Monday, January 05, 2009

Historical Narrative and Psychoanalytic Narrative

"'History,' Stephen said, 'is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."
James Joyce, Ulysses

Joyce takes his readers on a peregrination through Dublin, leaving the reader with a premonition of the never ending proselytism that is history. Like lambs to the slaughter, condemned to revisit the Nietzschean nightmare that started it all, those who see history as a factual account of events, live their lives in fear of repeating that which came before. Whether we understand history as that which has passed or that which is yet to come, we all have some stake in how and when history unfolds. Like Stephen Dedalus, our fears outweigh our feeling that we can outsmart history, awakening from the unfolding of that for which there is no mimesis. If we accept historical knowledge as ‘the truth’, a factual reportage of events, events that could not have happened, unfolded, other than they had, then we have no claim in changing history. If history is based on ‘closed concepts’, then history is as it is, it cannot be other than it is. If, however, history as such is an ongoing process based on ‘open concepts’, then there is room for mimesis and interpretation.

Freud’s unconscious, hereafter referred to as Ucs., is a mimesis, an interpretable narrative. If we accept Freud’s notion of the Ucs., that which is made accessible to conscious thought through dreams, free-association and interpretation, then the idea of the Ucs. as interpretable, as a history, a narrative, then we might better understand Stephen Dedalus’ lament. In this paper I will look at the Ucs. as a narrative, albeit a narrative that can be assembled as a history of the self, or analysand. If the Ucs. is a narrative, and therefore an ‘open concept’ or history, and the historian the custodian of the past, then we might conjecture that all historical knowledge is ‘open’, a mimesis, a retelling of past events, things, objects and so forth. Much like the analyst the historian collects antiquities, thoughts and happenings, so-called facts, in the hope of making sense and explaining the past. These past events, happenings, and so-called facts, are collected and written down for posterity, a collection of historical truths. Having been processed in thought, the historian’s thoughts, they are subject to the viccitudes of the Ucs., whether one accepts or acknowledges the existence of the Ucs. For the purposes of this paper we will accept the Ucs. as part of the Freudian topography of the psyche, thereby sidestepping any disagreements and arguments as to its existence.

I would like to start with three principle quotes, one each from R.G. Collingwood, Freud and R.F. Atkinson. R.G. Collingwood writes in The Idea of History,

Historical knowledge is the knowledge of what mind has done in the past, and at the same time it is the redoing of this, the perpetuation of past acts in the present. Its objective is therefore not a mere object, something outside the mind which knows it; it is an activity of thought, which can be known only in so far as the knowing mind re-enacts it and knows itself as so doing. To the historian, the activities whose history he is studying are not spectacles to be watched, but experiences to be lived in his own mind.

Freud writes in On Metapsychology,

How are we to arrive at a knowledge of the unconscious? It is of course only as something conscious that we know it, after it has undergone transformations or translations into something conscious. Psychoanalytic work shows us every day that translation of this kind is possible. In order that this should come about, the person under analysis must overcome certain resistances---the same resistances as those which, earlier, made the material concerned into something repressed by rejecting it from the conscious.

In Knowledge and Explanation in History, Atkinson writes,

It remains to consider the third view [description explanations, law explanations, rational explanations] that narrative—recounting what happened---is explanatory in itself, regardless of whether the events, actions, situations purportedly explained are connectable with antecedent events, etc. by laws or generalizations, or of whether they were the objects of anybody’s rational endeavour. Its is not denied, as it could not be, that such law and rational explanations occur in history; the claim is rather that it is neither necessary nor sufficient to historical writing’s being explanatory that they should, or more strongly, that they earn their place only to the extent that they help on the story told.

These three quotes should set the tone of the argument to follow. Collingwood’s notion that the historian re-experiences, or re-enacts that which is under scrutiny seems to align itself with Freud’s notion of the unconscious, even though Collingwood, I dare say, would not have acceded to a psychoanalytic historicism. Freud’s unconscious, part of the topography of the psyche, lends to an interesting, albeit non-rational, opening onto what is and what is not part of an analysand’s history or life-story. I will be referring to the Freudian view as a narrative undertaking, or interpretation of causal events or happenings (although causation in psychoanalysis is far from an exact science, if a science at all). And Atkinson’s narrative, drawn from an explanatory view of history, fits well with the overtone of the argument: history as narrative; and narrative as interpretation and translation.

