Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Vorlesungen über Gonadektomie

We earlier recalled the tragic memories of der kleine Hans.  Now here, a mini-distaff version, recalling a summer visit by Dr. Sigmund Freud, to the Jones family, vacationing in Grinzing :

He surprised my little girl, aged five, by taking hold of her nose between two fingers;  but, ignoring this castrating symbolism, she won his heart  by immediately offering him her doll.
-- Ernest Jones, Freud: The Last Phase (1957), p. 196

And this (vaguely, stirring) brings something back, from my own fifth year, staying with my grandmother in Garden City.  
Some avuncular wag, probably of the good-hearted sort whose repertoire of native wit is not large, but who is delighted at the opportunity to épater les gosses, 
did likewise (as I sat on the front-porch swing, not a care in the world, really)
snip at my button-nose, with his two first fingers:  yet then (here comes the good part), between these same two larcenous fingers,
display a wiggling nubbin (which later scientific investigation revealed to be merely the first joint of his own thumb),  proclaiming:
“Got your nose! Got your nose!”

(In defense of the Viennese doctor, we must concede, that the resultant demi-protruding member  was not a little glans-like, at least for those of us who rejoice in our membership in the brit milah.)

Rare was the child who did not check, with a hand, to make sure that the member was still there.  Non-existent was the child, who did not then heartily laugh, and ask to see the trick again.

(Contrary to what you might expect from the alleged supremacy of the unmanning-complex, these events were not accompanied by any anxiety that I can recall.)

~ Sigmund Freud  und  Sherlock Holmes: ~


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