chapter  I
53 Pages


ByTheodor Reik, Paul Roazen

The investigator's first task is to answer the question: what happens? His second is to answer the question: how does it happen? To fulfill the first we have to start in our case from the phenomenological world of masochism. We shall have to seek for definite features and characteristics of this instinctual disposition, what its forms of expression have in common and what distinguishes it from other instinctual phenomena. Before undertaking such a task of sifting and sorting it is advisable to pause and state the first general impression masochistic phenomena make on the observer. One should certainly not surrender to such first impressions; yet they should not be underrated. They may be deceptive and true at the same time. These fleeting impressions, so obscure and yet so distinct, are the very ones which deserve to be retained. They keep to the surface, but the surface —correctly seen—is the extroverted inside. Every secret that man would hide will betray itself on the surface, will manifest itself on the outside.