For history is to tell us anything it must be understandable; and for it to be understandable it must offer a shareable narrative, whether the narrative is an evidentiary one or one based solely on objectified facts. Evidence, by its nature, is interpretable (a court of law), objective facts are not (geometry or chemistry). If history is based on facts, objectified and untranslatable, then there is no place for interpretation or competing narratives. The psychoanalytic narrative, by its very nature, is interpretable; lending to differing or competing translations. If the historian works from conscious and unconscious translations, delving into the thoughts and ideas of their subjects, then it seems reasonable to suggest that they, too, run the risk of competing narratives. Patrick Gardiner refers to the imaginative nature of historical explanation
[4] and its influences on interpretation in history. Much like the psychologist the historian examines the motives and intentions of his or her subject, bearing out a likeness of thought, intention and motive. Of course it would seem preposterous to claim that the one (the historian) and the other (the subject) think and experience identical thoughts. Cultural biases and technological advancement (the subject having lived in the 12th century, the historian writing in the 21rst) preclude the one from having access to the other’s pure motives and intentions.

But if we acknowledge the ubiquity of narrative, the ‘openness’ of narrative explanation, it does seem reasonable to assume, taking into consideration the above mentioned caveat, that one can identify with the subject, but not become or assume the nature of the subject. If identification is all that is needed, then we can, without bias, say that we indentify with the culture regardless of having never directly experienced the culture.

In defense of the Ucs. Freud offers the following example (it is of interest to note that Freud argues from ‘analogy and inference’ to the acceptance of ‘others’ mental states).

The assumption of an unconscious is, moreover, a perfectly legitimate one, inasmuch as in postulating it we are not departing a single step from our customary and generally accepted mode of thinking. Consciousness makes each of us aware only of his own states of mind; that other people, too, possess a consciousness is an inference which we draw by analogy from their observable utterances and actions, in order to make this behaviour of theirs intelligible to us. (It would no doubt be psychologically more correct to put it in this way: that without any special reflection we attribute to everyone else our own constitution and therefore our consciousness as well, and that this identification is a sine qua non of our understanding).

In saying this is Freud not saying that any and all identification with others is based on inference and analogy; and if this is the case, then the historian, too, follows the same line of identification? If as R.G. Collingwood says historical knowledge is knowledge of what mind has done in the past
[6], it seems reasonable to acknowledge, if not accede to, Freud’s notion of identification through analogy and inference. Is this not what the historian does when he or she writes history? In Civilization and its Discontents[7] Freud compares the mind’s ability to retain past information (memories, objects, events, happenings) with the early history of Rome. The Rome that is described, explained and narrated in history is far different from the Rome one visits today.

Now let us make the fantastic supposition that Rome were not a human dwelling-place, but a mental entity with just as long and varied a past history: that is, I which nothing once constructed has perished, and all the earlier stages of development had survived alongside the latest. This would mean that in Rome the palaces of Caesar were still standing on the Palatine and the Septizonium of Septimius Severus was still towering to its old height; that the beautiful statues were still standing in the colonnade of the Castle of St. Angelo, as they were up to its siege by the Goths, and so on…[there] is clearly no object in spinning this fantasy further; it leads to the inconceivable , or even to absurdities…[there] is one objection, though, to which we must pay attention. It questions our choosing in particular the past history of a city to liken to the past of the mind. Even for the mental life our assumption that everything past is preserved holds good only on condition that the organ of the mind remains intact and its structure has not been injured by traumas or inflammation. Destructive influences comparable to these morbid agencies are never lacking in the history of any town, even if it has had a less chequered past than Rome, even if, like London, it has hardly ever been pillaged by an enemy.

