The Repression of Culture


A Parintintin Indian who has succeeded in melding himself into interior Brazilian society working as a boatman, falls ill. Terrified of his illness and of the hospital, he is immobilized in his hammock in his mother’s simple house in Humaitá. In conversation with the anthropologist, he encounters the death of his father, years before, which he had repressed. Confronting the anguish of his father’s death in the illness he had survived, he is able to recover some of the language and culture he had repressed along with his father’s death, and is enabled to re-immerse himself in his work.

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European Journal of Psychoanalysis