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Steiner, R. (1994). In Vienna Veritas …. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:511-573.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:511-573

In Vienna Veritas …

Riccardo Steiner


The author focuses first on the cultural background which stimulated Freud and led to some of his conclusions on the importance and meaning of 'Oedipus Rex' and 'Hamlet' for his discovery of the Oedipus complex. He stresses the significance of Freud's education and the influence of the late eighteenth and nineteenth-century tradition of the German-speaking intellectuals. The author uses the sources of Freud's actual or possible readings from 1897 leading up to the publication of 'The Interpretation of Dreams' to support the evidence for his thesis of the complex interaction between Freud and his cultural background. The author tentatively tries to show that even post-Freudian interpretations of 'Oedipus Rex' cannot be considered without looking at parallel research taking place in fields other than psychoanalysis. He stresses the importance of myth in post-Freudian psychoanalysis and particularly focuses on the relationship between the myth of Narcissus and 'Oedipus Rex' and what this gave rise to. He concludes his paper by stressing that as Freud's interpretations of the 'Oedipus Rex' do show the influence of the cultural context in which he operated, the same can be said for our interpretations too. They are part of a changing historical process, but at the same time they contain some permanent values.

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