Rick Moody on Transference

by Griffin Hansbury on June 20, 2011

I recently came upon an article by author Rick Moody published a few years ago in the journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis.

On transference, he says:

“Transference, however, does seem incredibly important to me. Transference describes an easy-to-verify emotional relationship between people. If Freud’s theory in general is about the notion of interpretation, about the idea that interpretation is how (and who) we are in the world, then transference is the centerpiece of the theory. We project onto the present the interactions of the past, and we are always interpreting; and there is always a dynamic engagement with the events and people in front of us. We see them as they are and as they are not. We are learning and we are not learning. This is the action of Freud’s writing, and maybe this is its subject too. My characters, or the ones I love and care about anyway, are always interpreting, always engaged in some transferential delusion, and always, in some way, missing out on the richness of the present as a result. They are living in the present and in the past and future of literature.”

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