Tag Archives: Odilon Redon

Birds, bees and psychoanalysis

The Shell (1912) by Odilon Redon

The Shell by Odilon Redon represents yonic symbolism.

Already in 1916 the  Hungarian psychoanalyst Sándor Ferenczi in Sex in Psychoanalysis[1] wrote:

“The derisive remark was once made against psychoanalysis that the unconscious sees a penis in every convex object and a vagina or anus in every concave one. I find that this sentence well characterizes the facts.”  (tr. Ernest Jones)

I found the above dictum while researching sexual symbolism. Ferenczi’s dictum was most famously referenced in Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History by Norman O. Brown.