In his marking of the consequential vicissitudes that attend the more primary instincts, Freud articulates history as the discursive operation of the psychoanalytic undertaking. But his ambivalence toward the requisite writing of that articulated history comes through when he introduces the narrative genre of the case study. The first part of this article examines Freud’s implicit proposition that psychoanalysis is a complex articulation of history in that symptoms are noted and inscribed as consequential, present indicators of causal instincts (Triebe) that have been variously and “fatefully” rerouted. The second part reads Freud’s defensive presentation of the first case history, the “broken fragment” of Dora and her hysteria, considering Freud’s ambivalence toward his own historiographic operation. Freud’s ambivalence in relation to his new genre of narrative writing illustrates the more general productive ambivalence of historiography as outlined by Michel de Certeau.

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