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> 1908a

Hysterical phantasies and their relation to bisexuality

Freud, Sigmund 1908a, 'Hysterical phantasies and their relation to bisexuality', SE 9: 155-66.

"Defining hysteria as being due exclusively to the conversions of unconscious sexual fantasies into symptoms, Freud interrupts his discussion to add definitions of hysteria that throw him back some fifteen years. 'Hysterical symptoms are mnemic symbols of certain operative (traumatic) impressions and experiences. Hysterical symptoms are substitutes, produced by "conversion", for the associative return of these traumatic experiences.' In a startling statement, Freud says that the two points of view 'do not contradict one another.' This is misleading for those who know, from Freud's own accounts, how hard he worked to demonstrate the opposition of these very viewpoints. The passages from 1914 and 1924 (as quoted above in full) bear witness: '… analysis had led back to these infantile sexual traumas by the right path, and yet they were not true. The firm ground of reality was gone.' (1914); 'I was at last obliged to recognize that these scenes of seduction had never taken place, and that they were only phantasies which my patients had made up' 1924)."Nicholas Rand & Torok, Maria 1993, 'Questions to Freudian psychoanalysis: dream interpretation, reality, fantasy,' tr. Nicholas Rand, Critical Inquiry, 19, Spring: 588.

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