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3 November 1983
Freud and Man’s Soul 
by Bruno Bettelheim.
Chatto, 112 pp., £6.95, July 1983, 9780701127046
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... It is difficult to know how BrunoBettelheim would wish this book to be read. Part memoir, part popular introduction to psychoanalysis, and part scholarly interpretation and vindication of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, it raises many ...

I Love You Still

Russell Jacoby

9 February 1995
Intellectuals in Exile: Refugee Scholars and the New School for Social Research 
by Claus-Dieter Krohn, translated by Rita Kimber and Robert Kimber.
Massachusetts, 255 pp., $15.95, July 1994, 0 87023 864 7
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... life would lack weight and reach. It is impossible to conceive of American political thought without Hans Morgenthau, Hannah Arendt or Leo Strauss; American psychoanalysis without Erik Erikson, BrunoBettelheim or Heinz Hartmann; American publishing without Kurt Wolff or Theodore Schocken; architecture without Walter Gropius; art history without Erwin Panofsky; mathematics without Kurt Gödel ...

Hatching, Splitting, Doubling

James Lasdun: Smooching the Swan

21 August 2003
Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds: Ways of Telling the Self 
by Marina Warner.
Oxford, 264 pp., £19.99, October 2002, 0 19 818726 2
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... fact concerning shifts in religious belief, storytelling practices, property law, women’s rights and so forth, to reveal how mutable they are and how adaptable to social manipulation. Where BrunoBettelheim believes that the motif of the lost mother and wicked stepmother is an example of fairytales’ timeless and therapeutic wisdom, providing children with images of their parents’ benign and menacing ...

Holocaust Art

Robert Taubman

10 January 1983
Schindler’s Ark 
by Thomas Keneally.
Hodder, 432 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 340 27838 2
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... scale, embodying the very meaning of the totalitarian state. But not much more than the names appeared in books; and what was known of them in official circles seems to have made little impression. BrunoBettelheim tells us that from 1939 to 1942 it was impossible to get the camps and the SS taken seriously. Bettelheim was imprisoned before the war in Dachau and Buchenwald, and has given his story in ...

Entails

Christopher Driver

19 May 1983
Fools of Fortune 
by William Trevor.
Bodley Head, 239 pp., £7.50, April 1983, 0 370 30953 7
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What a beautiful Sunday! 
by Jorge Semprun, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Secker, 429 pp., £8.95, April 1983, 9780436446603
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An Innocent Millionaire 
by Stephen Vizinczey.
Hamish Hamilton, 388 pp., £8.95, March 1983, 0 241 10929 9
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The Papers of Tony Veitch 
by William McIlvanney.
Hodder, 254 pp., £7.95, April 1983, 0 340 22907 1
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In the Shadow of the Paradise Tree 
by Sasha Moorsom.
Routledge, 247 pp., £6.95, April 1983, 0 7100 9408 6
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The Bride 
by Bapsi Sidhwa.
Cape, 248 pp., £7.95, February 1983, 0 224 02047 1
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... The motto was apt: in the camp, you lived or died according to the national and ideological label you wore: Buchenwald was the continuation of total war by other means, although as Heimler – and BrunoBettelheim – discovered, cunning, moral fibre or luck could always raise you into a life expectation not shared by the rest of your group. Semprun’s untidy, repetitive, but refreshingly combative ...

Post-Mortem

Michael Burns

18 November 1993
Death and the After-Life in Modern France 
by Thomas Kselman.
Princeton, 413 pp., £40, March 1993, 0 691 00889 2
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... sociologists and cultural anthropologists have all weighed in on the meaning of these rituals, fairy tales and folk narratives of death. Kselman draws on the ‘hermeneutic vocabularies’ of BrunoBettelheim, Lévi-Strauss and others, but by pledging allegiance to no single theory he avoids the pitfalls of reductionism. Most impressively, he listens to the storytellers and captures the eloquence ...

Call a kid a zebra

Daniel Smith: On the Spectrum

18 May 2016
In a Different Key: The Story of Autism 
by John Donvan and Caren Zucker.
Allen Lane, 670 pp., £25, January 2016, 978 1 84614 566 7
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NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter about People Who Think Differently 
by Steve Silberman.
Allen and Unwin, 534 pp., £9.99, February 2016, 978 1 76011 364 3
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... include the 1766 discovery of hydrogen; ‘The way to talk to Cavendish is never to look at him,’ the astronomer Francis Wollaston was to say of him. Both books also rightly flay the writings of BrunoBettelheim, the mid-century psychoanalytic huckster (he called himself ‘doctor’ but had neither a medical degree nor any training in clinical psychology) who got famous by popularising the idea ...

