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Freebury, D.R. (1999). Post-Traumatic Culture: Injury and Interpretation in the Nineties: Kirby Farrell. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. 420 pages. US$17.95 paperback, US$49.00 hardcover. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 7(2):338-341.

(1999). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 7(2):338-341

Post-Traumatic Culture: Injury and Interpretation in the Nineties: Kirby Farrell. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. 420 pages. US$17.95 paperback, US$49.00 hardcover

Review by:
D Ray Freebury

This is an uneven book A number of uncharitable thoughts came to mind as I read it: it is encyclopedic, it reads like a dictionary, and it is a narcissistic exercise, to name a few These thoughts were so intense at times that they were accompanied by fantasies of post-traumatic revenge on the book editor Evidently a little self-analysis may be in order for the reviewer.

Despite all of this, I acknowledge that there are some extremely good ideas contained in this book, which would have been better served had the author been less inclined to be over-inclusive. The book is divided into two parts: Part One, The Sorrows of the Gay Nineties, examines social and cultural changes as they are reflected in the storytelling of the day. Part Two, Trauma as Story in the 1990s, describes today's society as the end of the millennium approaches.

Farrell traces “post-traumatic culture” back to the late nineteenth century, when the term traumatic neurosis was coined to describe the symptom complex

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[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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