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Róheim, G. (1933). An Egyptian Childhood: The Autobiography of Taha Hussein: By E. H. Paxton. (Routledge, London, 1933. Pp. vii + 168. Price 6 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 14:452.

(1933). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 14:452

An Egyptian Childhood: The Autobiography of Taha Hussein: By E. H. Paxton. (Routledge, London, 1933. Pp. vii + 168. Price 6 s.)

Review by:
G. Róheim

We know very little about the childhood of non-European races. This justifies the interest of the psycho-analyst and the anthropologist in a book on 'Egyptian Childhood'. However, from our point of view the book is rather disappointing. The author of the autobiography is a leader of the Liberal movement in Egypt and he is blind since his early childhood. Both these circumstances mar the value of the book as an account of Egyptian childhood. It is not the story of a typical child and the milieu we are placed in is middle-class. We get some information about the terrors and phantasies of childhood (p. 6), about an oral trauma which leads to oral asceticism and to knowledge as a substitute for food (p. 18), about magic (p. 108), but this is not what we desire. An anonymous and therefore more outspoken autiobiography of an Egyptian childhood would be more to our liking.

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