Barbara Tholfsen on LinkedIn alerted me to this Ella Sharpe Quotation from 1930 about the necessity of reading “three blind mice” etc. if you want to be an analyst:
“In any reading for analytical qualification I would make compulsory the following books:
Nursery Rhymes, the Alice books, Hunting of the Snark, Grimm, Andersen, the Brer Rabbit books, Water Babies, Struwelpeter, Undine, Rumpelstilzkin, Peter Ibbetson, Greek Myths and Tragedies, Shakespeare’s Plays.
Were I an arbiter of training, I should set an examination on those books as a final test by which the would-be analyst should stand or fall. My final examination for qualification would run on these lines:—
1. Quote in full a verse in which ‘London Bridge is falling down’ occurs.
2. Give briefly the story of three blind mice.
3. If the mice were blind, how came they to run after the farmer’s wife so purposely? Account for the cutting off of their tails.
Illustrate what unconscious drama is being staged when a patient thinks of himself as one of the blind mice.
What inference concerning the health of the ego do you draw from the fact that the tails were cut off instead of the mice being killed?
Somewhere in that list of immortal stories we shall all find an unconscious phantasy of our own. To understand even the tale of the three blind mice is to have a conception of what those crystallized terms id, ego and super-ego really mean in terms of the drama of life. Faced by a cross-examination on children’s nursery rhymes in terms of psycho-analytical theory, with an application to the struggles going on in ourselves or in our patients, would any of us do more than scramble through it? To pass it creditably would mean that one had a good chance of being a creditable technician.”
Ella Freeman Sharpe “The Technique of Psychoanalysis ” 1930 http://www.linkedin.com/groups?viewMemberFeed=&gidU622&memberIDF776851