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

By Veronika Fuechtner | Go to book overview

Conclusion

Let’s return to the question posed at this book’s beginning: What is the Berlin Psychoanalytic? Each chapter of this account has approached this question from a different angle, analyzing and connecting with jumps and detours different historic and aesthetic moments. My goal has been to open up more research into and discussion of what I found to be the vast, understudied, and worthwhile field of the Berlin Psychoanalytic, rather than to provide a comprehensive narrative of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute’s history and its intellectual influence.

This book characterizes the Berlin Psychoanalytic as a diverse network of people and discourses and a cultural practice, which in part continued and changed in exile. The following key elements that distinguish this network from other such psychoanalytic networks are linked to the specific psychoanalytic practice and theory that emerged in the BPI after, and partly as a result of, World War I: the preoccupation with war neurosis that for some analysts and artists also translated into an investment in social change through psychoanalysis; the institutional or intellectual openness to other social movements and theoretical approaches of the time, such as socialism, feminism, and sexual science; the agenda to popularize psychoanalysis, and the confidence that media such as the daily press and film would not dilute what this “new science” was about; the understanding of psychoanalysis as a highly topical practice of intervention connected to more than just high bourgeois culture; the desire to implement psychoanalysis in other social and

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