Freud draws our attention to the difference between the minds ability to remember, repress, redact past images, memories, events and happenings, and what remains of a city as time passes. Does this not propose an interesting query as to the basis of historical knowledge? The city fades away, the memory of the city in the mind does not; and if it does, it can be drawn back into conscious thought through remembering, translating and interpretation. True, the image we had of the city, from our first visit to our last, does not present itself to conscious thought, but a translation or interpretation of it does or can be. When the historian writes about antiquities, he or she is rethinking or reimagining what was in the mind of those whom they are studying. From their historical standpoint in time the historian reconstructs the past, allowing for cultural and intellectual differences. As R.G. Collingwood says,

Its objective is therefore not a mere object, something outside the mind which knows it; it is an activity of thought, which can be known only in so far as the knowing mind re-enacts it and knows itself as so doing.

What the historian tells us we take as his or her reimagining of the images or thoughts of the past, a translation or resetting of the past in the thinking mind of the one present, the historian.

The epistemological basis of history, how history is thought out and produced, how the historian, the analysand, too, are led to trust their reconstructions, translations and reimagining’s, is an question that opens up not only the past, but the future too.

Here we are not concerned with the truth or falsity of history but rather its utility. As in psychoanalysis, the truth of interpretations and translations is of less importance than the abreaction or catharsis
[10] they produce. The history of the self in psychoanalysis is extracted from the past then reconstructed and interpreted in the present. Much like the historian the analyst helps the analysand retrieve and re-imagine a past event in the present, releasing emotional energy attached to the past event and or memory. In this manner the truth of the interpretation is of less important than the effect it has on the analysand.

Of the ongoing debates in epistemology of history the one between history as fact and history as narrative has consequences for both the historian and the psychoanalyst. Jean Laplanche adds to the debate comparing the historian with the psychoanalyst. In his collection of essays, Essays on Otherness, Laplanche draws our attention to the ambiguities between the two thesis’,

This ambiguity can be illustrated by apportioning it---but is this always so easy?---between history that happens, the history that is narrated, and history as a discipline, or historiography. Historical positivism---which is perhaps somewhat too hastily caricatured and stigmatized---may be said to aim, in its na├»ve realism, at a seamless reproduction of ‘the history that happens’ in historiography. Leopold von Ranke’s oft-quoted, notorious statement that the historian should merely show ‘what really happened’ has become virtually a scapegoat of the epistemology of history. Let us only recall two major stages in this criticism, at least in France; Aron
[11] on the one hand and the Ecole des Annales[12] on the other.[13]

History as narrative requires some degree of creativity on the part of the historian; a skill at relating the past in interesting unambiguous terms. However, ambiguity arises when there are competing narratives, or histories, creating ‘a best’ or ‘second best’ adversarial. These competing narratives should be embraced, not relegated to history’s dustbin. The analysand uncovers, and with the aid of the analyst, interprets his or her own narratives, allowing for competing interpretations and narratives. It is not the truth or fact of the narrative that is desired, but rather how that interpretation leads to or encourages a lessening or release of emotional energy through catharsis. Facts and truth, after all, are not generally subject to interpretation: they are what they are.

A historiography of closed concepts resist explanation and interpretation, the facticity speaks but once, and when it speaks again repeats itself. A closed concept is a concept whereby all the necessary and sufficient conditions are contained within it, such as the concept of a triangle. An open concept allows for extended explanation and interpretation, whereby the concept is open to revision and further exploration. Psychoanalytic concepts, by their very nature, are open, allowing for competing interpretations. The fragmentation of repressed memories, displacement, condensing and splitting, engenders an openness of meaning and explanation. Historical concepts, though situated in time and place (the past), are bound by the present, the immediacy of the historiography.

When we read we translate; our inner world, or psyche, translating the written words on the page. This hermeneutic process is promote by our own subjective inner world. If we accept Freud’s notion of the Ucs., repression, splitting, condensation and displacement, the mind, or psyche, serves as a redactor, collating and translating information. In Freud & Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation, Ricoeur investigates the difference between motive and cause, comparing the distinction between theoretical explanation and historical explanation.

