I'm Sorry That I Keep Repeating Myself, but I Am in the Grip of an Old Freudian Demon

By Taylor, Laurie | New Statesman (1996), October 18, 1999 | Go to article overview

I'm Sorry That I Keep Repeating Myself, but I Am in the Grip of an Old Freudian Demon


Taylor, Laurie, New Statesman (1996)


It's not good news, On the very day I'm due to lunch with a woman from Routledge who wants me to write a wholly original introduction to semiology, I'm confronted by a letter in the New Statesman pointing out that I'm incapable of sustaining a 600-word column without resorting to crass repetition.

In case you were too preoccupied in last week's NS with the supplement on the achievements of the nuclear industry to have time to scan the letters page, I should tell you that the progenitor of my dismay was a Mr Ron Chatterjee of London. Mr Chatterjee, in rather more generous terms than I might have employed upon discovering similar plagiarism in a first-year paper on Durkheim, wondered why I'd devoted my column of 27 September to the wonders of having my very first office in Soho when exactly the same development (and an identical sense of wonder) had informed my column of 21 January 1994.

Mr Chatterjee wryly speculated that I might be "an office bigamist, with a string of secret premises across London". The truth is rather more profound. My failure to remember my previous office adventure proves that I am now firmly in the grip of that old Freudian demon, repetition compulsion. 1 foolishly go on believing my life has a progressive and forward-looking character when any competent analyst could show that I am constantly going round in circles.

The metaphor I used to favour in my first-year lectures on Basic Freud was the merry-go-round. Although we may regard each new phase of our lives as another station on the route to material success or spiritual enlightenment, we become suddenly aware that far from having travelled successfully from, say, Peterborough to Grantham, we are back once again in Stevenage. No matter how much we try to persuade ourselves that we are perpetually encountering new situations, a mere twitch of the analytic curtain would reveal that the people waving to us as we sail happily past on our gaily painted rocking-horse are identical to those we encountered on the last turn of the wheel. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

I'm Sorry That I Keep Repeating Myself, but I Am in the Grip of an Old Freudian Demon
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.