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A Seamstress in Tel Aviv

Adam Phillips, 14 September 1989

Anna FreudA Biography 
by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl.
Macmillan, 527 pp., £18.95, June 1989, 0 333 45526 6
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... Psychoanalysts after Freud have to acknowledge that the founder of psychoanalysis was never properly trained. He was not psychoanalysed in the conventional sense – that is, by someone else; and there was no one to tell him whether what he was doing with his patients was appropriate. That Freud, paradoxically, was the first ‘wild’ analyst is one of the difficult facts in the history of psychoanalysis ...

Tough Morsels

Peter Rudnytsky, 7 November 1991

The Freud-Klein Controversies 1941-45 
edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner.
Routledge, 958 pp., £100, December 1990, 0 415 03170 2
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... among scholars and practitioners of psychoanalysis that the most important developments since Freud’s death have taken place in object relations theory. Both American ego psychology and the French school of Lacan provide alternatives, but these have proven less fecund than the British tradition of object relations, which comes in distinct Kleinian and ...

Anna F.

Michael Ignatieff, 20 June 1985

Anna FreudA Life Devoted to Children 
by Uwe Henrik Peters, translated by Beatrice Smedley.
Weidenfeld, 281 pp., £16.95, April 1985, 0 297 78175 8
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... She burst into the history of psychoanalysis crying out in her sleep: ‘Anna Fweud, stwawbewwies, wild stwawbewwies, omblet, pudden!’ The calipers of theory were immediately applied: ‘At that time she was in the habit of using her own name to express the idea of taking possession of something. The menu included pretty well everything that must have seemed to her to make up a desirable meal ...

Shall we tell the children?

Paul Seabright, 3 July 1986

Melanie Klein: Her World and her Work 
by Phyllis Grosskurth.
Hodder, 516 pp., £19.95, June 1986, 0 340 25751 2
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Bloomsbury/FreudThe Letters of James and Alix Strachey 1924-1925 
edited by Perry Meisel and Walter Kendrick.
Chatto, 360 pp., £14.95, February 1986, 0 7011 3051 2
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... When Alix Strachey, translator of Freud, went to Berlin in 1924 to seek psychoanalysis with Freud’s colleague, Karl Abraham, her most momentous acquisition, in an accumulation consisting inter alia of books, antique knick-knacks and (to a compulsive extent, on the evidence of her letters) of Apfeltorte under lashings of cream, was a then little-known child-analyst of Polish-Slovakian extraction named Melanie Klein ...

War Zone

Sherry Turkle, 23 November 1989

Winnicott 
by Adam Phillips.
Fontana, 180 pp., £4.95, November 1988, 9780006860945
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... cure, about the authenticity of self, are evocative and powerful, but they are nonetheless heresy. Freud saw the triangle of Oedipal loves as a crucible for the development of personality; Winnicott focused on the earliest bonding of mother and child. Freud portrayed people driven by the contradictions of desire into ...

Naughty Children

Christopher Turner: Freud’s Free Clinics, 6 October 2005

Freud’s Free Clinics: Psychoanalysis and Social Justice 1918-38 
by Elizabeth Ann Danto.
Columbia, 348 pp., £19.50, May 2005, 0 231 13180 1
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... In 1918, Sigmund Freud gave a speech at the Fifth International Congress of Psychoanalysis in Budapest. It was two months before the Armistice, but he looked to the future rather than dwelling on civilisation’s obvious discontents: ‘The conscience of society will awake,’ he promised his audience, ‘and remind it that the poorest man should have just as much right to assistance for his mind as he now has to life-saving help offered by surgery ...

Keeping the show on the road

John Kerrigan, 6 November 1986

Tribute to Freud 
by H. D.
Carcanet, 194 pp., £5.95, August 1985, 0 85635 599 2
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In Dora’s Case: Freud, Hysteria, Feminism 
edited by Charles Bernheimer and Claire Kahane.
Virago, 291 pp., £11.95, October 1985, 0 86068 712 0
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The Essentials of Psychoanalysis 
by Sigmund Freud, edited by Anna Freud.
Hogarth/Institute of Psychoanalysis, 595 pp., £20, March 1986, 0 7012 0720 5
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Freud and the Humanities 
edited by Peregrine Horden.
Duckworth, 186 pp., £18, October 1985, 0 7156 1983 7
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Freud for Historians 
by Peter Gay.
Oxford, 252 pp., £16.50, January 1986, 0 19 503586 0
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The Psychoanalytic Movement 
by Ernest Gellner.
Paladin, 241 pp., £3.50, May 1985, 0 586 08436 3
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The Freudian Body: Psychoanalysis and Art 
by Leo Bersani.
Columbia, 126 pp., $17.50, April 1986, 0 231 06218 4
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... H.D. after analysis in Vienna. Her judgment seems rather generous. Reading her Tribute to Freud, one can’t ignore the emotional and interpretative coercion that went on at 19 Berggasse under the name of science. To an alarming degree, theory preempted argument. H.D. had been abandoned by her husband, Richard Aldington, for another woman, during ...

