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Ross, J.M. (1987). Tales of Sex and Violence: By Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press, 1985, 145 pp., $16.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 35:776-779.

(1987). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 35:776-779

Tales of Sex and Violence: By Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press, 1985, 145 pp., $16.95.

Review by:
John Munder Ross, Ph.D.

Psychoanalysis has not had an easy time of late with Sanskritists seeking to embrace or employ our discipline's precepts. Fortunately, in Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, we have found a most congenial collaborator. Although she has not received formal analytic training, in her work Dr. O'Flaherty has applied analytic ideas and modes of interpretation to a mythology that is over three thousand years in the making—one that enriches our lore in turn, with its ample testimony to the workings of primary process and to the human condition.

The successor to Mircea Eliade at the University of Chicago, where she is professor of religion and Southeast Asian Studies and a member of the Committee on Social Thought, Dr. O'Flaherty has published in the last 12 years a half-dozen volumes collecting and explicating the major Sanskrit texts. Tales of Sex and Violence is the last to date in this series and perhaps the slimmest of her volumes, a brief book, whose avowed purpose is the resuscitation and exegesis of the little-known and hitherto even less respected Jaiminiya Brahmana, written roughly around 900 B.C.

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