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The Psychopathology of Everyday Life by Freud

             The Psychopathology of Everyday Life is Sigmund Freud's sixteenth work published, and the title is quite fitting for the context of the book. Freud begins by recalling an essay that he wrote in 1898 discussing the Psychic Mechanism of Forgetfulness. He goes on to use anecdotal evidence, highlighting the common occurrence of forgetting a specific name. He uses the Signorelli example to illustrate how a forgotten memory might be closely knit to a repressed one, therefore making it unattainable by conscious cognitive processes. He goes on to explain that the repressed memories can come to the surface from the unconscious through a) the effort of attention and b) the inner determinant that adheres to the psychic material. .
             In the second chapter, Freud deduces that a man forgetting the world "aliquis" – more specifically his attempt to recall the word from a foreign language – can be attributed to a line of accompanying thoughts that are all themed by a woman's menstrual cycle, further exemplifying the unconscious' role in the retrieval of a forgotten word. He continues to apply his methods to the order of words we remember, describing a woman who botches a poem during her recital of it. But Freud considers the botching to be more of a retelling of the poem based on the woman's repression of the details associated with the specific descriptions. Freud makes a realization in the middle of the third chapter: his examples thus far contain unpleasant memories being recalled and described for the sake of explanation. He subsequently states that he will cease to use such examples in the rest of the text. He goes on to provide a number of case studies in which free association resulted in the manifestation of the mechanisms behind the forgotten words. In the fourth chapter, Freud discusses the concealment of childhood memories and the misrepresentation they may have in our current memory.

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