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Gentlemen’s Spleen

Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen: Hysterical Men

27 August 2009
Hysterical Men: The Hidden History of Male Nervous Illness 
by Mark Micale.
Harvard, 366 pp., £19.95, December 2008, 978 0 674 03166 1
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... Mark Micale’s book opens with a scene from John Huston’s film Freud: The Secret Passion (1962), which re-creates one of Jean-Martin Charcot’s legendary demonstrations of hypnosis before an audience of doctors at the Salpêtrière. With magical ease, Charcot makes two patients’ hysterical symptoms disappear ...

Little Brother, Little Sister

Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen: Hysteria

24 May 2001
Mad Men and Medusas: Reclaiming Hysteria and the Effects of Sibling Relationships on the Human Condition 
by Juliet Mitchell.
Penguin, 381 pp., £9.99, December 2000, 0 14 017651 9
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... founder had envisaged, so that criticism focusing on the historical Freud is hopelessly off the mark. Who among psychoanalysts still believes in the preposterous ‘penis envy’, in the connection between masturbation and ‘actual neurosis’, in the founding father’s grandiose phylogenetic speculations? Today’s practitioners have long ago relegated ...

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