Freud's Paranoid Quest: Psychoanalysis and Modern Suspicion

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In Freud's Paranoid Quest John Farrell analyzes the personality and thought of Sigmund Freud in order to give insight into modernity's paranoid character and into the true nature of Freudian psychoanalysis. Farrell's Freud is not the path-breaking psychologist he claimed to be, but the fashioner and prisoner of a total system of suspicion. The most gifted of paranoids, he deployed this system as a self-heroizing myth and a compelling historical ideology. Strangest of all, Freud's science borrows the rhetoric of the satiric romance adapted from his great model, Don Quixote. Freud asks all of us to share in the suspicion, victimization, and even the charm of the paranoid romance, to follow the heroic psychoanalyst on his quest in the quixotic territory of the unconscious mind.
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Editorial Reviews

Farrell (literature, Claremont McKenna College) analyzes Freud's personality and thought to give insight into modernity's paranoid character and into the true nature of Freudian psychoanalysis. He argues that Freud was afflicted with excessive grandiosity and a false sense of persecution, demonstrates that psychoanalysis borrows from the rhetoric of the satiric romance, and attempts to explain the lure of the charismatic paranoid hero. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814726501
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

John Farrell is Associate Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 From Primal Father to Paranoid 10
2 Paranoid Logic 28
3 Paranoid Psychology 41
4 Before Freud 66
5 Freudian Satire 96
6 Freud as Quixote 131
7 The Charismatic Paranoid 167
Conclusion 213
Epilogue 217
Notes 223
Works Cited 257
Index 267
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