. Phenomenology of uncanny affects.
Jentsch has taken, as a very good instance of the uncanny, doubts whether an apparently animate being is really alive; or conversely, whether a lifeless object might not be in fact animate. To these he adds the uncanny effect of epileptic fits, and of manifestations of insanity. These doubts of alive versus inanimate are thoroughly discussed in the story of The Sand-Man in E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Nachtstucken. The feeling of something uncanny is directly attached to the figure of the Sand-Man, that is, to the idea of being robbed of one’s eyes. The fear of damaging or losing one’s eyes is a terrible threat to children. This fear of blindness is seen as part of a castration complex. If psychoanalytic theory is correct in maintaining that every effect belonging to an emotional impulse, whatever its kind, is transformed, if it is repressed, into anxiety, then among instances of frightening things there must be one class in which the frightening element can be shown to be something repressed which recurs. This class of frightening things would then constitute the uncanny. Many people experience the feeling in the highest degree in relation to death and dead bodies, to the return of the dead, and to spirits and ghosts. The uncanny effect of epilepsy and of madness has the same origin. The layman sees in them the working of forces hitherto unsuspected in his fellow men, but at the same time he is dimly aware of them in remote corners of his own being. An uncanny effect is often easily produced when the distinction between imagination and reality is effaced, as when something that we have hitherto regarded as imaginary appears before us in reality, or when a symbol takes over the full functions of the thing it symbolizes.

1919H 17/245
The ‘uncanny’ (1919). Part III. Relation of imagination to reality.
It may be true that the uncanny, unheimlich, is something which is secretly familiar,heimlich-heimisch, which has undergone repression and then returned from it and that everything that is uncanny fulfills this condition. But the selection of material on this basis does not enable us to solve the problem of the uncanny. Apparent death and the reanimation of the dead have been represented as most uncanny themes. As soon as something actually happens in our lives which seems to confirm the old discarded beliefs, we get a feeling of the uncanny. When the uncanny comes from infantile complexes, the question of material reality does not arise; its place is taken by psychical reality. What is involved is an actual repression of some content of thought and a return of this repressed content, not a cessation of belief in the reality of such a content. An uncanny experience occurs either when infantile complexes which have been repressed are once more revived by some impression, or when primitive beliefs which have been surmounted seem once more to be confirmed. A great deal that is not uncanny in fiction would be so if it happened in real life. There are many more means of creating uncanny effects in fiction than there are in real life. The factors of silence, solitude, and darkness are actually elements in the production of the infantile anxiety from which the majority of human beings have never become quite free.

1919H 17/253
The ‘uncanny’ (1919). Appendix: Extract from Daniel Sander’s ‘Worterbuch der Deutschen Sprache.
Although the German title of Freud’s paper has been translated as “The Uncanny,” an appended extract from an authoritative dictionary of the German language suggests some of the difficulties involved in choosing an appropriate equivalent for the original title. Discussed at some length are the denotations, connotations, and implications of the German word “heimlich” (or “die Heimliclikeit”) and its oppositive. The latter is said to be essentially equivalent to the German “unbehaglich” (cf. Freud’s “das Unbehagen in der Kultur”), but also suggests unreasoning discomfort or a reaction of frightened aversion, as from some ill defined evil or the discovery of some unsuspected secret which should have been kept hidden away, but which has nonetheless become manifest. Although “heimlich” is substantially identified with the concept represented by the Latin “familiarities” or the original implications of the English word “homely,” it is also, and perhaps equally, identified with the idea of something hidden away, or something of which only a severely limited group has any cognizance or any right to either cognizance or contact. “Unheimlich,” in turn, suggests a breach of that condition and privilege, which is associated inevitably with both a considerable degree of existential guilt and potential threat, punishment, or vengeance.

