Die Rache und ihr Surrogat: Zur Erwiderungslogik bei Freud

Juliane Prade-Weiss


In Studies on Hysteria, Freud assumes that in the case of an insult, psychological health is maintained by way of “an adequate reaction—as, for instance, revenge. But language serves as a substitute for action” (SE2, 7). In many of Freud’s writings, revenge serves as an ideal model for reciprocity that is given priority over speech. Yet a complication keeps occurring: in loss and mourning, no counterpart can be hurt by revenging acts or words. In the course of Freud’s articulation of psychoanalytic theory, revenge is evoked as a model for reciprocity exactly when suffering (and therapy) is caused by the loss, or absence of the other who could respond. Psychoanalysis deals mostly with the alleged surrogate for revenge, with forms of speech such as lamentations and complaints emphasizing that speech is not only by someone and on something, but also addressed to someone. (JPW; in German)

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