Angering and Agitating

Christopher Turner: Freud’s fan club, 30 November 2006

Freud’s Wizard: The Enigma of Ernest Jones 
by Brenda Maddox.
Murray, 354 pp., £25, September 2006, 0 7195 6792 0
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... The Welsh psychoanalyst Ernest Jones, known for his three-volume hagiography of Freud, was also the author of a book on figure skating. The New York Psychoanalytic Institute owns a dusty copy, which is illustrated with drawings of the elegant squiggles skaters were supposed to leave on the ice: ‘Only in a certain type of dream,’ Jones wrote, offering a clue to his other area of expertise, ‘do we ever else attain a higher degree of the same ravishing experience of exultantly skiing the earth ...

Transference

Brigid Brophy, 15 April 1982

Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession 
by Janet Malcolm.
Picador, 174 pp., £1.95, February 1982, 9780330267373
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Psychoanalytic Psychology of Normal Development 
by Anna Freud.
Hogarth, 389 pp., £15, February 1982, 0 7012 0543 1
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Record of a Friendship: The Correspondence of Wilhelm Reich and A.S. Neill 
edited by Beverley Placzek.
Gollancz, 429 pp., £12.50, January 1982, 0 575 03054 2
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... phenomenon of transference – how we all invent each other according to early blueprints – was Freud’s most original and radical discovery. The idea of infant sexuality and of the Oedipus complex can be accepted with a good deal more equanimity than the idea that the most precious and inviolate of entities – personal relations – is actually a messy ...

Why are you here?

Sherry Turkle, 5 January 1989

The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book I: Freud’s Papers on Technique 1953-1954 
edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, translated by John Forrester.
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Book II: The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis 1954-1955 
edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, translated by Sylvana Tomaselli.
Cambridge, 314 pp., £35, May 1988, 0 521 26679 3
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... of Jacques Lacan: Book I is the edited transcript of the first year of those meetings, devoted to Freud’s papers on technique. Book II covers the group’s second year, focused on the study of the ego. While the previously translated Ecrits primarily consists of formal presentations, the seminars are Lacan as he spoke more informally to those who ...

Am I a spaceman?

Adam Phillips: Wilhelm Reich, 20 October 2011

Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex 
by Christopher Turner.
Fourth Estate, 532 pp., £25, August 2011, 978 0 00 718157 5
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... In a Freud Anniversary Lecture given in New York in 1968, Anna Freud looked back with nostalgia on the early days of psychoanalysis. ‘When we scrutinise the personalities who, by self-selection, became the first generation of psychoanalysts,’ she said, we are left in no doubt about their characteristics ...

Dubious Relations

Sander Gilman, 20 June 1985

The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess: 1887-1904 
edited by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson.
Harvard, 505 pp., £19.95, May 1985, 0 674 15420 7
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... Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, the former Projects Director of the Freud Archives, has brought out an English edition of what is in effect the key document for anyone with an interest in the history of the early Freud: Freud’s letters, written in the years 1887 to 1904, to the ear, nose and throat doctor Wilhelm Fliess, two years his junior and living in Berlin ...

Wildly Constant

Anne Carson, 30 April 2009

... egg. This perfect form. Perfect content. Perfect food. In your dreams said a more recent explorer (Anna Freud) you can have your eggs cooked as perfectly as you want but you cannot eat them. Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep because of the wind I go and stand in the library of glaciers. I stand in another world. Not the past not the future. Not ...

Streamlined Smiles

Rosemary Dinnage: Erik Erikson, 2 March 2000

Identity’s Architect: A Biography of Erik Erikson 
by Lawrence Friedman.
Free Association, 592 pp., £15.95, May 1999, 9781853434716
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... allowed him as he grew up to invent a Danish nobleman or artist to fill it – fantasies that Anna Freud, his psychoanalyst, would treat rather severely. He was three when his mother got remarried, to a conventional German-Jewish doctor. Now Erik Homburger, he was told the new husband was his real father and grew up doubting the whole thing. At the ...

Clutching at Insanity

Frank Kermode: Winnicott and psychoanalysis, 4 March 2004

Winnicott: Life and Work 
by Robert Rodman.
Perseus, 461 pp., $30, May 2003, 0 7382 0397 1
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... the profession was small and rather isolated so that something must be allowed to family gossip. Freud, admittedly an exception, since he had no predecessor, had to analyse not only his daughter but himself. Donald Winnicott was the analyst of Melanie Klein’s son Eric, so couldn’t go to her himself, but his analyst was Joan Riviere, very close to ...

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