1919G 17/257
Preface to Reik’s ‘Ritual: Psycho-analytic studies’ (1919).
The preface to Reik’s Ritual: Psychoanalytic Studies is presented. Psychoanalysis sprang from the need for bringing help to neurotic patients, who had found no relief through rest cures, through the arts of hydropathy, or through electricity. In 1913, Otto Rank and Hanns Sachs, brought together the results which had been achieved up to that time in the application of psychoanalysis to the mental sciences. The overcoming of the Oedipus complex coincides with the most efficient way of mastering the archaic, animal heritage of humanity. What is today the heritage of the individual was once a new acquisition and has been handed on from one to another of a long series of generations. The Oedipus complex too may have had stages of development. Investigation suggests that life in the human family took a quite different form in those remote days from that with which we are now familiar. If the prehistoric and ethnological material on this subject is worked over psychoanalytically, the result is that God the Father once walked upon earth in bodily form and exercised His sovereignty as chieftain of the primal human horde until his sons united to slay Him. This crime of liberation and the reactions to it had as their result the appearance of the first social ties, the basic moral restrictions and the oldest form of religion, totemism. This hypothesis has been taken by Theodor Reik as the basis of his studies on the problems of the psychology of religion.

1919C 17/267
A note on psycho-analytic publications and prizes (1919).
In the autumn of 1918, a member of the Budapest Psychoanalytical Society informed Freud that a fund had been set aside for cultural purposes from the profits made by industrial undertakings during the war. The fund was placed at Freud’s disposal, was given his name, and was allotted by him to the foundation of an international psychoanalytic publishing business (the Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag). The 2 periodical publications(Internationale Zeitschrift fur arztliche Psychoanalyse and Imago) survived the war. The new publishing house, supported by the funds of the Budapest endowment, assumed the task of ensuring the regular appearance and reliable distribution of the 2 journals. Simultaneously with the establishment of the psychoanalytic publishing house it was decided to award annual prizes out of the interest on the Budapest endowment, to 2 outstanding pieces of work, one each in the field of medical and of applied psychoanalysis. It was intended that these prizes should be awarded every year and that the choice should fall within the whole field of the psychoanalytically important literature published during that period, irrespective of whether or not the author of the work in question was a Member of the International Psychoanalytic Association.

1919B 17/271
Jarnes J. Putnam (1919).
Among the first pieces of news that reached Freud after the raising of the barrier separating him from the Anglo-Saxon countries was the report of the death of Putnam, President of the Pan-American psychoanalytic group. Putnam lived to be over 72 years old, remained intellectually active to the end, and died peacefully of heart failure in his sleep in November 1918. Putnam was the great support of psychoanalysis in America. J. J. Putnam’s personal appearance was made familiar to European analysts through the part he took in the Weimar Congress of 1911.

1919F 17/273
Victor Tausk (1919).
Shortly before the outbreak of the first World War, Dr. Victor Tausk, (previously a lawyer, then a journalist) had obtained his second doctor’s degree and set up in Vienna as a nerve specialist. He was called up for active service and was soon promoted to senior rank. The stresses of many years’ service in the field could exercise a severely damaging psychological effect on this intensely conscientious man. At the last Psychoanalytical Congress, held in Budapest in September 1918, Dr. Tausk showed signs of unusual nervous irritability. Soon afterwards he came to the end of his military service, returned to Vienna, and was faced for the third time, in his state of mental exhaustion, with the hard task of building up a new existence. On the morning of July 3, 1919 (at the age of 42) he put an end to his life. Dr. Tausk had been a member of the Vienna Psycho-Analytical Society since autumn of 1909. His writings exhibit the philosophical training which he was able to combine with the exact methods of science. Tausk also possessed an exceptional medicopsychological capacity. Psychoanalysis was particularly indebted to Dr. Tausk, who was a brilliant speaker, for the courses of lectures which he gave over a period of many years to large audiences of both sexes and in which he introduced them to the principles and problems of psychoanalysis.

Abstracts of the Standard Edition of 
the Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud

Carrie Lee Rothgeb, Editor

 

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