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If Goofy Could Talk

Frank Cioffi, 6 April 1995

When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals 
by Jeffrey Masson and Susan McCarthy.
Cape, 268 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 0 224 03554 1
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The Hidden Life of Dogs 
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.
Weidenfeld, 148 pp., £12.50, May 1994, 0 297 81461 3
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The Tribe of Tiger 
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £12.99, October 1994, 0 297 81508 3
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... Jeffrey Masson and Susan McCarthy’s book is a collection of anecdotes, arguments and exhortations which insists on the analogies between human and animal being. The rationale given for this enterprise in Masson’s Preface is implausible: it is to bridge the ‘tremendous gap between the common sense view (that “animals have such feelings as happiness, anger and fear”) and that of official science ...

The Guru of Suburbia

Elaine Showalter, 16 December 1993

My Father’s Guru: A Journey Through Spirituality and Disillusionment 
by Jeffrey Masson.
HarperCollins, 174 pp., £16.99, August 1993, 0 00 255126 8
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... sister had had to settle for being the sister of the Messiah. I thought of David often in reading Jeffrey Masson’s My Father’s Guru. In the conclusion of Final Analysis (1990), his comic and indignant account of becoming and unbecoming a psychoanalyst, Masson dropped some hints about his peculiar ...

Assault on Freud

Arnold Davidson, 5 July 1984

Freud: The Assault on Truth 
by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson.
Faber, 308 pp., £9.95, May 1984, 0 571 13240 5
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... A great deal of publicity has surrounded Jeffrey Masson and his book, some good, some bad, but all of it enveloped by an atmosphere which has helped to obscure the important historical issues about the origins of psychoanalysis that his book raises. Yet Masson himself is partially responsible for submerging these issues ...

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 ...

Going underground

Elaine Showalter, 12 May 1994

The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes 
by Janet Malcolm.
Knopf, 208 pp., $23, April 1994, 0 679 43158 6
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... in a notorious case about libel and invasion of privacy brought by the modest and reclusive Jeffrey Masson, the topical ironies of the book have attracted a great deal of attention in the United States. In the New York Times Book Review, Caryn James observed that ‘while the English fuss about poets’ graves, Americans gossip about litigation and ...

Fortress Freud

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 18 April 1985

In the Freud Archives 
by Janet Malcolm.
Cape, 165 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 224 02979 7
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... be taken as evidence in favour of Freudian theory. The current black sheep and family snitch is Jeffrey Masson, the principal subject of Ms Malcolm’s second book. Masson made his first appearance in the international psychoanalytic community in the early Seventies and the community was dazzled. ‘He ...

Laying out the Moods

Sherry Turkle: The Seduction Theory, 19 March 1998

Rewriting the Soul: Multiple Personality and the Sciences of Memory 
by Ian Hacking.
Princeton, 346 pp., £12.95, May 1998, 9780691059082
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... Eighties, however, the psychoanalysts themselves were under attack, taken to task, notably by Jeffrey Masson, for disbelieving their patients. From Masson’s perspective, childhood sexual abuse was the real truth and psychoanalysis the lie. The abandonment of the seduction theory was, for ...

Wolf, Turtle, Bear

Francis Gooding: ‘Wild Thought’, 26 May 2022

Wild Thought: A New Translation of ‘La Pensée sauvage’ 
by Claude Lévi-Strauss, translated by Jeffrey Mehlman and John Leavitt.
Chicago, 357 pp., £16, January 2021, 978 0 226 41308 2
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... brutal and witless natives of the colonial imagination – a reversal of the book’s intention. Jeffrey Mehlman and John Leavitt generously suggest that the choice of ‘savage’ might have been an ironic reference to the anthropological vocabulary of an earlier generation, whose theories Lévi-Strauss had set himself to overturn. Maybe, but if so it ...

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