Sigmund Freud,

Jensen’s Gradiva, part I

(On the subject of repression…)

“You may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, but she will always return.” [Horace, Epistles, I, 10, 24]

“flight is precisely an instrument that delivers one over to what one is fleeing from”

“This fact, which has been so little noticed and deserves so much consideration, is illustrated—more impressively than it could be by many examples—in a well-known etching by Felicien Rops; and it is illustrated in the typical case of repression in the lives of saints and penitents. An ascetic monk has fled, no doubt from the temptations of the world, to the image of the crucified Saviour. And now the cross sinks down like a shadow, and in its place, radiant, there rises instead the image of a voluptuous, naked woman, in the same crucified attitude. Other artists with less psychological insight have, in similar representations of temptation, shown Sin, insolent and triumphant, in some position alongside of the Saviour on the cross. Only Rops has placed Sin in the very place of the Saviour on the cross. He seems to have known that, when what has been repressed returns, it emerges from the repressing force itself.”


  1. Fascinating!

    Is it God keeping his journal?

    Or the Devil perhaps?

    This is poetic and dark and light at the same time.

    Words became colors here!


    I Love it!

    ROCK ON!

    1. I am very much enjoying slowly wading my way through the writings of Freud. His mind is a light in the general darkness of human understanding… The symbolism of the pig is interesting. I note the Greek word for Oregano on one of the tomes upon which this pig is standing. Hippocrates, the ‘father of medicine’ so-called knew of the beneficial effects of oregano on health. Clearly the ascetic hermit is pathologically unhealthy (and probably physiologically so too.) One lives in denial of one’s nature at one’s peril! I don’t have time to go into all the meanings within this painting of Rops.

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