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Mitchell-Rossdale, J. (1990). Freud's Self Analysis: By Didier Anzieu. London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis. 1986. Pp. 585+bibliographies and indices.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 71:535-536.

(1990). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 71:535-536

Freud's Self Analysis: By Didier Anzieu. London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis. 1986. Pp. 585+bibliographies and indices.

Review by:
Juliet Mitchell-Rossdale

There are two versions of the original French edition of Freud's Self-Analysis. The English translation uses the second. In both, Didier Anzieu's project is to situate the work of Freud's self-analysis at the very centre of the discovery of psychoanalysis thus making the testing ground for the establishment of the theory also the basis of the therapy that results. But something intervened between the first and second editions which while it does not alter, yet it shifts, or, rather, specifies the project. For two years, with Eva Rosenblum, Anzieu led weekly seminars that each focused exclusively, and in chronological order, on one of Freud's dreams. These detailed analyses went into the second edition. Thus it is the analysis of dreams that gives not exclusive but privileged access to Freud's self-analysis and hence to the discovery of psychoanalysis. Dreams are re-established as the royal road and Anzieu's biography with its fascinating extended interpretations is, in a sense, another 'dreambook'.

Everything else is there: Freud's reading, actual events, cultural history, the letters to Fliess, relations with family and professional friends, illnesses, slips, probable day's residues and associations, but these inform a dominant structure of dream interpretation. A rich documentary account of turn-of-the-century Vienna and of the discovery of psychoanalysis bubbles through this dream analysis—of which it is, of course, a part.

Formally, Freud's Self-Analysis is divided into five sections: Freud's early years (up to 1895), his discovery of how to understand dreams, of the Oedipus complex, of the universal fantasy of the primal scene and his first awareness—as yet unnamed—of castration anxiety.

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