Freud's Memory examines the use of figurative language, in particular images of wounding and transgression, in Freud's writing. According to Rob White, close reading reveals a widespread, uncanny crisis of knowledge and argument in the texts. White also explores Freud's belief that memories can be inherited. This scientifically discredited idea was the source of embarrassment to Freud's colleagues and it is proof for some that he was a charlatan. How to make sense of this strange theory? In addressing this question, White refers both to post-structuralist accounts of Freud (especially Jacques Derrida's work) and also to the fierce recent Anglo-American debates about the validity of psychoanalysis. He argues that, far from being an aberration, the theory of inherited memory is evidence of a pervasive haunted retrospection in Freudian theorizing, which time and again discovers that meaning has been lost.
About the Author:
Rob White is Editor of Film Quarterly and an independent researcher