Page:HG Wells--secret places of the heart.djvu/61

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AT MAIDENHEAD

of them that I can remember,—for all of them. But I don’t remember anything very monstrous or incestuous in my childish imaginations,—such things as Freud, I understand, lays stress upon. If there was an Œdipus complex or anything of that sort in my case it has been very completely washed out again. Perhaps a child which is brought up in a proper nursery of its own and sees a lot of pictures of the nude human body, and so on, gets its mind shifted off any possible concentration upon—the domestic aspect of sex. I got to definite knowledge pretty early. By the time I was eleven or twelve.”

“Normally?”

“What is normally? Decently, anyhow. Here again I may be forgetting much secret and shameful curiosity. I got my ideas into definite form out of a little straightforward physiological teaching and some dissecting of rats and mice. My schoolmaster was a capable sane man in advance of his times and my people believed in him. I think much of this distorted perverse stuff that grows up in people’s minds about sex and develops into evil vices and still more evil habits, is due to the mystery we make about these things.”

“Not entirely,” said the doctor.

“Largely. What child under a modern upbringing ever goes through the stuffy horrors described in James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.”