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My Potential Patients: Origins, Detection, and Transference in - page 30 / 69





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Cohen 27

arguments which I once again lay before my readers for their decision.


Could Freud be so generous as to passively "lay before" the reader a position that was

violently "forced upon" him? And who is this beleaguered "investigator" bullied "by

the case described in these pages"? He buries a similarly telling remark at the end of

another footnote, this one after having decoded each detail in the Wolf-Man's dream:

The diffuseness and elaboration of this commentary have been forced on me

by the effort to present the reader with some sort of equivalent for the

convincing power of an analysis carried through by oneself; perhaps they may

also serve to discourage him from asking for the publication of analyses which

have stretched over several years. (1



Freud's markedly exasperated tone is not merely frustration with a lengthy footnote.

While "this commentary" literally means the note itself, it transparently refers to the

case history as a whole, which interprets the Wolf-Man in the same way the note

interprets his dream. Strikingly, "some sort of equivalent for the convincing power of

an analysis" is exactly what Freud earlier vows the case will not attempt, since it is

supposedly impossible to achieve. The pivotal phrase here is "an analysis carried

through by oneself," an unstable syntax that places the reader just as easily on the

patient's couch as in the analyst's chair. That is, the attempt to have the reader

vicariously experience the analysis is empowering in the sense that it encourages the

reader to fill the analyst's shoes, but domineering in that the underlying purpose of

this generosity is to convert, to lift the reader's supposed resistances to orthodox

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