Repression [Verdrängung] (317 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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


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According to Freud, a process whereby we keep back from consciousness those wishes, desires, memories and thoughts which would cause unpleasure because they conflict with the social conscience of the super-ego. The term is used in his early paper “The Neuro-psychoses of Defence” (1894) and is fundamental to his idea of the unconscious in Studies on Hysteria (1895) and The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) which focus attention on the way the neurotic symptom and the dream symbol indicate the “desire to be known” of that which has been repressed into the unconscious by an ego anxious to defend itself against this knowledge.

In his essay “Repression” (1915), Freud emphasises that repression denies …

Clark, Robert. "Repression [Verdrängung]". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 October 2005
[, accessed 26 October 2016.]

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  1. Psychoanalysis