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Klein, H.S. (1957). Magic and Schizophrenia: By Géza Róheim. Edited by W. Münsterberger. (New York: International Universities Press, 1955. P. viii + 230. $4.50.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:367-368.

(1957). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 38:367-368

Magic and Schizophrenia: By Géza Róheim. Edited by W. Münsterberger. (New York: International Universities Press, 1955. P. viii + 230. $4.50.)

Review by:
H. S. Klein

This book is an attempt to contrast and correlate magic as manifested on the one hand in various myths and primitive customs, and on the other in the phantasy of a schizophrenic patient.

The first part is a description of numerous magical customs and rituals in primitive peoples, many of which have, or appear to have, an oral basis. The author stresses the importance of what he calls the oral trauma, i.e. the original frustration of separation from the breast. Magic is used as an omnipotent denial of dependence, in the service of identification with the omnipotent external world and as a revolt against the superego, i.e. the internalized parents. The author stresses the acting out of various omnipotent destructive phantasies against the mother's body and the magical ways of being reunited with the mother. He also draws attention to the way that magic is used to master reality.

The second part of the book is concerned with the phantasies of a male schizophrenic patient observed for eighteen months in a mental hospital.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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