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Tubert, S. (2002). The Contribution of Marie Langer to Psychoanalysis. Free Associations, 9(2):228-236.

(2002). Free Associations, 9(2):228-236

The Contribution of Marie Langer to Psychoanalysis

Silvia Tubert

I am Going to consider Marie Langer's life and work as representative of the contributions of Spanish speaking women to psychoanalysis. I shall divide this paper into two sections: first, her interest on the effects of the political and social problems on the psychoanalytic theory and practice and the answers that psychoanalysis can or should give to them; and secondly, her studies on femininity. The first point requires that we consider Marie Langer's life and the second will consider her main work Maternity and Sex. Although we may disagree with her views, we must recognize that she was dealing with questions that retain their interest today and deserve our full attention.

I. Marxism and Psychoanalysis

In two different moments and places — the 1930s in Vienna and the 1960s in Buenos Aires — Marie Langer shared the passionate interest of the intellectual youth for both psychoanalysis and Marxism and the feasibility of their integration.

Langer was born in Vienna in 1910. She belonged to an assimilated Jewish family of the industrial bourgeoisie. In 1932, when Vienna was still governed by the social-democrats and she was a medical student she spent a semester in Germany, where she attended a nationalist mass meeting and listened to a speech by Hitler. Back in Vienna, she became affiliated to the Communist Party: I found it nonsensical to give myself up without fighting, (1989, p. 194) she said. Some months later she started her personal analysis.

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