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J., E. (1941). The Relativity of Reality: By René Laforgue. (Nervous and Mental Disease Monographs, New York, 1940. Pp. 92. Price, $2.50.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 22:81-82.

(1941). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 22:81-82

The Relativity of Reality: By René Laforgue. (Nervous and Mental Disease Monographs, New York, 1940. Pp. 92. Price, $2.50.)

Review by:
E. J.

Dr. Laforgue sets himself ambitious aims in this book, which should prove to have stimulating effects. After a preliminary chapter on anxiety and the various defences against it, he proceeds to give an account of the early affective development in which he adopts a not very convincing compromise between the views of the Viennese and British schools of work; while accepting the idea of an early pregenital super-ego he is inclined to regard this not, as most of us do, as being built up of reactions against early infantile phantasies, but as an inherited disposition.

Freud's pre-oedipus stage of development, which to many of us is simply an early Oedipus stage of a particularly sadistic kind, Dr. Laforgue for some reason identifies with a homosexual phase: 'In the pre-oedipus period it is not love for the mother that predominates in the boy, nor love for the father in the girl, on the contrary: the boy loves his father sexually and the girl her mother. We are right in the midst of the homosexual stage in the development of sexuality. And this stage has conflicts particular to it. We call it the negative Oedipus complex stage' (p. 24).

He gives a comprehensive description of the anal character type, particularly of its intellectual apperception of reality, in contrast with that of a somewhat idealized genital type. Here one has the impression that the types described represent bold generalizations from particular observations rather than a convincing account of universally valid conclusions.

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