Classics in the History of Psychology
An internet resource developed by
Christopher D. Green
York University, Toronto, Ontario
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Psychopathology of Everyday Life
Sigmund Freud (1901)
Translation by A. A. Brill (1914)
INTRODUCTIONProfessor Freud developed his
system of psychoanalysis while studying the so-called borderline cases
of mental diseases, such as hysteria and compulsionneurosis. By
discarding the old methods of treatment and strictly applying himself to
a study of the patient's life he discovered that the hitherto puzzling
symptoms had a definite meaning, and that there was nothing arbitrary
in any morbid manifestation. Psychoanalysis always showed that they
referred to some definite problem or conflict of the person concerned.
It was while tracing back the abnormal to the normal state that
Professor Freud found how faint the line of demarcation was between the
normal and neurotic person,and that the psychopathologic mechanisms so
glaringly observed in the psychoneuroses and psychoses could usually
be demonstrated in a lesser degree in normal persons. This led to a
study of the faulty actions of everyday life and later to the
publication of the Psychopathology of Everyday Life, a book
which passed through four editions in Germany and is considered the
author's most popular work. With great ingenuity and penetration the
author throws much light on the complex problems of human behavior,
and clearly demonstrates that the hitherto considered impassable gap
between normal and abnormal mental states is more apparent than real.
This translation is made of the fourth German edition, and while
the original text was strictly followed, linguistic difficulties often
madeit necessary to modify or substitute some of the author's cases by
examples comprehensible to the English-speaking reader.
A. A. Brill.