Page:Freud - Wit and its relation to the unconscious.djvu/116

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he well knows that the mob will scream the true meaning of his words at him, namely,

“They are traitors: nice honorable men!”

Or when Simplicissimus transcribes a collection of unheard-of brutalities and cynicisms as expressions of “people with temperaments,” this, too, is a representation through the opposite. However, this is no longer designated as wit, but as “irony.” Indeed, the only technique that is characteristic of irony is representation through the opposite. Besides, one reads and hears about “ironical wit.” Hence there is no longer any doubt that technique alone is not capable of characterizing wit. There must be something else which we have not yet discovered. On the other hand, however, the fact that the reduction of the technique destroys the wit still remains uncontradicted. For the present it may be difficult for us to unite for the explanation of wit the two strong points which we have already gained.

Indirect Expression

Since representation through the opposite belongs to the technical means of wit, we may also expect that wit could make use of its reverse, namely, the representation through the similar and cognate. Indeed, when we continue our