If motive is defined as a relation of the type if…then (in certain kinds of situations a given group of persons will respond in certain typical ways), and if cause is defined as a relation of the type this…because (the glass broke because it was dropped), the difference between motive and cause is only one of degree; it reduces to the distinction between general laws and initial conditions, between theoretical explanation and historical explanation (Popper), between systematic explanation and historico-geographical (Levin). Psychoanalysis, by reason of its complex structure, contains both kinds of propositions: general propositions, when for example it assigns a character trait (thrift) to an early libidinal disposition (that of the anal stage); and also historical propositions, when it operates “detectively”

One is drawn to Ricoeur’s use of the word “detectively”. In this manner it might be suggested that the historian, much like the psychoanalyst, is doing detective work, searching for the underlying motives and causes of past actions and events. What did these people do and why did they respond the way they did to certain situations, or propositions? I am using ‘do’ in the inflective form ‘did’, as the historian is working in the present, not the past. If the historian, as I am suggesting, is working from his or her psyche, what is hidden, and from cognition, thinking outwardly, motives and causes will likely map out what they are looking for and why. In this way theoretical and historical explanations seem to intersect, the two working to produce motive, cause and explanation. A historiography of effects without cause, actions without motive or intention, tells us very little; it gives us dates, places and occurrences, but is lacking in the reasons why such and such occurred at such and such a time and was done by such and such a person. A history based on ‘open concepts’ allows for competing historiographies, interpretations and translations.

There is much conjecture as to whether Nero set Rome ablaze July 18, 64 AD. If he did, what were his motives and intentions? Can we say for sure why Nero did what he did? Does the historian simply collect the facts, the evidence, and conjecturing as to why Nero set Rome on fire? Or does her or she dig deeper into the psyche of Nero, his childhood, his likes and dislikes etc? Different historians might come up with competing reasons, or motives—evidence---for explaining why Nero burned Rome, each with a differing set of propositions and theories.

As long as concepts are open, competing explanations are welcome, allowing for a broader scope of inquiry. The narrative conception of history does just that, encouraging competing and or differing explanations. As with the analysand and the analyst, the truth is not in the finding, but in the release of psychical energy; the abreaction and catharsis that a historiography of the self allows for. It is not a matter of whether this or that actually occurred, but how it is understood, interpreted and translated into the patient’s now, the present. The childhood memory, or trace, is understood in the ‘now’, experiencing the emotional impact of the event as an adult, not as a child. This is were the analytic work is carried out, not in a past that may or may not have occurred, and if it did, not always in the exact way it was recalled.

Reconstruction plays a principal role in historiography and psychoanalysis. Carlos Strenger explains the differences and similarities between the two in the following quote from his book, Between Hermeneutics And Science,

My view of the epistemology of reconstruction can be put in a nutshell: every patient comes to therapy with a stock of memories from the past. This stock of memories can be called his chronicle of his life. He also has a narrative of his history. This I will call his autobiography. The psychoanalytic reconstruction of his development is a critically retold history based on the patient’s chronicle of his life and the patient’s present mental functioning as manifested in the therapeutic interaction. The criteria for the acceptability of the analytical reconstruction are the same as for any historical account: the reconstruction must explain as many as possible of the available data; it should be inconsistent with as little as possible of the data; it should be coherent, elegant, and contain as few as possible assumptions inconsistent with accepted background knowledge. With regard to the chronicle, a historian bases his work on data which have survived into the present. These include documents of all sorts: eye witness accounts, correspondences, legal contracts, chronicles, works of art, and so on. The historian has a huge amount of implicit and explicit presuppositions of how these documents are related to the events, persons, and processes he is about to describe. He also has heuristic rules to deal with conflicting data, e.g., inconsistent accounts of the same event. This does not mean that he has a full-fledged general theory about how documents are related to the historical reality they reflect. Such a theory would have to be a general theory of human behaviour and social processes, something which nobody has or ever is likely to have.

