Click Here to Read: David James Fisher interviewed by Paul Elovitz in Clio’s Psyche, Volume 22, Number 3, December 2015.
Archive for January, 2007
John Cruickshank’s review of Peter Kramer’s biography of Freud (Chicago Sun-Times, January 21, 2007) for me strikes the right balance of critical and questioning appraisals of Freud’s life and work. It is in sharp contrast to a review by Ronald Dwarkin in the New York Sun on November 29, 2006 – a front Arts page review no less with the title Freud’s Will To Power and a picture of Freud and colleagues with Stanley Hall at Clark University on the cover of the newspaper. The NY Sun review seemed to me a tendentious review of a tendentious book (I confess I have not read the volume) and it was hard for me to separate the views of the reviewer from the views of the reviewed. I was moved to right the following letter (which was not published).
To the editor:
It would appear from Dworkin’s review of Freud: The Inventor of the Modern Mind Peter Kramer’s tendentious biography of Freud that Peter Kramer is way off base starting from his citation of the dirty hands story (he messed up a chair as a child, but promised his mother than when he grew up to be a great man he’d buy her another) as evidence of a fierce ambition and a will to power. Kramer is offering a Freudian interpretation of Freud’s psychology by finding its roots in the ambivalence conflicts of his childhood including Oedipal wishes which Dworkin dismisses as gross generalizations based on “a few questionable patient experiences.” Freud moved from clinical observation to clinical generalization to clinical theory to broad and speculative constructs called metapsychology. He referred to the latter as the scaffolding which could be discarded without disturbing the house.
Freud was a scientist and a humanist. Some of his notions about the way the mind works have been found to be consistent with current findings in neuroscience, and his psychology serves as the foundation for most psychotherapies. He was a great writer — in 1930 he received the Goethe Prize for creativity from the city of Frankfurt, and like many great novelists he was a keen observer of human nature. In my view Freud’s most enduring contribution is his contention that words can change the way we think and feel and relate to each other and words can change brain chemistry. He is even more relevant in this age of psychopharmacology and manual diagnosis than he was in his time.
There is also a interview with Peter Kramer in the California Litarary Review
What do you think?
Click Here to Read: Table of Contents of Psychoanalytic Inquiry Volume 35, Issue 8.
New Joint Imprints IPBooks
I. IPBooks — Contemporary Freud Society
Psychoanalysis: Critical Conversations: Selected Papers of Arnold D. Richards.
Volume 1, in print. Volume 2, 3, & 4 in preparation.
Selected Papers of Helen Gediman, with Introduction by Fred Pine. In preparation.
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Chimeras and Other Writings: Selected Papers of Sheldon Bach. In preparation.
Selected Papers of Arnold Wilson. In preparation.
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Selected Papers of Milton Horowitz with Introduction by Phil Hirschenfeld. In preparation.
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The Interwoven Lives of Sigmund, Anna, and W. Ernest Freud: Three Generations of Psychoanalysis by Daniel Benveniste. In print.
Anna Freud in the Hampstead Clinics: Letters Anna Freud to Humberto Nágera, edited by Daniel Benveniste. In print.
The Holt Rappaport Correspondence, edited by Arthur Lynch. In preparation.
New Books in Print: (more…)
Click here to Read: Review of “La Ceremonie” directed by Chabrol, Reviewed by Anita Katz .
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