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Mander, G. (2006). Reading Freud: A Chronological Exploration of Freud's Writings by Jean-Michel Quinodoz. The New Library of Psychoanalysis, Teaching Series. Published by Brunner-Routledge, New York and London, 2005; 295 pp; £19.95.. Brit. J. Psychother., 22(4):524-529.

(2006). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 22(4):524-529

Reading Freud: A Chronological Exploration of Freud's Writings by Jean-Michel Quinodoz. The New Library of Psychoanalysis, Teaching Series. Published by Brunner-Routledge, New York and London, 2005; 295 pp; £19.95.

Review by:
Gertrud Mander

Arriving just before the 150th anniversary of Freud's birth, this amazing book tries something quite new by using an ingenious method which systematically covers the entire range of Freud's writings. It fills the gaps left by previous attempts at annotating, analysing and introducing Freud's monumental works, like J. Laplanche and J.P. Pontalis' The Language of Psychoanalysis, C. Rycroft's Dictionary of Psychoanalysis and scores of Freud biographies and histories of psychoanalysis. Jean-Michel Quinodoz, Swiss analyst and author of the book, explains that it evolved from a seminar on the reading of Freud's texts for training analysts that he has been running over a period of years, which involves the active participation of its members. He calls his approach to the seminar ‘chronological, correlative and interactive’, as it enriches the reading and discussion by placing the texts chronologically in their historical and biographical contexts, showing how Freud's thinking and his concepts developed over the years, adding the main post-Freudian developments of psychoanalysis, and introducing biographies of immediate disciples together with those of major figures in psychoanalysis who succeeded Freud. In Quinodoz's words, he has adopted ‘an international approach with the aim of highlighting the diversity of contemporary thinking among analysts who are members of the International Psychoanalytical Association’.

The layout and structure of this reader-friendly book are highly original, introducing highlighting and colour-coding, the use of many different fonts and styles for chapter headings and sub-headings, including extensive quotes and mini-biographies, separating a section called ‘Discovering the text’ in each chapter from sections called ‘Post-Freudians’ and ‘New concepts’ and meticulously referencing and annotating every text individually.

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