Freud's Russia: National Identity in the Evolution of Psychoanalysis

1st Edition

James L. Rice

Routledge
Published January 30, 2017
Reference - 256 Pages
ISBN 9781412864374 - CAT# Y332146

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Summary

Freud's lifelong involvement with the Russian national character and culture is examined in James Rice's imaginative combination of history, literary analysis, and psychoanalysis. 'Freud's Russia' opens up the neglected "Eastern Front" of Freud's world--the Russian roots of his parents, colleagues, and patients. He reveals that the psychoanalyst was vitally concerned with the events in Russian history and its nineteenth-century cultural greats. Rice explores how this intense interest contributed to the evolution of psychoanalysis at every critical stage.

Freud's mentor Charcot was a physician to the Tsar; his best friends in Paris were gifted Russian doctors; and some of his most valued colleagues (Max Eitingon, Moshe Wulff, Sabina Spielrein, and Lou Andreas-Salome) were also from Russia. These acquaintances intrigued Freud and precipitated his inquiry into the Russian psyche. Rice shows how Freud's major works incorporate elements, overtly and covertly, from his Russia. He describes Freud's most famous case, the Wolf-Man (Sergei Pankeev), and traces how his personality fused, in Freud's imagination, with that of Feodor Dostoevsky. Beyond this, Rice reveals the remarkable influence Dostoevsky had on Freud, surveying Freud's extensive library holdings and sources of biographical information on the Russian novelist.

Initially inspired by the Freud-Jung letters that appeared in 1974, 'Freud's Russia' breaks new ground. Its fresh perspective will be of significant interest to psychoanalysts, historians of European culture, biographers of Freud, and students of Dostoevsky in comparative literature. It is a major work in fusing European intellectual history with the founding father of psychoanalysis.

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