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Drinka, G.F. (2006). The Invention Of Hysteria: Charcot And The Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière. By Georges Didi-Huberman. Translated by Alisa Hartz. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003, 373 pp., $40.00 hardcover, $19.95 paperback.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 54(1):291-298.
  

(2006). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 54(1):291-298

The Invention Of Hysteria: Charcot And The Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière. By Georges Didi-Huberman. Translated by Alisa Hartz. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003, 373 pp., $40.00 hardcover, $19.95 paperback.

Review by:
George Frederick Drinka

In his younger years, the newly minted Viennese physician Sigmund Freud sojourned for a time in Paris. The allure of the most luminous intellectual and artistic capital on the European continent in the so-called Belle Époque notwithstanding, Freud was drawn there really in order to stand in the shadows of the most preeminent neurologist and protopsychiatrist of his time, Jean-Martin Charcot. This Parisian physician's work with neuropsychiatric conditions and procedures at an ancient hospital, the Salpêtrière, had caught headlines in the medical world and the imaginations of many young physicians. Especially his delving into the conditions known simply as hysteria and his use of the riveting technique of hypnosis for this purpose had made the man a cause célébre throughout much of the Western world. It is no surprise, then, that the first substantial publication by Freud would be titled Studies on Hysteria (Breuer and Freud 1895) and that later he would name his firstborn son Jean-Martin.

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