By now, our discussion has given rise to a backlog of only partially answered questions. Let us try to make some of them explicit. If psychoanalysis was at its inception so much concerned with language, what were its relations with those sciences whose explicit aim was the study of language? A reading of any psychoanalytic work of Freud’s — a dream-analysis, a case-history — would convince us of the great seriousness and importance attached to a playing with words, to plays on words, to the veering off of meaning that every analysis reveals. Was this preoccupation something to do with Freud’s own individual make-up, his own mental bent? Was it something peculiar to him that allowed all these clevernesses? One answer would perhaps be that all ‘that’ is a necessary consequence of the nature of the unconscious, so that we can attribute the uncomfortable preponderance of what has to do with words over what has to do with things to the hegemony of the unconscious that the first psychoanalyst was the first to discover. Or are we to look elsewhere for the capacity to perceive as significant such irresponsible playing with words?


Free Association Double Meaning Egyptian Mother Creative Force Linguistic Usage 
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Copyright information

© John Forrester 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Forrester
    • 1
  1. 1.CambridgeUK

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