Freud and memory
in Literature and psychoanalysis
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This chapter charts how Sigmund Freud considered memory, as one of the processes working through the subject. In Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis, about the 'Rat Man', Freud writes a modernist novella: the portrait of a young man. As the analysis proceeds, so 'transference' happens: the Rat Man dumps on to Freud the characteristics of his dead father, giving his fears an objective force. Freud thinks of the Rat Man's obsessions taking the form of 'distortion by omission or ellipsis', and in doing so draws attention to the point that psychoanalysis works by observation of language, that is its interest, and how it connects with literature. Freud's Project for a Scientific Psychology, which influenced all his work, especially The Interpretation of Dreams, and Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Both Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida commented on the Project.


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