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Time and Timelessness by Angeliki Yiassemides

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Appendix

Freud on memory, the primal scene and the concept of Nachträglichkeit

In the earliest phase of his work (in what has been characterized as the affect-trauma frame of reference which lasted up to 1897) Freud believed a single event that had occurred in one’s actual life to be the cause of the trauma; trauma was considered to be a ‘once-and-for-all affair’ (King 2005: 189). The focus of psychotherapy was on remembering the original trauma; by making it available to memory the symptoms would subside. Nonetheless, as Freud had observed, time had a particularly strange behaviour in the psyche. As he observed in 1897 in Draft M ‘neglect of the characteristics of time are no doubt essential for the distinction between activity in the preconscious ...

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