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Aisling Campbell – Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry


THE LETTER 38 (Autumn 2006) pages 81-90


When I was twelve or thirteen I became interested in Freud when a friend came across the Penguin paperback edition of The Psychopathology of Everyday Life. The discovery that the omissions, lapses and slips that are part of everyday life are actually evidence of an everyday psychopathology was astonishing to me. The fact that my friend and I were quite ignorant of life did not get in the way of our enjoyment of the story of the various slips of the tongue and bungled actions which betrayed the obscure motives of their subjects. Indeed, I suspect that it was the discovery that there was a whole other side to life, right under my nose as it were, that made the book so fascinating.


However, as I had never studied German and no-one in my family spoke it, I had no point of reference and am most embarrassed to tell you that I used to mispronounce his name as “Frood”! I suspect that my mispronunciation was unconsciously motivated – no doubt I could easily have discovered the correct pronunciation. But each of us has to discover Freud in his/her own way, to discover the theory in his own way and to reinvent it (although not perhaps to the extent of such mispronunciation).

Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry

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