Reading Psychoanalysis: Freud, Rank, Ferenczi, Groddeck

Reading Psychoanalysis: Freud, Rank, Ferenczi, Groddeck

Reading Psychoanalysis: Freud, Rank, Ferenczi, Groddeck

Reading Psychoanalysis: Freud, Rank, Ferenczi, Groddeck

Synopsis

In a stunning fusion of literary criticism and intellectual history, Peter L. Rudnytsky explores the dialectical interplay between literature and psychoanalysis by reading key psychoanalytic texts in a variety of genres. He maps the origins of the contemporary relational tradition in the lives and work of three of Freud's most brilliant and original disciples-Otto Rank, Sándor Ferenczi, and Georg Groddeck. Rudnytsky, a scholar with an unsurpassed knowledge of the world of clinical psychoanalysis, espouses the "relational turn" as an alternative to both ego psychology and postmodernism. Rudnytsky seeks to alter the received view of the psychoanalytic landscape, in which the towering figure of Freud has continued to obscure the achievements of his followers who individually resisted and collectively went beyond him. Reading Psychoanalysis offers the most detailed and comprehensive treatments available in English of such classic texts as Freud's case of Little Hans, Rank's The Incest Theme in Literature and Legend, and Groddeck's The Book of the It. Rudnytsky's argument for object relations theory concludes by boldly affirming the possibility of a "consilience" between scientific and hermeneutic modes of knowledge.

Excerpt

As befits a work of psychoanalytic scholarship, the purposes of Reading Psychoanalysis are overdetermined. First, as the title suggests, the book examines the interfaces between literature and psychoanalysis by undertaking close readings of key psychoanalytic texts in a variety of genres as well as by reflecting on issues of theoretical importance to literary criticism. Second, the names in the subtitle—Freud, Rank, Ferenczi, and Groddeck—are intended to signal that this is simultaneously a study in intellectual history that maps the origins of contemporary relational theory in the lives and works of three of Freud's most brilliant and original disciples. Finally, and most ambitiously, the book articulates my vision of psychoanalysis as a discipline with the unique potential to conjoin science and hermeneutics, and that is thus—widespread reports of its demise notwithstanding—poised for an exciting period of growth and renewal in the twenty-first century.

Like any book of literar y criticism, Reading Psychoanalysis should be judged by the passion and fidelity of its engagement with the works it discusses. I take it as axiomatic that if a text is to be considered as a piece of writing, it needs to be scrutinized in the original language. Accordingly, I have made it my practice to read Freud and the other early analysts in German. In furnishing my own translations, I nevertheless include references to permit the location of quoted passages in . . .

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