The Joke and its Relation to the Unconscious: Freud’s Footnote to the Interpretation of Dreams

This article, part of a broader research agenda on the link between psychoanalysis and Witz, presents a study of the reception of The Joke and its Relation to the Unconscious within Freud’s own work. In contrast to the numerous references that can be found in the work of Lacan, the number of references in Freud’s own work to The Joke can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Starting with The Joke and its Relation to the Unconscious itself, a closer look is taken at a letter from Freud to Fliess, at a footnote in The Interpretation of Dreams, and finally at a passage within The Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis. A comparison of these different passages shows that The Joke not only was generated from a footnote but even as a book always stayed a kind of elaborated footnote in the margin of Freud’s work. It is argued that the reason for this can be found in Freud’s later insight that critique against psychoanalysis in most cases is a kind of resistance that cannot be broken by means of books but only by analysis itself.

The poetical identity implosion of Fernando Pessoa – a psychoanalytical reading and interpretation of a literary oeuvre

First and foremost, this article deals with the process of reading and interpreting the oeuvre of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. Furthermore, it wants to examine whether freudo-lacanian psychoanalysis anno 2008 is still relevant for analysing and unlocking the personality structure of an author. By means of four central remarks this article describes the practical and theoretical pitfalls the interpreter must be aware of if he to avoid losing sight of the oeuvre and person of Pessoa. The article ends with illustrating how psychoanalysis, in order to analyse the personality of Pessoa based on some biographical elements and his literary inheritance, forces the interpreter into a continuing process of reflection. In conclusion the author stresses the importance of an attitude that does not trivialize the gap between the (symbolic) dimensions of knowledge and the (real) dimension of truth that lies beyond every theory.