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Sharpe, E.F. (1932). The Defeat of Baudelaire.: By René Laforgue. (Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis. International Psycho-Analytical Library, No. 21, 1932. Pp. 191. Price 10 s. 6 d.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 13:375-378.

(1932). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 13:375-378

The Defeat of Baudelaire.: By René Laforgue. (Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis. International Psycho-Analytical Library, No. 21, 1932. Pp. 191. Price 10 s. 6 d.

Review by:
Ella Freeman Sharpe

Laforgue's purpose in writing this book is given in the final chapter entitled 'Neurosis from the social point of view'. He says, 'We have a right to foresee in the near future a complete evolution in the psychological theory of crime used as a means of repression. It is partly to help on this evolution that these pages have been written'. Laforgue has chiefly in mind the treatment of the masochistic type of criminal and to this end the study of Baudelaire offers a unique approach.

On p. 114, in the chapter dealing with 'The sexual inhibition, ' Laforgue directs the attention of parents and nurses to the harmfulness of castration threats, especially to the type of child dominated by self-punishment mechanisms. He says, 'An important reason for my publishing this book is to call the attention of educators to this point'. The author devotes a chapter to a simple exposition of the mechanisms of self-punishment. This chapter is quoted from a lecture given to an audience of teachers on the self-punishment of children.

Thus Laforgue's study of Baudelaire is dominated by one purpose, viz., to make the psychologically blind authorities see their share of responsibility in the perpetuation of failure, disaster and crime by reason of the fact that they themselves are manipulated by the self-punishment mechanisms of their victims. This leads Laforgue to ask whether 'society itself is not responsible for certain neuroses which ravage families and for certain crimes which are a danger

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