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Dimitrijevic, A. (2017). The Cut and the Building of Psychoanalysis, Volume 1: Sigmund Freud and Emma Eckstein, by Carlo Bonomi, Routledge, Sussex and New York, 288pp.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 77(1):87-90.

(2017). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 77(1):87-90

The Cut and the Building of Psychoanalysis, Volume 1: Sigmund Freud and Emma Eckstein, by Carlo Bonomi, Routledge, Sussex and New York, 288pp.

Review by:
Aleksandar Dimitrijevic, Ph.D.

In the beginning, there was Roazen (1975, 1995) and he spread light onto the psychoanalytic community deeply immersed in idolazing Freud. Then historiography of psychoanalysis started becoming more objective and accurate. The invaluable work of Ellenberger (1970) was published; Sulloway (1992) challenged most of the conceptions we held dear; Breger (2000) and Rudnytsky (2002, 2011) showed us clearly that Freud's troubled and unanalyzed personality frequently stood in the way to the further development of the scientific discipline he had founded. And then, upon reading Revolution in Mind by Makari (2008), I felt the field might be exhausted: the history of early psychoanalysis, it seemed to me, could not contain any further significant mysteries.

The Cut and the Building of Psychoanalysis, Volume 1, Sigmund Freud and Emma Eckstein disclosed all my naivety. Carlo Bonomi has managed not only to describe an extremely important mystery directly related to the origin of psychoanalysis and offer an elaborated account of it, but he also provided a most nuanced psychoanalytic reflection on the origin of this mystery itself. It was obvious from his previous work (e.g., his refutation of claims that Ferenczi was mentally disordered, published in 1999), that Bonomi's knowledge was vast and his thinking sharp. This time he presents results of more than two decades of research and thinking, which may end up to be nothing short of revolutionary.

Bonomi claims that the historiography of psychoanalysis suffers from “the disappearance of the context from its narration” [which “has served to turn the Freud enterprise into a myth” (p.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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