No matter how much or how little you know of Freud, reading it is eye-opening and deeply satisfying.Scrupulous and exhaustive in her use of every imaginable source, Roudinesco performs a huge public service by debunking dozens of errors, myths, caricatures, and rumors that have long circulated about Freud.
No matter how much or how little you know of Freud, reading it is eye-opening and deeply satisfying.Scrupulous and exhaustive in her use of every imaginable source, Roudinesco performs a huge public service by debunking dozens of errors, myths, caricatures, and rumors that have long circulated about Freud.Tags: A Mystery Story EssayEssay On Discipline Is Necessary For Both Teacher And StudentPhd Thesis On MalariaEssays In Jewish Social And Economic HistoryNew Technology In Computer Science 2011Essay On Prevention Of Corruption In Public Life
"Each had his own way of wielding the instruments for exploring the psyche so as to make the other suffer," she remarks, and it took the outbreak of World War I, when analysts in different countries could no longer meet together or correspond easily, to end the "ludicrous war" between Jung and Freud.
Later, when yet another world war threatened to destroy everything he had done, Freud stubbornly persisted in thinking that psychoanalysis could "remain 'neutral' in the face of all social change, and thus 'apolitical.' " Roudinesco reveals the absurdity of his "blind conviction" that this approach could survive under Nazism and, in uncompromising terms, presents Jung's and Jones's collaboration with the Nazis, not by appealing to stereotype or veiled accusation, like so many others, but by quoting their actual words.
In beautifully evocative prose, she takes us into a "society in which women had no means other than the display of a suffering body to express their aspirations to freedom." These women, diagnosed as "hysteric" and long dismissed as malingerers and manipulators, became, in the privacy of Freud's office, "the major players in the construction of an approach based on listening: a practice focused on internal rather than external states. Roudinesco plunges us back into the unconscious mind, where ambiguity and contradiction abound, and the yes-no answers of the courtroom—did this really happen in exactly this way?
—cease being the only arbiter of what is experienced as true or not.
The Americans treat me the way a child treats a new doll: fun to play with, but soon to be replaced by another new toy." Ironically, as Roudinesco notes: She is excellent at identifying and critiquing Freud's blind spots without vilifying him in a more general sense, allowing him to be a fallible person living in a historical moment, not a symbol.
And she acknowledges his personal weaknesses without denying his intellectual courage: "Despite years of work on himself, Freud was as neurotic as ever," she remarks of the man who, at age 61, continued to suffer from various physical and mental ills and avidly to smoke cigars, despite the first signs of what was later diagnosed as cancer of the mouth, the disease from which he would ultimately die after dozens of operations and years of disfigurement and suffering.And psychoanalysis before the Second World War was an insular and incestuous field, where there was rarely more than a degree or two of separation between colleagues, lovers, patients, or friends.Freud, who "adored rumors," was "always inclined to intervene in the amorous adventures of his disciples," and the early history of the field is filled with the picaresque consequences.Respectful, except to those who make serious errors or simply repeat rumors, she is happy to accept the insights of others but still stakes out her own interpretations.In so doing, she gives us anew the man who did more than anyone else in the 20th century to shape our ways of understanding ourselves.Of the more than 20,000 letters Freud wrote, about half survive. So why would we ever need another biography of Freud?The man has already been the subject of several dozen biographies. religion, Freud and women, Freud the clinician, Freud the family man, Freud with his cigars, Freud and neurons, Freud and dogs . Precisely for the reason that Roudinesco wrote this brilliant new book: because Sigmund Freud, declared dead more times than anyone can count, is nevertheless very much alive.As the first biographer to have access to the full archive, Roudinesco is able to restore Freud to the world in which he actually lived. Their existential distress allowed male scientists to develop a new theory of subjectivity." In this new world, not only the doctor spoke: "Psychoanalysis restored speech to the subject," writes Roudinesco, and understood "the patient, rather than the doctor, possessed the power to come to terms with mental suffering." Roudinesco takes clear positions on controversial issues, carefully assessing the evidence and picking her way through paths strewn with polemic and innuendo.And among her many ways of contextualizing Freud historically—in his culture, his family, among his intellectual friends and adversaries—Roudinesco also refreshingly includes, "as a counterpoint, the stories of selected patients, [who] led parallel lives that had nothing to do with the presentation of their 'cases' " by psychoanalysts, and whose interpretations are of interest in their own right. For example, despite the many criticisms of Freud's abandonment of the so-called seduction theory, she argues that he remained "the vigorous defender of suffering patients" against "the accusations of those who maintained that the confessions of hysterics were not trustworthy, or that they were induced by the doctors themselves." By creating a theory that "accepted simultaneously the existence of fantasy and that of trauma," Freud was insisting on the complexities of psychic life.The rules of psychoanalytic practice with which we are familiar today were invented by Freud's colleagues in the first generation of analysts, intended not for them but for those who would follow in decades to come.Throughout her book, Roudinesco engages in a lively dialogue with Freud and his work, and with dozens of other commentators, analysts, and historians.