Page:Freud - Wit and its relation to the unconscious.djvu/246
a forbidden idea came into existence on the way to auditory perception and is therefore ready to be discharged through laughter. Essentially both statements amount to the same thing, for the economized expenditure corresponds exactly to the now superfluous inhibition. The latter statement is more obvious, for it permits us to say that the hearer of the witticism laughs with the amount of psychic energy which was liberated by the suspension of inhibition energy; that is, he laughs away, as it were, this amount of psychic energy.
Why the First Person Does Not Laugh
If the person in whom the witticism is formed cannot laugh, then it indicates, as we have just remarked, that there is a deviation from the process in the case of the third person which concerns either the suspension of the inhibition energy or the discharge possibility of the same. But the first of the two cases is inconclusive, as we must presently see. The inhibition energy of the first person must have been dissipated, for otherwise there would have been no witticism, the formation of which had to overcome just such a resistance. Otherwise, too, it would have been impossible for the first person to experience the wit-pleasure which the removal