Paul Roazen Meeting Freud's Family

ISBN 13: 9780870238734

Meeting Freud's Family

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9780870238734: Meeting Freud's Family
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To anyone interested in the history of Freudian psychoanalysis, the work of Paul Roazen is well known. Over the past twenty years he has written and edited numerous books in the field, including major biographies of Erik Erikson and Helene Deutsch. In this new book Roazen reaches back to the beginning of his career in the 1960s, when he interviewed more than seventy people who had known Sigmund Freud personally, among them nearly a dozen members of Freud's family. These included three of Freud's children - Oliver, Mathilda, and Anna - and several in-laws, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. Roazen also met with many members of Freud's "other" family - the men and women who became part of the psychoanalytic movement and regarded Freud as their mentor and patriarch. The detailed notes Roazen took during these interviews provide the basis for this book, which offers fresh insights and information about Freud and Freudianism. Roazen recounts, for example, the story of his discovery that Anna Freud had been psychoanalyzed by her father, and he explores the strained relations between Freud and his various natural and intellectual progeny. Part personal reminiscence, part historical analysis, Meeting Freud's Family examines the points of intersection in Freud's life and thought. In so doing, it enriches our understanding and demystifies the legacy of one of the most influential figures of the modern age.

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About the Author:

Paul Roazen is professor of social and political science at York University in Toronto. His books include Encountering Freud: The Politics and Histories of Psychoanalysis; Freud and His Followers; and Freud: Political and Social Thought.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Roazen (Political Science/York University, Toronto)--having written about Freud, his disciples, his adversaries, and his position in intellectual history (Freud and His Followers, 1974, etc.)--now reminisces about his experiences preparing for these studies, his interviews with Freud's relatives and associates, and their quarrels with each other and with him. Roazen claims repeatedly that when, in 1964, he earned his Ph.D., his interest in Freud was considered professionally damaging. Nonetheless, he pursued his goal to place Freud in the history of Western thought and, at the same time, to demythologize him. To re-create Freud's world, Roazen interviewed more than 60 people, the relatives as well as disciples who made up Freud's extended family. They ranged from Helena Deutsch (whose biography Roazen wrote) to Anna Freud--who considered the author a ``menace'' because he revealed her ``irregular'' analysis by her father, and who, in turn, Roazen condemned for her ``hanky-panky'' with Freud's correspondence, correcting, erasing, and suppressing it. In place of ``unrealistic idealizations'' of Freud, the author offered the tangential: Freud's cigar-smoking, his punctuality, manners, dress, dinner-table habits, neglect of his children and inability to communicate with them. Roazen repeats himself often here--in his complaints about Anna Freud; in his crowing about risking his career over Freud; and in his resentment of Freud's daughter-in- law, Henny Freud, whose intrusion during an interview with her husband, Freud's son, Roazen considered ``irksome,'' as well as inhibiting to the son--a man considered so boring and obsessive even by Freud himself that the psychiatrist had him analyzed, unsuccessfully. A haphazard personal memoir that recapitulates Roazen's earlier work, evens some scores, and offers trivial scraps about the Freud museum, Anna's dogs, and Melanie Klein's relations with her daughter. (Fifteen illustrations) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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