Berlin Psychoanalytic: Psychoanalysis and Culture in Weimar Republic Germany and Beyond

Berlin Psychoanalytic: Psychoanalysis and Culture in Weimar Republic Germany and Beyond

Berlin Psychoanalytic: Psychoanalysis and Culture in Weimar Republic Germany and Beyond

Berlin Psychoanalytic: Psychoanalysis and Culture in Weimar Republic Germany and Beyond

Synopsis

One hundred years after the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute was established, this book recovers the cultural and intellectual history connected to this vibrant organization and places it alongside the London Bloomsbury group, the Paris Surrealist circle, and the Viennese fin-de-siècle as a crucial chapter in the history of modernism. Taking us from World War I Berlin to the Third Reich and beyond to 1940s Palestine and 1950s New York--and to the influential work of the Frankfurt School--Veronika Fuechtner traces the network of artists and psychoanalysts that began in Germany and continued in exile. Connecting movements, forms, and themes such as Dada, multi-perspectivity, and the urban experience with the theory and practice of psychoanalysis, she illuminates themes distinctive to the Berlin psychoanalytic context such as war trauma, masculinity and femininity, race and anti-Semitism, and the cultural avant-garde. In particular, she explores the lives and works of Alfred Döblin, Max Eitingon, Georg Groddeck, Karen Horney, Richard Huelsenbeck, Count Hermann von Keyserling, Ernst Simmel, and Arnold Zweig.

Excerpt

What is the Berlin Psychoanalytic?

This book recovers the vibrant cultural and intellectual history of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute (BPI) in the years between the end of World War I and the rise of the Third Reich and traces the BPI’s worldwide impact on culture and psychoanalysis through its later development in 1940s Palestine and 1950s New York. It argues that Weimar Republic culture is inseparable from the psychoanalytic discourse on war neurosis, sexuality, and criminality specific to Berlin, and it connects paradigmatic movements, forms, and themes of Berlin modernism, such as Dada, multiperspectivity, and the urban experience, with the understanding of the psychoanalysis that was theorized and practiced at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. in four case studies, I pair writers and psychoanalysts whose correspondence exemplifies the interplay between theoretical discussion and cultural production that is distinctive to the psychoanalytic culture and context of Weimar Berlin, including the narration of war trauma, conceptions of gender, the psychoanalytic theorization of race and anti-Semitism, and the various commingling interpretations of psychoanalysis as a philosophy, a political mission, and part of the cultural avant-garde. I also claim the Berlin Psychoanalytic to be a crucial historical and theoretical moment in the development of Frankfurt School theory and for the development of psychoanalytic thought beyond Freud.

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