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Anthi, P.R. (1999). Roald Amundsen: A Study in Rivalry, Masochism and Paranoia. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 80(5):995-1010.

(1999). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 80(5):995-1010

Roald Amundsen: A Study in Rivalry, Masochism and Paranoia

Per R. Anthi

The author suggest that Freud was intrigued by those who explored the still unknown regions of the globe; in 1928 he received a letter from a colleague who knew he was interested in the psychology of polar explorers, asking him to comment on some strange visualisations that had haunted Roald Amundsen, the great polar explorer, when during one of his Arctic expeditions he was attacked and nearly mauled to death by a polar bear. Freud emphasised the quality of resignation and surrender inherent in these peculiar imaginings, but he added that a deeper analysis would require Amundsen's associations. On the basis of relevant biographical data the author tries to make a further investigation of his strange visualisations. These are linked to an underlying masochistic phantasy in which conflicts involving rivalry, autonomy and separationindividuation problems are expressed. He attained the South Pole before Scott and his party, who perished. His triumph and survival on the polar ice evoked an unbearable sense of guilt. Being unable to gain insight into his conflicts, he regressed to a paranoid state. The relation between masochism, the desire to beat and be beaten and rivalry is discussed.

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