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Questions for Freud

Questions for Freud

The Secret History of Psychoanalysis

Nicholas Rand, Mária Török

ISBN 9780674004214

Publication date: 10/16/2000

With all the intrigue and twists of a mystery, Questions for Freud uncovers the paradoxes that riddle psychoanalysis today and traces them to Freud's vacillation at key points in his work--and from there to a traumatic event in Freud's life.

What role did censored family history play in shaping Freud's psychological inquiries, promoting and impeding them by turns? With this question in mind, Nicholas Rand and Maria Torok develop a new biographical and conceptual approach to psychoanalysis, one that outlines Freud's contradictory theories of mental functioning against the backdrop of his permanent lack of insight into crucial and traumatic aspects of his immediate family's life. Taking us through previously unpublished documents and Freud's dreams, his clinical work and institutional organization, the authors show how a shameful event in 1865 that shook Freud and his family can help explain the internal clashes that later beset his work--on the origins of neurosis, reality, trauma, fantasy, sexual repression, the psychoanalytic study of literature, and dream interpretation.

Steeped in the history, theory, and practice of psychoanalysis, this book offers a guide to the wary, a way of understanding the flaws and contradictions of Freud's thought without losing sight of its significance. This book will alter the terms of the current debate about the standing of psychoanalysis and Freud.

Praise

  • Makes for a lively and challenging read.

    —Paul Roazen, Toronto Globe and Mail

Authors

  • Nicholas Rand was Professor of French Literature at the University of Wisconsin–Madison until his retirement in 2007. He edited and translated the American editions of Mária Török and Nicolas Abraham’s The Wolf Man’s Magic Word: A Cryptonymy and The Shell and the Kernel: Renewals of Psychoanalysis.
  • Mária Török (1925–1998) was an internationally renowned French psychoanalyst.

Book Details

  • 256 pages
  • 5-1/16 x 7-15/16 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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