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some very sound advice on sexual education and hygiene. He cannot accept the Freudian Oedipus complex in toto. Chapter xxxiI is devoted to the psychic treatment of Epilepsy. It is stated that psychogenic epilepsy shows repressed criminal tendencies and that the fit is a substitute for crime, or for a sexual act; he finds that it may also symbolize guilt, punishment and dying.
In Chapter XXXVI occurs a curious contradiction regarding the necessity for passivity in the analyst: “We must not cross-examine the patient” (p. 408); but from his reports of cases it appears that Dr Stekel forgets his own advice. And on p. 423 we are told that the physician must not conduct the Freudian passive analysis, but that he must energetically correct false notions in his patient; synthesis must follow analysis. Six lines below this appears the following inconsistent remark: "The more passive the physician remains during the cure the greater the success.” At the bottom of the same page the author says that in spite of successful psychanalytical treatment many patients complain to other doctors of its failure; he attributes this to the patients' desire for revenge on the physician who has not met their erotic demands. To the psycho-analyst this would appear to be special pleading to excuse the physician's failures which have probably resulted from his own too didactic method.
The author repeatedly affirms that neurosis is potential criminality and is a reaction from sinful desires.
In spite of many mistakes in translation and spelling the book is fluently written and makes most interesting reading.
ROBERT M. RIGGALL.
The Omnipotent Self. By Paul BOUSFIELD, M.R.C.S. (Eng.), L.R.C.P. (Lond.).
Kegan Paul & Co. pp. vii + 171. 58. net. It is possible that popular exposition, in small space, of some profound and complex theme, is always difficult to justify, and more certainly so if the ground has already been covered in a more adequate way. Dr Paul Bousfield's volume, The Omnipotent Self, hardly seems to serve any particular purpose, decidedly not the purpose put forward by himself in his Preface, since that is one incapable of fulfilment: “The first object I have in mind is that the work shall be lucid, concise, and readily understood by any person of ordinary education, so that he may gain an insight into the essential causes and growth of some of his abnormal characteristics without undue complication of ideas” (p. vi) (italics are Reviewer's). It cannot be too often or too strongly maintained that things which are complex and complicated do not cease to be so merely by ignoring the complications and complexities, and that persons who have little or no scientific training, especially of a psychological kind, are hardly likely to “gain insight into the essential causes and growth” of their abnormal characteristics (a procedure, be it noted, over which such a genius as that of Freud himself has spent years of laborious study) by the reading of a small book which is often inaccurate, partial, and dominated by a benevolent
anyone can understand this” atmosphere. The curious concluding sentence, "without undue complication of ideas” creates a suspicion that the author is aiming at an undue simplification (hence, a falsification) of ideas, for how is it possible to dispense with “complication” when such is inherent in, and inevitable to the ideas themselves? The spread of inferior and superficial education, with the assistance of a still more inferior and superficial Press, has most regrettably influenced what should be serious work in inducing writers, too often, to popularize and stultify their work perhaps with a mistaken benevolence towards those who are not yet adequately equipped for the comprehension of a true presentation. Dr Bousfield's book demonstrates this false simplification abundantly, especially in the first section entitled “The Omnipotent Self,' which is sub-divided into nine chapters, dealing with such themes as "The Unconscious Mind,' (Ch. I), The Forces Shaping Character' (Ch. III), 'Determinism' (Ch. IV), 'Narcissism' (Ch. V), Identification' (Ch. VII), 'Rationalization' (Ch. IX), etc.--very important and interesting subjects, but the value of these chapters is much minimized by the amount of loose and inaccurate statement contained in them. On such matters as Intuition, Sex-differences, Identifications, Determinism, Phantasy, we get most curious statements, thrown out without any attempt at proof. Take for example the following: “Unconscious reasoning or intuition is found chiefly in those who have not been trained in subjects which induce and train logical conscious reasoning” (p. 17). (In passing, it might be recalled that the greatest scientists, men subjected to the highest and most systematic logical training, have always been conspicuous for intuition whereby they have evolved their scientific hypotheses—such as Galileo, Darwin, Newton, et al.) Again: “On the whole women are more narcissistic than men...their Narcissism is encouraged...until differences of temperament are produced in the adults of the two sexes which in no way belong to nature but purely to our conventional and somewbat barbaric standpoint” (p. 81). One wonders how, if these differences “in no way belong to nature,” they got themselves produced, since it is not to be supposed that a modern scientist like Dr Bousfield, believes in the agency of the Supernatural. Yet again we read: “The ordinary fairytale should be swept from the nursery: here the child does nothing but identify himself with the hero or heroine in the most impossible of situations of a purely phantastic type” (p. 71). The author of this statement should recall, firstly, that he himself proceeds later to a chapter on Identification in which he shows the necessity to the child for this process, and secondly that he claims to understand the complexities of the psyche and therefore should realize how inaccurate the above is: in phantasy-making many forces are at work, many impulses seeking gratification, and the account given above ("the child does nothing but identify himself”) is wholly inadequate. The handling of such themes as Phantasy, Identification, Determinism, seems to show little grasp of the real facts, as is also the case with some strange definitions given. Concerning Determinism we are told: “Determinism is the doctrine that all things, including the will, are determined by causes (p. 41), which hardly seems enlightening, and further, that in all the examples of determinism given in ‘The Psychopathology of Everyday Life' “one could not conceivably utilize free will in any case a matter Freud “appears to have overlooked.” The confusion of thought here revealed is apparent in many other instances. The second part of the book, 'Practical Applications, contains some good and sensible advice, applied to conscious ideas and impulses, expressed in a bright and easy manner. If Dr Bousfield had set out to write the whole book on this level—as a manual of common-sense precepts from an experienced physician--a more satisfactory result would have been achieved.
& Sons. pp. xvi + 218. Price 8s. 6d.
An eminent physiologist has recently stated that the rapid growth of organotherapy is largely due to the appalling ignorance which exists in the minds of the laity as to their own anatomy and physiology. He was referring, no doubt, to those developments which did not meet with his approval; but he spoke disparagingly of the standard of education which exists in the average man where matters medical are concerned.
In the little book which Dr Harrow has written, presumably his object is to remedy this state of ignorance, at all events in so far as the ductless glands are concerned. He tells us in the preface “there is a crying need...of simple, yet clear statements of scientific work to which the layman can refer.” This point is, at least, debatable, for it is sometimes contended that the less an individual knows about the workings of his organs the better. Certainly in so far as their pathology is concerned, there is a good deal of truth in this; for out of a little knowledge, much morbidity is capable of springing.
Dr Harrow has written a clear account of the endocrine glands, and has delivered up his message in language understandable by all. His descriptions in popular language of such differentiations as internal and external secretions; of vitamines and hormones, and his accounts of the normal and abnormal actions of such glands as the thyroid, are intelligible to all. One wonders whether, in a book such as this, which has no purpose save the enlightenment of the ignorant in such matters, there is any good purpose served by the lengthy and highly technical footnotes on physiological and chemical experiments.
The thyroid gland is described, and its work in health and disease discussed; a section being devoted to exophthalmic goitre. To describe the treatment of this distressing complaint in a book of this kind seems unnecessary if not undesirable.
The parathyroids and tetany are described; but the fact now widely recognised that this latter name is not a disease but merely a term to connote a state which may arise from a multiplicity of causes, is not made clear. Moroever, while the theory that tetany is due to guanidine is referred to, no mention is made of other theories, at least equally well supported, as, for example, that its symptoms are due to an alkalosis.
The footnote on page 49, in which the word 'anterior’ is defined as “any part nearer the head than another part is anterior to the latter; if farther away it is posterior,” leaves much to be desired in the matter of accuracy and clarity. For while anterior is used in this sense in zoology, it is not so employed in human anatomy, owing to the cogent fact that man is not a quadruped; and it should be made clear that this definition does not apply to human anatomy.
