Joke and it`s Relation to the Unconscious
The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious (1905) explains how jokes provide immense pleasure by releasing us from our inhibitions and allowing us to express sexual, aggressive, playful or cynical instincts that would otherwise remain hidden. In elaborating this theory, Freud brings together a rich collection of puns, witticisms, one-liners and anecdotes, many of which throw a vivid light on the society of early twentieth-century Vienna. Jokes, as Freud shows, are a method of giving ourselves away. Building on the crucial insight that jokes use many of the same mechanisms he had already discovered in dreams, Freud developed one of the richest and most comprehensive theories of humor that has ever been produced. Jokes, he argues, provide immense pleasure by allowing us to express many of our deepest sexual, aggressive and cynical thoughts and feelings which would otherwise remain repressed. In elaborating this central thesis, he brings together a dazzling set of puns, anecdotes, snappy one-liners, spoonerisms and beloved stories of Jewish beggars and marriage-brokers. Many remain highly amusing, while others throw a vivid light on the lost world of early twentieth-century Vienna.