Dirty Words: Psychoanalytic Insights

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9780876688557: Dirty Words: Psychoanalytic Insights
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Taboo words are the subject of this book. Extending Freud's study, the author traces the psychic origins of dirty words to early infancy and childhood and their place and value in life and analytic therapy. He also provides a journey through universal literature - the rich variety of "dirty" words used by Rabelais, Quevado, Mozart, Voltaire, the Marquis de Sade, Joyce, and Lawrence. Dirty words are "dirty" because they are obscene. They name without hypocrisy, euphemism, or modesty what should never be mentioned in public - parts of the adult body, secretions of sexual behaviour patterns. The author argues that obscene words have a great capacity for summoning emotions and that if we do not use them, we will not fully experience our sexual nature. He concludes that for the preservation of a healthy society, dirty words must have a legitimate place in our daily life.

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From Publishers Weekly:

It is hard to disagree with the premise of this psychoanalyst practicing in Argentina: that "dirty" words--obscene or taboo ones, the speech of childhood and the street--are the required currency of the couch. Using clinical expressions to describe anatomy, copulatory or excretory functions as they occur in dreams, memory and fantasy is simply another form of repression, he maintains. Citing our most common three- and four-letter words, Arango ranges far and wide over Western cultural, religious and psychological history, finding in Plato, Dante, De Sade, St. Augustine, D. H. Lawrence, Schopenhauer, Freud and Ferenczi, among others, support for his position that free acknowledgment of our animal instincts liberates us from their control. More arguable are his assumptions that street language doesn't occur in daily conversation, his rigid view of the psychotic nature of homosexuality, his dismissive regard for women, and the absence of current literature from his references, all of which combine with his stilted, formal English to give his book a dated tone. But as a compendium of common taboo words and practices, it may find interested readers.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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