Strenger’s account of reconstruction has implications for truth in both psychoanalytic interpretation and historical interpretation and explanation. The notion of reconstruction, translation and interpretation, carries with it a nonplus stance towards truth and the commensurability of historical veracity. Reconstruction does not entail a necessary and or universal construction; but rather one that follows from the available data. It would seem impossible, incommensurable at best, that every inconsistency can be identified and removed from the data, as a reconstruction of the past, memories, events, etc., does not lend itself easily to universal agreement. In saying this, we might suggest a ‘best’ or ‘least best’ reconstruction (translation, interpretation and explanation) of the available data. As in the therapeutic alliance between analyst and analysand, the truth of the interpretation is of less importance than the release of psychical tension or energy. The historian, in his or her reconstruction of the past, can hope for a ‘best of’ translation or explanation, a commensurable narrative that is open to further inquiry. In keeping with the ‘open’ nature of narrative, this allows for a less restrictive non-totalitarian explanation or interpretation.

Leslie Armour, in his book The Concept of Truth, says the following about historical facts and explanation,

The number of historical “facts” is indefinitely large and we have no means of knowing what proportion of them we have before us at any one time. In part, we take what we get by way of records and so and, in part, we search out others because those which we have do not enable us to “understand” what is going on. There must, however, be some limit to the searching process and we stop when we are able to construct some “intelligible” account. What makes an intelligible account depends, however, on the principles of explanation which we choose.

Professor Armour goes on to discuss the competing explanations for facts, the coherence theory of truth, the correspondence theory of truth and the pragmatic theory of truth, all of which have implications, and are attached to, explanation. The notion of “intelligibility” lends itself to historical truth as communicable, and how the historian, the analyst, too, go about choosing their principles of explanation. Allowing for competing, or ‘best of’ explanations, we are not encumbered with the universality of truth, which leads one astray into proving that such and such a proposition fits such and such an explanation. In this manner ‘truth’ is that which ‘fits best’, and as such, encompasses the data and evidence that has thus far been collected. In some future time competing evidence and data may arise, whereby the historian is fitted with additional material from which to work. Much like the analytic concept of what is and what is not taken as ‘truth’ or ‘factual’, historical ‘truths’ are those which best fit the current and prevailing data, allowing for competing evidence and explanation.

Professor Armour suggests that if there are “real facts” about the past, which persist through time and are producible, they must in some way be “intelligible”, and the correspondence truth, if it is to carry any weight, must stand up to this proof.
[17] For truth to be meaningful at all, it must meet certain criteria, one of which is the possibilities of and limits of intelligibility. In returning to Freud’s notion of the Ucs., we can see how interpretation and facticity do not necessarily rule one another out, but rather are tools or means to a therapeutic catharsis. For history to have such a catharsis, should it have a cathartic effect at all, it need be in some way therapeutic, i.e., intelligible and communicable. Those things, memories, past events, data and evidence, that by their very nature are unintelligible, are of little necessity, they serve no other purpose than to further muddle interpretation.

In comparing history and psychoanalysis we are drawn to the intelligibility of both, the capacity of each to meet certain criteria. As with the historical documentation of Nero and the burning of Rome, or the therapeutic effect of psychoanalytic interpretation, truth, if there be truth at all, lies in the intelligibility of the accounts, the capacity to communicate a narrative and or biography. In the therapeutic alliance between analysand and the analyst the analysand communicates narratives, thoughts, memories, and in many cases, phantasies, the analyst interpreting and encouraging self-interpretation. The intelligibility lies in the effect the interpretations has on the analysand, a lessening or release of psychical energy and a better therapeutic understanding of one’s life history. If history is narrative, the narrator, the historian, must search out, assemble and present intelligible data and evidence. What does the historical narrative say to us, how does it speak and communicate history? If we accept a more pragmatic view of history, one that gives us a ‘fitting’ or ‘more intelligible’ narrative, then facticity matters only when history is used prescriptively, as a means of social restraint or control. If history is prescriptive, regulatory and authoritarian, then the narrative need not be factual, it simple need be accepted or impelled upon those to whom it is prescribed. In this manner history becomes rigid and dogmatic, a means to social control and behavioral change or sameness. One need look no further than Michel Foucault’s work on knowledge as social constraint,

