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Sharpe, E.F. (1933). The Unconscious in Life and Art: By S. Herbert, M.D., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., Associate Member of the British Psycho-Analytical Society. (George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London, 1932. Pp. 252. Price 6 s. net.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 14:422-424.
(1933). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 14:422-424
The Unconscious in Life and Art: By S. Herbert, M.D., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., Associate Member of the British Psycho-Analytical Society. (George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London, 1932. Pp. 252. Price 6 s. net.)
Review by: Ella Freeman Sharpe
Dr. Herbert's book consists of a collection of essays. The range of the subject matter may be gauged from a survey of the outstanding title headings:—
'Psycho-analysis and Sex'.
'The Self and Society'.
'The Genesis of Conscience'.
'The Romantic Spirit'.
The first essay, 'Reason and Unreason', is an introductory one on the general theory of psycho-analysis and is intended for readers who have no knowledge of psycho-analysis, so that the subsequent essays may be understood.
The last three chapters form a separate whole and deal with the subject of art, the author here making an attempt to present an analysis of the relationship between art, science and religion with a view to the unification of higher mental attitudes to life that have generally hitherto been considered from different angles.
The author's aim is to arouse the interest of the intelligent lay person in psycho-analysis so that the science, 'instead of remaining a bête-noire may become a centre of intellectual interest'. One doubts whether the book will achieve the author's aim. Difficult as it is to give a popular presentation of any science, the difficulties are tenfold in the case of psycho-analysis. In the first place it can only become a centre of intellectual interest to those who have accepted its fundamental premise, viz., the fact of the unconscious mind.
Any intelligent person will to-day accept the computations made by an astronomer with regard to the distance from us of the heavenly bodies, or accept the analysis of a geologist with regard to the strata of rocks in a given district.
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