In The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901), Sigmund Freud argues that slips of the tongue and the pen constitute moments when repressed thoughts break through. The taxing psychic labour of keeping buried thoughts at bay is momentarily relaxed, which is why, if we agree with Freud, that one of the effects of parapraxis is often a kind of joyous relief. Freud’s brief discussion of printing errors maintains the same central idea: that errors are meaningful as moments when ‘the real thinking … broke through’.
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