In the chapter on the Pancreas and Liver, the medical reader will be puzzled as to the reason for describing, for example, the Allen treatment for diabetes. It seems to us, that anyone desirous of obtaining such information, would best do so by consulting his physician, or alternatively a text-book on metabolism. Justice cannot be done to the value of such a therapeutic procedure in two paragraphs.
In the chapter on the nervous system and the ductless glands (which, by the way, consists of over thirty pages), a large amount of space is given up to a consideration of the difference of opinion existing between physiologists on highly technical points, such as the action of adrenaline. It is possible that these differences will interest the lay reader, but, frankly, we doubt it.
The book contains an adequate Bibliography and a good Index. Despite the tendency to insert technical descriptions into a book not intended for the technical reader, Dr Harrow has produced a clearly written description in simple language of the endocrine glands and the utilisation of their products in the treatment of disease. For anyone desiring an introduction to more serious study, we can recommend this volume.
I. GEIKIE COBB.
NOTES ON RECENT PERIODICALS
Internationale Zeitschrift für Psycho-Analyse, Vol. VIII, part II, 1922. In an article entitled “Castration complex and character" Dr Franz Alexander contributes a study on the so-called passagere Symptome, symptoms which make a transitory appearance during an analysis: “a kind of laboratory products of the analytic work,” which are explained as manifestations of the resistance.
Alexander prefaces his detailed description of the analysis of a ‘neurotic character' with some observations on the dynamics of the process by which, in such characters, unconscious tendencies find outlet in irrational conduct in life, rather than in symptomformation. Such conduct affords a real gratification, deprived of which the neurotic character will develop neurotic symptoms. Deprivation may result from external circumstances or, as in the case in question, may ensue upon the subject's becoming conscious during analysis of the tendencies underlying his irrational conduct. The transitory symptom then makes its appearance in what Freud calls the fresh neurosis of the transference.
There follows the account of the analysis of a patient whose neurotic character manifested itself in his conjugal and social relations. The unconscious tendency, arising out of tixation to the mother, to degrade the wife to the level of prostitute drove him to pay his wife in material gifts on each occasion of intercourse. His social relations had this peculiarity: that he was repeatedly in the situation of being cheated and robbed by his associates, while his own business dealings were marked by a scrupulous honesty.
Analysis showed that the core of the formation of his character was the castration complex. The sense of guilt resulting from the incest-wish transformed the active desire to castrate the father into a passive castration-wish, represented by passive kleptomania and passive homosexuality, which latter tendency produced in the transference situation certain of the passagere Symptome.
The impulse to pay for sexual intercourse by gifts originated in the passive castration-wish, in the sense of “anal castration” (faeces = money). In an exceedingly interesting passage Alexander shows that the human being learns from the two primary 'castrations' (loss of the nipple, or oral castration; loss of the faeces or anal castration), that the price of every pleasure is the loss of the pleasure-giving bodily part. This experience produces an affective state in which the fear of castration readily attaches itself to onanistic activities. This fear therefore is not necessarily to be accounted for by an actual threat or phylogenetically,
In a concluding section the writer shows that behind these primary castrations there lies the original traumatic experience of birth, which to the Unconscious is equivalent to castration. In various hypochondriac symptoms (sense of strangulation etc.) we see a compromise between the incestuous desire to return to the mother's womb and the punishment-wish of castration.
The case of writer's cramp described by Dr Robert Hans Jokl in his article “On the psychogenesis of writer's cramp” was also found to originate in the castration complex. The symptom first made its appearance on an occasion when the patient was required to sign his name to a document, in the presence of a business-superior. The occurrence of the symptom coincided with the breaking-off of a love-relation which had gratified his homosexual tendencies, in that, although the love-object was a woman, it afforded him an opportunity for certain practices which represented homosexual activities of his early days. This deprivation of real gratification caused the libido to regress to the infantile fixations.
Analysis revealed a strong fixation to the father, characterised on the one hand by the desire to observe and to touch the penis of the latter and, on the other, by the sadistic wish to castrate the father-rival. The sense of guilt gave rise to the fear of castration, manifesting itself in later life as a sense of inferiority (with reference to