Some new light on Freud's aliquis-anecdote

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Günter Rebing

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May 28, 2020, 4:29:50 AM5/28/20
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The first edition of Psychopathology of Everyday Life of 1901 starts with Freud's surprising account how he detected the reason why his travel companion misquoted a line from Vergil's Aeneid. Freud claims that by way of a test game  in which he applied his newly invented method of analyzing and interpreting dreams he traced the cause of the misquote to a hidden fear in his interlocutor's soul: the young man had to admit that he dreaded the possibility of having made his Italian girl friend pregnant.

In a just published essay (Freud's Aliquis-Anekdote, Sinn und Form 2020/3), I have assembled clues and evidence found earlier by Sebastiano Timpanaro, Richard A. Skues, Jeffrey M. Masson and Franz Maciejewski. Adding insights from my recent book on Freud's four major case histories (Freud's Phantasiestücke. Die Fallgeschichten Dora, Hans, Rattenmann, Wolfsmann. Oberhausen 2019) I have come to the conclusion that the aliquis episode never happened in reality but that Freud invented it, turning his own fear of having just fathered a very much unwanted child into a fictitious but brilliant "proof" of the efficacy of psychoanalysis. 


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Dr. Günter Rebing

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Aropa

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May 28, 2020, 5:22:33 AM5/28/20
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Authors often invent situations and characters to illustrate their theories. But I didn't know about Freud's fiction in this book. Thanks for your post.

On May 28, 2020 11:29:15 AM GMT+03:00, "Günter Rebing" <gohr...@gmail.com> wrote:
>The first edition of *Psychopathology of Everyday Life* of 1901 starts
>with
>Freud's surprising account how he detected the reason why his travel
>companion misquoted a line from Vergil's *Aeneid*. Freud claims that by
>way
>of a test game in which he applied his newly invented method of
>analyzing
>and interpreting dreams he traced the cause of the misquote to a hidden
>fear in his interlocutor's soul: the young man had to admit that he
>dreaded
>the possibility of having made his Italian girl friend pregnant.
>
>In a just published essay (*Freud's Aliquis-Anekdote*, Sinn und Form
>2020/3), I have assembled clues and evidence found earlier by
>Sebastiano
>Timpanaro, Richard A. Skues, Jeffrey M. Masson and Franz Maciejewski.
>Adding insights from my recent book on Freud's four major case
>histories (*Freud's
>Phantasiestücke. Die Fallgeschichten Dora, Hans, Rattenmann,
>Wolfsmann*.
>Oberhausen 2019) I have come to the conclusion that the aliquis episode
>never happened in reality but that Freud invented it, turning his own
>fear
>of having just fathered a very much unwanted child into a fictitious
>but
>brilliant "proof" of the efficacy of psychoanalysis.
>
>--
>Dr. Günter Rebing
>
>Hügel 20
>
>53359 Rheinbach
>
>--
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Michael O'Brien

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Sep 7, 2020, 3:45:11 PM9/7/20
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Congratulations on your new book. Thank you for posting here about it. I wish I could read German. Would be interested to read your observations about these four case studies. If there are discussions of your work anywhere in English, I'd love to read more about it. 

There's a whole other way to look at his case studies, and other writings, however. That is to read them in context of his theory. In which case, they are not really clinical studies at all, but new attempts to fend off, disguise, and distort his "infantile memories".  What occurs to him in these studies comes from an earlier personal experience of his which he can't stop thinking about, and mulling over, and obsessing about, yet also, at the same time, he dares not disclose to others, or even to himself. He does not want to see anymore (like Oedipus) what will now and henceforth only remind him of his own evil. His case studies are distorted in the same way he spoke of dreams being distorted. They were not meant to be understood. They were meant to be misunderstood. Like all of his conscious thoughts. In the same way as his theory describes happening universally, as he (falsely) claims, but certainly in his own case.

Like I said, another way to think about it. In fact, a most Freudian way to think about it.

Cheers,

Michael O'Brien, M.A., Ed.D.
Lincoln, MA
USA           

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