In effect, between a relationship of power and a strategy of struggle there is a reciprocal appeal, a perpetual linking and a perpetual reversal. At every moment the relationship of power may become a confrontation between two adversaries. Equally, the relationship between adversaries in society may, at every moment, give place to the putting into operation of mechanisms of power. The consequence of this instability is the ability to decipher the same events and the same transformations either from inside the history of struggle or from the standpoint of the power relationships. The interpretations which result will not consist of the same elements of meaning or the same links or the same types of intelligibility, although they refer to the same historical fabric, and each of the two analyses must have reference to the other. In fact, it is precisely the disparities between the two readings which make visible those fundamental phenomena of "domination" which are present in a large number of human societies.

Knowledge is the property of those that manufacture knowledge and truth, and is used as a mechanism of social control and subjugation. Competing theories, or narratives of truth, are undermined by those with the power to enforce their theory. In this manner truth, whether historical or immanent, in the present or reconstructed from the past, is authoritative rather than shared intelligibility. I raise this problem so as to further reinforce the responsibility of the historian, for it is to they that history is revealed, reconstructed and assembled, and with this comes a great deal of social and humanistic responsibility. This again draws us back to Stephen Dedalus’ presentment, "'History,' Stephen said, 'is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."

In keeping with the narrative concept of history, a historiography not of universality or authority, but one of ‘open concepts’, we can see with more clarity the similarities between history and psychoanalysis. The truth is in the narrative, the presentments and intelligibility. Truth in this sense is ‘open’ rather than ‘closed’, open to competing narratives and ‘best of’ explanations. If we are to use the concept of truth at all, we must be wary of its inconsistencies, mindful that what is truth today may not reveal itself to be so tomorrow. Like everyday concepts, ones by which we conduct our day-to-day lives, narratives are as ‘fitting’ as they are commensurable with our desires, ambitions and intentions, our self-history. We often hear the statement ‘you are witnessing history’, an odd yet intriguing premonition. If history is in the ‘now’, experienced, felt and understood in the present, then history is nothing more than an account, a propositional statement with neither a past or future. I am not suggesting that historical accounts are atemporal, but rather that they are an intelligible ‘best fit’ narrative account of a past. In this way history can be understood and read as a narrative presentment of the past in the present. Like the analysand who searches through the Ucs. looking for connections, repetitions, repressed memories and events in the present moment working towards an interpretation, a ‘best fit’ analysis of a past trauma or event, the historian is working from a similar frame, one that allows for the collection of data and evidence that allows for a ‘best fit’ intelligible account of the past in the present. Taking into account the incommensurability of much evidence, Nero’s burning of Rome, as but one example, the historian and analyst alike work towards interpretations and explanations framed by the criteria of intelligibility and communicability.

Freud refers to the process unconscious as timeless,

The processes of the system Ucs, are timeless, i.e. they are not ordered temporally, are not altered by the passage of time; they have no reference to time at all. Reference to time is bound up, once again, with the work of the system Cs.

This leads one to consider the timelessness of historical accounts or narratives. If we allow for the timelessness of the Ucs., might we not consider timelessness as it applies to history? Let us consider the past in comparison and similarity to the system Ucs. The Ucs. is bound to time only when considered in the work of consciousness. Through memory, recollection, dreams, fragmentation, reconstruction etc., the Ucs, is retrieved and thereafter bound by time, the present. Time is introduced when explanation and narrative begin; things once repressed are now immediate, in the present thoughts and speech of the analysand and analyst’s interpretations. What was once timeless is now situated in the present moment of the analysis. It’s intelligibility and coherence are bound by the interpretation and or explanation carried out in the present.

As with the psychoanalytic process, the historical process is carried out in the present, reconstructed from data, evidence, etc., harbored in the past. Once the past is made present, through historical narrative, it can be said to be immediate, in the moment of the present. This moment of the present is the past reconstructed, and through reconstruction or narrative the past is made intelligible and coherent. In this manner both the historian and the analyst/analysand are carrying out a historical reconstruction made possible in the present narrative. Both historical narrative and psychoanalytic narrative are bound by time; historical, by the collection of evidence and data from the past, psychoanalysis, through the retrieval of the past through the process of analysis. In this manner they share in a timelessness that is overcome only in and through narrative, explanation and interpretation.

