The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Paperback Book

The Psychopathology of Everyday Life Paperback

Part of the Penguin Modern Classics series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


This collection of writings is famous for giving us the phrase 'Freudian slip'.

It also builds up a strong social history of Vienna and the middle-class social milieu of Freud and his patients.

Through a series of case histories, some no longer than a few lines long, Freud explores how it is that normal people make slips of speech, writing, reading and remembering in their everyday life, and reveals what it is that they betray about the existence of a sub-text or subliminal motive to our conscious actions.

As he explains, most of these slips tend of be of a relatively anodyne nature, but some are a little more sinister, particularly those where pride or thwarted love are concerned...


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I approached this book with some scepticism, having not read Freud before but being under the impression that he was a sex-mad weirdo. Upon actually reading the book I was pleasantly surprised. The theories presented here are not outrageous and shocking, they are perfectly sensible, and indeed Freudian slips, which are the content of the longest chapter, are now widely accepted as acts of the unconscious. The style of the book is more along the lines of popular science than a textbook on psychoanalysis. It was an interesting introduction to some of the famous theories: briefly discussed and then explored using a series of short case studies, which were quite convincing. My only criticism is that many of the case studies in each chapter are very similar, but this book is definitely worth a read and will get you thinking whenever somebody cannot remember a word or replaces it with a different one.

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