Derridiarry

Richard Stern

15 August 1991
... our gift becomes a burden. Decades before, I’d watched Buckminster Fuller talk extemporaneously, brilliantly, interminably, unstoppably (until someone physically interrupted and stopped him). BrunoBettelheim had whispered to me: ‘He’s a megalomaniac.’ I was surprised at the word then, and didn’t want to think of it now in connection with this other brilliant, charming man. I preferred ...

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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... control does not always,’ the sharp-eyed European immigrant notes, ‘harbour that true spontaneity which alone would keep the personality intact and flexible enough to make it a going concern.’ (BrunoBettelheim, whose work does not seem to have impinged on Erikson’s at all, had the same uneasy reaction to the polite, well-adjusted kibbutzniks he studied for The Children of the Dream ...

Little People

Claude Rawson

15 September 1983
The Borrowers Avenged 
by Mary Norton.
Kestrel, 285 pp., £5.50, October 1982, 0 7226 5804 4
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... other sizes, small as a thumb or smaller (Andersen’s Thumbelina fits into a walnut-shell), or, in the case of full-sized dwarfs or midgets, two or three feet, which is the usual range in real life. BrunoBettelheim, whose book on fairy-tales reads like the work of a Laputan philosopher, says dwarfs symbolise a phallic existence. It’s lucky that he didn’t take in Lilliputians, whose size is ...
2 February 1984
The Oxford Companion to American Literature 
by James Hart.
Oxford, 896 pp., £27.50, November 1983, 0 19 503074 5
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The Modern American Novel 
by Malcolm Bradbury.
Oxford, 209 pp., £9.95, April 1983, 0 19 212591 5
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The Literature of the United States 
by Marshall Walker.
Macmillan, 236 pp., £14, November 1983, 0 333 32298 3
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American Fictions 1940-1980: A Comprehensive History and Critical Valuation 
by Frederick Karl.
Harper and Row, 637 pp., £31.50, February 1984, 0 06 014939 6
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Hugging the Shore: Essays and Criticism 
by John Updike.
Deutsch, 919 pp., £21, January 1984, 0 233 97610 8
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... would otherwise seem a dauntingly – even vainly – thick volume read with the ease of a novel. Again, the range is imposing – Raymond Queneau, Roland Barthes, E.M. Cioran, Claude Lévi-Strauss, BrunoBettelheim, Peter Gay’s Art and Act, The New Oxford Book of Christian Verse – the casual erudition much in evidence. Updike is a master at summing up careers: from the letters of Kafka, Joyce ...
4 September 1980
... years, and which has been treated, directly or obliquely, in novels like William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice, films like The Night Porter, and in the writings of Hannah Arendt, George Steiner, BrunoBettelheim and a host of others. But on the subject of the nuclear holocaust there is a deafening silence. It is as if, somehow, the entire topic had been declared out of bounds, as if it were ...
7 May 1987
The Order of Battle at Trafalgar, and other essays 
by John Bayley.
Collins Harvill, 224 pp., £12, April 1987, 0 00 272848 6
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... without any direct instruction. The boys learn it from the men by watching them, by being around when the boats are being built. This illustration is the only thing I can remember from a lecture by BrunoBettelheim which I heard in 1975. It struck me at the time because I had just finished a year at an American university, where I had sometimes had the impression that knowledge was understood to be ...
23 March 1995
From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers 
by Marina Warner.
Chatto, 458 pp., £20, October 1994, 0 7011 3530 1
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... like incest are made effable even in realistic forms by myths and folk tales told in group settings which diffuse the sense of dange’ and guilt (a bit like contemporary self-help support groups). BrunoBettelheim noted (in The Uses of Enchantment) the comfort that even a solitary telling can bring to a child who realises that other people have told and heard the tale and, presumably, have also ...
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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... t be overlooked. That paper was Anna’s charter: the book is her inheritance. Those who like their Freud humane will be displeased. It’s not just a matter of the material chosen. As Philip Rieff, BrunoBettelheim and others have complained, the Standard Edition’s prickly jargon – its ego and id for das Ich and das Es, its ‘cathexis’ and ‘scopophilia’ – removes psychoanalysis from the ...

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