In conclusion let us look back to the beginning of the paper. According to Collingwood history is not a spectacle, but an experience to be lived through. With Atkinson, historical explanation should add to the story. And with Freud, what is unconscious is made conscious through the process of analysis. Historical explanation must ‘fit’, it need be intelligible and coherent. As with psychoanalysis, history is a retelling or reconstruction of past events, evidence and data. With history, as with psychoanalysis, a scrupulous responsibility is required, one that allows for a ‘best fit’ or commensurable narrative. History is best understood as narrative, an explanatory method not unlike psychoanalysis. Thus, it seems reasonable to acknowledge the similarities between the psychoanalytic method and the historical method, basing intelligibility and coherence on reconstructing and explaining the past, be it Nero’s burning of Rome or Sergei Pankejeff’s fear of wolves.

-Works Cited-

Leslie Armour, The Concept of Truth, Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum & Comp. N.V., 1969

R.F. Atkinson, Knowledge and Explanation in History, New York: Cornell University Press, 1978

R.G. Collingwood, The Idea of History, New York: Oxford University Press, 1956

Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982

Sigmund Freud, On Metapsychology, London: Penguin Books, 1991

Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, London: The Hogarth Press, 1949

Patrick Gardiner, The Nature of Historical Explanation, London: Oxford University Press, 1961

James Joyce, Ulysses, London: Penguin Books, 1992

Jean Laplanche, Essays on Otherness, New York: Routledge, 1999

Paul Ricoeur, Freud, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970

Donald P. Spence, Narrative Truth and Historical Truth, New York: Norton, 1982

Carlo Strenger, Between Hermeneutics And Science, Connecticut: International Universities Press, 1991

[1] R.G. Collingwood, The Idea of History, New York: Oxford University Press, 1956 p. 218
[2] Sigmund Freud, On Metapsychology, London: Penguin Books, 1991, p. 167
[3] R.F. Atkinson, Knowledge and Explanation in History, New York: Cornell University Press, 1978, p. 128
[4] R.F. Atkinson, Knowledge and Explanation in History, New York: Cornell University Press, 1978p. 132
[5] Sigmund Freud, On Metapsychology, London: Penguin Books, 1991, p. 170
[6] R.G. Collingwood, The Idea of History, New York: Oxford University Press, 1956
[7] Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, London: The Hogarth Press, 1949
[8] Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, London: The Hogarth Press, 1949, pp. 18-19
[9] R.G. Collingwood, The Idea of History, New York: Oxford University Press, 1956 p. 218
[10] Abreaction refers to the emotional discharge whereby the subject liberates him or herself from the affect attached to the memory of a traumatic event; Catharsis refers to the method in which the therapeutic effect sought is ‘purgative’, discharging pathogenic affects. (J.L. Laplanche and J.-B. Pontalis, The Language of Psychoanalysis, New York: Norton, 1973).
[11] Aron Yakovlevich Gurevich, Russian medievalist historian; European culture of the Middle Ages.[12] An important movement in historical discipline founded by Lucien Febvre & Marc Bloch; 1929.
[13] Jean Laplanche, Essays on Otherness, New York: Routledge, 1999, p. 142
[14] Paul Ricoeur, Freud, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970, pp. 362-63
[15] Carlo Strenger, Between Hermeneutics and Science, Connecticut: International Universities Press, 1991, 124.
[16] Leslie Armour, The Concept of Truth, Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum & Comp. N.V., 1969, p. 184
[17] Ibid. p. 18
[18] Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982, p. 208.
[19] James Joyce, Ulysses, London: Penguin Books, 1992
[20] Sigmund Freud, On Metapsychology, London: Penguin Books, 1991, p. 191

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"Poetry is the short-circuiting of meaning between words, the impetuous regeneration of primordial myth". Bruno Schulz