In "Of Snips . . . and Puppy Dog Tails": Freud's Sublimation of Judentum," Jay Geller discusses Freud's claim that he conceived his idea of sublimation while reading about the youthful dog-tail-cutting adventures of the future surgeon J. F. Dieffenbach in Heinrich Heine's The Harz Journey. Geller shows that the episode actually occurs in Heine's memorial to Ludwig Borne, a baptized Jewish critic and liberal publicist, and argues that Freud's error (together with a "canine caudal caesura" in the work of Georg Christophe Lichtenberg) is entwined with an irony that undermines the general approbation given to his concept of sublimation, namely, that the concept itself sublimates the correlation between psychoanalytic discourse and Freud's own Jewish identifications. In this article, I endorse but also extend Geller's argument by drawing attention to implications for his argument of the fact that Dieffenbach was a nose surgeon.


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