Much has been written in the secondary literature on Freud's aggression-release perspective vis-à-vis competitive sports. Very little has been written, however, on Freud's own explicit contribution to play, games, and sport. That is likely the result of Freud's reluctance to take up them—especially from the gamesman's and sportsman's points of view. One can, however, tease out the development of Freud's thoughts on games, play, and sport through a careful examination of his corpus over time. In doing so, one finds an early view of play and games, where the drives behind those activities are self- and other-preservative, and a later view, where Freud introduces his death drive. The article ends with some notions on what Freud might have said on the fanaticism that accompanies competitive sport, had he expressly taken up the issue.
Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis & Dynamic Psychiatry – Guilford Press
Published: Dec 1, 2011