Parapraxis (237 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • Editors
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.


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One of Freud’s popular legacies is the phrase “a Freudian slip”, an instance where someone says or writes something that gives away what they are “really thinking’”, or when someone cannot remember something which they should be readily able to recall. An oft-told example is the story of the young university lecturer who invites her doctoral supervisor, a very eminent psychoanalyst, to give a guest lecture in the department where she has taken her first job. At the end of the distinguished lecture, the junior colleague stands up and says “I’d like to spank the speaker”, betraying some repressed frustration, or possibly unconscious sado-masochistic desire. Such slips are not confined to verbal slips; the party guest …

Editors. "Parapraxis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 October 2005
[, accessed 24 October 2016.]

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  1. Psychoanalysis