–Our Ford—or Our Freud, as, for some inscrutable reason, he chose to call himself whenever he spoke of psychological matters—Our Freud has been the first to reveal the appalling dangers of family life. The world was full of fathers—was therefore full of misery; full of mothers—therefore of every kind of perversion from sadism to chastity; full of brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts—full of madness and suicide (Huxley, p. 39).
For all of its fictional recasting of famous names, perhaps Huxley’s Brave New World is a utopia that should be considered as a text of counter-intertextuality insofar as it constitutes a responsive or counter-insurgent textuality. With all the names that circulate, like Trotsky, Ford, Lenin(a) and Marx who are scattered on almost every page of the text, Huxley makes it difficult to disavow the fact that he is wanting to call attention to this re-contextualization. Yet it is particularly striking that Freud’s name only shows up in one passage in his novel—ironically at that—precisely in the form of a Freudian slip. Nevertheless, this single instance of naming should not be taken as a sign that Freud’s influence is not readily apparent. On the contrary, an understanding of Freud’s work—mainly his Civilization and Its Discontents published two years prior—is essential for grasping the genetic inspiration behind the crafting of the themes of Huxley’s novel. Instead, what should be focused on is the very fact that Huxley chooses to refer to Freud ironically through the very medium with which his name has become eponymous: the slip. Investigating the importance of this humorous reference to Freud will help to shed some light on what is at stake in Huxley’s narrative.