the dead and the living" (173). Nabokov stresses that we will be unable to find
evidence of the otherworld's existence or nonexistence, and "indeed, he suggests, our
very expression of our inability to detect such signals could be their very sign, or in
any case, proof of the inconceivable distance between the conditions of an existence
beyond death and ours" (173-74).
Freud addresses the issue of communication between the world of the
repressed past and the world of the present through his concept of transference,
discussing it in two papers contemporaneous with The
Dynamics of Transference," Freud argues that one or more "stereotype
how one falls in love are forged in early childhood from a combination of infantile
experience and disposition, and that the pattern they represent is
"constantly reprinted afreshv-throughout life. Although this "transference" occurs
in the relationships of all neurotics, it is easily established with the person of the
analyst (12: 99-101). When the analysis reaches deep enough into the unconscious in
trying to "track down" (102) the libido, a transferential association rises up into the
patient's consciousness, serving as resistance to the analytic detective work (103-4).
As the duration of an analysis increases, the patient's resistance increasingly employs
this negative and unconscious positive transference as a way of distorting the
Transference plays a crucial, if subtle, role in The
In his introduction to the case, Freud
notes that he was able to secure the patient's cooperation only by cultivating the growth of his positive, conscious transference, then setting a deadline for the end of the analysis: "Under the inexorable pressure of this fixed limit his resistance and his fixation to the illness gave way, and now in a disproportionately short time the analysis produced all the material which made it possible to clear up
his inhibitions and remove his symptoms" (157). And in the case history itself, I would argue, Freud attempts to set up a transference between his text and the reader, claiming that "I am no less critically inclined than he towards an acceptance of this observation of the child's," meaning the primal scene,
"and I will only ask him to join me in adopting
belief in the reality of the scene" (183).
As the deadline of the end of the case history approaches, Freud hopes that this make-believe situation will allow the reader to overcome his "resistance" to the supreme importance of infantile experience.