The temper of Timpanaro: at points deliciously over the top. There is no mistaking his animus in the postscript. He is no friend of Freudianism: “psychoanalysis is neither a natural nor a human science, but a self-confession by the bourgeoisie of its own misery and perfidy, which blends the bitter insight and ideological blindness of a class in decline”.
This after a whole book devoted to offering alternatives to the repression-based explanations of parapraxes. A book peppered with counter-examples and occasionally his own gem-like explanations. This stands out for me as a little tour de force in textual criticism and discursive analysis:
I once found Empedocle e gli autonomisti instead of the heading Empedocle e gli atomisti. This was in 1961 or 1962 (the book was published by La Nuova Italia some years later after further revisions had been made to it). At that time, the struggle within the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) between the so-called ‘autonomists’ under the leadership of Pietro Nenni, and the left wing of the Party was at its height — with the result that autonomisti was a term of current parlance in all the debates on the Italian left and in all the newspapers. Today it has virtually disappeared and Leucippus and Democritus no longer risk being numbered among the followers of Pietro Nenni.
Sebastiano Timpanaro. The Freudian Slip: Psychoanalysis and Textual Criticism. Published with a lovely index of slips along side the usual index of names and themes. The index of slips quite usefully places an asterisk next to those referenced by Freud. Handy.
And so for day 1319