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see defense mechanismdefense mechanism,
in psychoanalysis, any of a variety of unconscious personality reactions which the ego uses to protect the conscious mind from threatening feelings and perceptions.
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References in periodicals archive ?
As Elias shows, however, both the postmodern and postcolonial metahistorical romances share "an attempt to counter the forces of modernization" and represent "a reaction-formation to the trauma of history itself" (xiv).
So what is involved here is less a "sublimation" of the past, as Silver proposes, than a reaction-formation to it, in which what is opposed by the art is also carried forward in it.
I propose the notion of reaction-formation not as the truth of the work but as a way to come to terms with its weirder aspects, in particular with why it often appears so conflicted, at odds with its own program.