chapter  5
21 Pages

Where does the reality principle begin? The work of margins in Freud’s “Formulations on the two principles of mental functioning”

ByGiuseppe Civitarese

The text of “Formulations” (FTPMF) has a circular structure. Freudian psychoanalysis is largely based on the fiction of the “isolated psychic system”. Sigmund Freud suggests that he or she pay attention to the performative aspect of the text, the plane in which enunciation and action coincide. In FTPMF Freud has come to a fully matured awareness that truth may be circular, rhetorical, a matter of perspective and affect, inasmuch as it is conditioned by the manner and the context in which one attains it—a manner and context shared with society and hence not arbitrary. Freud interprets the dream as having been provoked by the dreamer’s repressed desire for his father to die. For Freud, reality knocks on the door because dreaming never works, because it fails as an investigation of reality and not, conversely, because it succeeds in giving a “poetic” or integrated meaning to experience.