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Mahler, M. (2015). Multiculturalism, multilingualism, and the birth of psychoanalysis, I: Crosscurrents in fin-de-siècle Central Europe†. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 24(1):29-31.

(2015). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 24(1):29-31

Multiculturalism, multilingualism, and the birth of psychoanalysis, I: Crosscurrents in fin-de-siècle Central Europe

Martin Mahler

The paper explores the wider sociocultural background of the origins of psychoanalysis. Born within the liberal Jewish community of Central Europe and built by marginal people who thrived on otherness, psychoanalysis may have originated as a creative transformation of conflicts between orthodoxy and assimilation, and between the Hebrew and Classical Greek traditions. Similarities between Jewish scholarly thought and psychoanalysis are further elaborated on, especially the aspect of mobile/dynamic “becoming” compared with static “being”: both psychoanalyst and Jewish scholar travel through human experience from place to place. This enduring movement, designed for physical and psychological survival, adaptation, and sublimation, roots and anchors them both.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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