In this provocative new book, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl illuminates the psychological and intellectual demands writing biography makes on the biographer and explores the complex and frequently conflicted relationship between feminism and psychoanalysis.
A practicing psychoanalyst, a distinguished scholar, and the widely praised biographer of Anna Freud and Hannah Arendt, Young-Bruehl here reflects on the relations between self-knowledge, autobiography, biography, and cultural history. She considers what remains valuable in Sigmund Freud’s work, and what areas—theory of character, for instance—must be rethought to be useful for current psychoanalytic work, for feminist studies, and for social theory.
Psychoanalytic theory used for biography, she argues, can yield insights for psychoanalysis itself, particularly in the understanding of creativity. Subject to Biography offers not simply the products of an astute mind, but an entrée into the thinking process; it welcomes the reader into the writer’s workshop.