Freud's Women: Family, Patients, Followers

Freud's Women: Family, Patients, Followers

by Lisa Appignanesi, John Forrester
     
 

No modern writer has affected our views on women as powerfully as Sigmund Freud. And none has been so virulently attacked both for his theories of the feminine and for his alleged elevation of personal prejudice to the height of universal pronouncement. Libertarian, old-fashioned moralist, Victorian patriarch, prophet of polymorphous perversity - these are only some… See more details below

Overview

No modern writer has affected our views on women as powerfully as Sigmund Freud. And none has been so virulently attacked both for his theories of the feminine and for his alleged elevation of personal prejudice to the height of universal pronouncement. Libertarian, old-fashioned moralist, Victorian patriarch, prophet of polymorphous perversity - these are only some of the contradictory epithets Freud has borne. True, the women in Freud's domestic life, with the exception of Anna, his Antigone, were conventional enough, as were many of his views on their role in society. Yet Freud's closest women friends were anything but conventional. From the writer and turn-of-the-century femme fatale Lou Andreas-Salome, to the socialist feminist Helene Deutsch, early theorist of femininity, to Princess Marie Bonaparte who moved from couch to royal court with amazing facility and became head of the French psychoanalytic movement, Freud's female friends and "pupils" were extraordinary. And then there were his patients - the famous and infamous cases of women crucial to his theories and his method of analytic investigation. In many ways psychoanalysis is as much their creation as that of the young Viennese doctor.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Freud has always provoked controversy among feminists. Appignanesi ( Memory and Desire , LJ 1/92) and Forrester ( The Seductions of Psychoanalysis , Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1990) attempt to explain this controversy by looking at the women who were important in Freud's life. Unfortunately, the book is not comprehensive as biography--Peter Gay's Freud: A Life for Our Time (Norton, 1988) is the best choice for information on Freud and his immediate family--nor as a history of analytic thought, since such theorists as Melanie Klein and Karen Horney, whose positions on female development have had a powerful impact on analytic thinking, are not discussed in detail. (These women had no face-to-face contact with Freud.) Paul Roazen's Freud and His Followers ( LJ 9/15/74), while considerably more critical, is a good single source of biographical information on most of the early leading Freudians. Overall, public libraries can generally skip this title; academic libraries that support women's studies programs should consider it for its summary of theories of female psychology.-- Mary Ann Hughes, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman
Booknews
The two authors divided their project, Forrester dealing with women known primarily through Freud's eyes--his family, dreams and patients, and ideas on femininity--Appignanesi writing about the first women analysts, translators, and writers close to Freud. The final chapters explore the battles over Freud's theoretical legacy regarding women. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465025633
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
01/01/1993
Pages:
576

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