Wolf Man

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Wolf Man was a pseudonym used for one of Sigmund Freud's

The "Wolf Man" case was Freud's most elaborate case history, containing a wealth of clinical and theoretical points.

He was nicknamed the "Wolf Man" because of a striking dream which he recalled having at the age of four, and which marked the beginning of his neurosis. In it, he dreamt of several wolves staring at him, withtheir ears pricked up, paying attention to him. It was through the analysis of this dream, and reconstructed childhood events, that Freud introduced the idea of the primal scene, the scene of sexual intercourse between the parents thtat the child observes or infers.

It was also in this case history that he described in detail the concept of 'after-revision' or 'deferred action' (Nachträglichkeit). The primal scene is grasped and interpreted by the child some time later than his original observation of it, by after-revisin at a time when he can put it into words.

The Wolf Man's primal scene, which became the nodalpoint for his subsequent neurosis, was the traumatic event of seeing his parents copulate a tergo.

As Freud wrote, he

understood it at the time of the dream when he was four years old, not at the time of the observation. He received the impressions when he was one and a half; his understanding of them was deferred, but it became possible at the time of the dream owing to his development, his sexual excitations and his sexual researches.[1]

The later activation of the scene "had the same effect as thought it were a recent experience. The effects of the scene were deferred, but meanwhile it had lost none of its freshness in the interval between the ages of one-and-a-half and four years."[2] (The "stamping" of the original traumatic event had not been integrated into the sbject's verbal system, and was limited, in Lacanian terminology, to the domain of the Real. It re-arose in the course of his progress in his symbolic world, thanks to "the advance of his intellectual development."[3]

famous patients, Sergei Pankejeff.

  1. Template:SE 17 p. 38
  2. Template:SE 17 p. 44
  3. SE 17 p. 109