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Fenichel, O. (1927). Kurzes Lehrbuch Der Psychoanalyse: By H. Stoltenhoff. (Ferdinand Enke, Stuttgart, 1926.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:537-543.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:537-543

Kurzes Lehrbuch Der Psychoanalyse: By H. Stoltenhoff. (Ferdinand Enke, Stuttgart, 1926.)

Review by:
O. Fenichel

For a long time there has been a general feeling that a text-book of psycho-analysis is needed as a theoretical correlate and supplement to the practical training of analysts. This need is not entirely met by Freud's Introductory Lectures, and hitherto no psycho-analyst has ventured to undertake so vast a task. Possibly the writers who are qualified to attempt it think the time not yet ripe for it and prefer to wait till they can offer their readers something more comprehensive and more firmly established.

The adherents of Stekel's school are less cautious. One of them, Stoltenhoff, has attempted to execute this difficult task 'briefly', within a compass of 203 pages. His attempt can be described only as inadequate, both with regard to the selection and classification of the material dealt with and the content of the doctrines embodied in it. It consists of a 'theoretical' and a 'practical' section. The theoretical section is ostensibly confined to an account of what is of importance in practice and what may be regarded as proved. There would be nothing to take exception to in this programme if the book really imparted the fundamental principles upon which our theory is based. But even the list of contents of the theoretical section: — Repression. Dreams. Bi-polarity. Sublimation. Transference. Theory of Sexuality. Theory of Parapathia—shows that certain observed facts and certain theories adduced for their explanation are ranged arbitrarily side by side; one is co-ordinated with another, no fundamental systematizing idea runs through these chapters, nor is there any attempt to describe the mind as a living whole (for instance, theory of the instincts—modes of defence against the instincts—vicissitudes undergone by the instincts when thus checked or the like) or to give a comprehensive evolutionary survey (in the whole book there is no mention of the different stages in libidinal organization, nor does Stoltenhoff take cognizance of a specific regression or of the problem of option of neurosis).

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