Transference, originally a term coined by Freud to represent the relationship between the analysand (patient) and the analyst, refers to the projecting and redirecting of one’s unconscious self, feelings and desires (especially those unconsciously retained from childhood which deals with core issues of identity problems rather than with past traumatic incidents) onto another being or object. The process of transference is a catharsis, and where one’s unconscious desires and feelings are repressed, they can obtain release through the action of repetition, which, in a psychoanalytic treatment, these repeated actions and thoughts (which are unconscious) will then be transferred onto the analyst.
In a literary text, transference may take two forms:
- 1) the author as the ‘analysand’ projecting his unconscious desires and feelings unto his/her characters on to the ‘analyst’ (who is the reader)
- 2) the characters in the novel to other figures or objects in the novel.
Courtesy of Michelle J.Y. Tiong, National University of Singapore
See also: workings of the mind
Freud, Sigmund, and Joan Riviere. A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. Garden City, N.Y. : Garden City Pub. Co., 1943. Print.