A Study of the Freudian Nachträglichkeit from the Perspective of Subsequent Minor Stressors

  • Dr. Amrik Singh, Sunayna


 The paper primarily explicates the Freudian theory of Nachträglichkeit. Sigmund Freud used the German word Nachträglichkeit for the first time in his psychological work entitled Project for a Scientific Psychology which is translated into English by James Strachey who has translated Nachträglichkeit as ‘deferred action’. Freud states that if a memory is repressed, it gives rise to trauma by deferred action (Freud, 2001, p. 356). To James Strachey, Nachträglichkeit is a belated understanding of an earlier traumatic event (p. 356) whereas Bistoen, Vanheule, and Craps interpret Nachträglichkeit in terms of ‘retrospective attribution’ which stands for the revivification of a past event or deals with the past situations (Bistoen, Vanheule & Craps, 2014, p. 672). Nachträglichkeit has also been interpreted in terms of the relationship between an original incident and its revivification (Caruth, 2014, p. 27). Jean Laplanche objects that in the translations of Nachträglichkeit, the full sense of the word has not been preserved (p. 27). To Laplanche, Strachey’s translation of Nachträglichkeit as ‘deferred action’ is only the one-sided direction which is always from the past to the present. Laplanche translates Nachträglichkeit as ‘afterwardsness’ which has two meanings: what happens after an incident takes place and its revivification in the wake of a subsequent encounter. Nachträglichkeit provides both the directions: first one from the past to the present and the other from the present to the past (p. 28). In the Freudian Nachträglichkeit, the past determines the future and the future reinterprets the past (p. 29). Nachträglichkeit is both an immediate temporality and the whole life of a subject. The first one is an instant and a short time during which an event transpires and the second one is the aspect of time that connects the past with the present and vice versa, and such a connection impacts the future of a traumatised victim.

How to Cite
Dr. Amrik Singh, Sunayna. (2022). A Study of the Freudian Nachträglichkeit from the Perspective of Subsequent Minor Stressors. Design Engineering, (1), 2281-2295. Retrieved from http://thedesignengineering.com/index.php/DE/article/view/9228