In 1981 Jeffrey Masson, then a practising psychoanalyst and director of the Freud Archives, used his access to Freud's long-unpublished letters to challenge the very foundations of Freudian theory. This book asserts that Freud, personally reluctant to face the reality of sexual abuse of children and fearing negative public reaction to such a ...
In 1981 Jeffrey Masson, then a practising psychoanalyst and director of the Freud Archives, used his access to Freud's long-unpublished letters to challenge the very foundations of Freudian theory. This book asserts that Freud, personally reluctant to face the reality of sexual abuse of children and fearing negative public reaction to such a shocking theory, abandoned a valid scientific finding. Freud's revised theory - that his patients' "memories" of seduction and rape were in fact fantasies - became and remains the basis for the whole science of psychoanalysis; it is a theory, Masson argues, that needs careful re-examination.
If your intention is to understand who you are, what happened to yourself and what's going on with this world, this book is for you.
The subject being, at first, a critique of psychoanalysis, you'll need to know the basics (you can read "A Note on Terms and Concepts" - 2 pages - in "Against Therapy" by Masson, n° 4 on 5). Along your reading, you'll see why what's going on with psychoanalysis goes far beyond its own limits and concerns the way society functions.
The best way to start with this series of books is to read J. Moussaieff Masson's own article written for Atlantic Monthly in 1984, which is a very abridged version of this book (n°1 on 5) :
The story about Emma Eckstein seems to be from an antique and exotic past, but it happened at the end of the 19th century - beginning of the 20th, in the heart of Europe. Those dreadful experimentations, conclusions and complicity with a brutal power gave birth to a "cultural tradition" - therapy - alive and kicking in the 21st century. You won't believe what you read about Freud and psychoanalysis, you won't believe that this theory is still valid and aplied to people today (how many to this day ?), and yet the investigation has been made by the director of Freud's Archives : like us he couldn't believe what he read in those archives and the attitude of duplicity towards documents that establish facts. He opened it up and got fired, with a financial settlement.
Last but not least, Masson shows those who care that no matter how intricated the lies are, there is always a way to the truth AND to say it : abracadabra and the truth shall set you free, as they say.
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