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Overview

Jensen's brilliant and unique story of Gradiva has not only literary merit of very high order, but may be said to open up a new field for romance. It is the story of a young archæologist who suffered a very characteristic mental disturbance and was gradually but effectively cured by a kind of native psychotherapeutic instinct, which probably inheres in all of us, but which in this case was found in the girl he formerly loved but had forgotten, and who restored at the same time his health and his old affection for her.
Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about the work is that the author knew nothing of psychotherapy as such, but wrought his way through the labyrinth of mechanisms that he in a sense rediscovered and set to work, so that it needed only the application of technical terms to make this romance at the same time a pretty good key to the whole domain of psychoanalysis. In a sense it is a dream-story, but no single dream ever began to be so true to the typical nature of dreams; it is a clinical picture, but I can think of no clinical picture that had its natural human interest so enhanced by a moving romance. Gradiva might be an introduction to psychoanalysis, and is better than anything else we can think of to popularize it.
It might be added that while this romance has been more thoroughly analysed than any other, and that by Freud himself, it is really only one of many which in the literature of the subject have been used to show forth the mysterious ways of the unconscious. It indicates that psychoanalysis has a future in literary criticism, if not that all art and artists have, from the beginning, more or less anticipated as they now illustrate it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781511588102
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/04/2015
Pages: 116
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.24(d)

About the Author

Sigmund Freud; born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 - 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist, now known as the father of psychoanalysis.

Freud qualified as a doctor of medicine at the University of Vienna in 1881, and then carried out research into cerebral palsy, aphasia and microscopic neuroanatomy at the Vienna General Hospital. Upon completing his habilitation in 1895, he was appointed a docent in neuropathology in the same year and became an affiliated professor (professor extraordinarius) in 1902.

In creating psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst, Freud developed therapeutic techniques such as the use of free association and discovered transference, establishing its central role in the analytic process. Freud's redefinition of sexuality to include its infantile forms led him to formulate the Oedipus complex as the central tenet of psychoanalytical theory. His analysis of dreams as wish-fulfillments provided him with models for the clinical analysis of symptom formation and the mechanisms of repression as well as for elaboration of his theory of the unconscious as an agency disruptive of conscious states of mind. Freud postulated the existence of libido, an energy with which mental processes and structures are invested and which generates erotic attachments, and a death drive, the source of repetition, hate, aggression and neurotic guilt. In his later work Freud developed a wide-ranging interpretation and critique of religion and culture.

Psychoanalysis remains influential within psychotherapy, within some areas of psychiatry, and across the humanities. As such, it continues to generate extensive and highly contested debate with regard to its therapeutic efficacy, its scientific status, and whether it advances or is detrimental to the feminist cause. Nonetheless, Freud's work has suffused contemporary Western thought and popular culture. In the words of W. H. Auden's poetic tribute, by the time of Freud's death in 1939, he had become "a whole climate of opinion under whom we conduct our different lives"

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