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Guittard-Maury, M. (2004). Freud—Fragments d'une histoire [Freud—Fragments of a history] by Alain de Mijolla Paris: Presses Univ. France. 2003. 382 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(2):561-563.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(2):561-563

Freud—Fragments d'une histoire [Freud—Fragments of a history] by Alain de Mijolla Paris: Presses Univ. France. 2003. 382 pp.

Review by:
Marie-Françoise Guittard-Maury

This work forms a counterpart to the Dictionnaire international de la psychanalyse (2002), the highly condensed and honed international dictionary of psychoanalysis that A. de Mijolla edited, and involves a testing of the identificatory logic that he examined in Les visiteurs du moi, fantasmes d'identification [Visitors of the ego, fantasies of identification] (1981). The author makes available here a collection of articles on the subject of Freud and his practice that have appeared from 1974 to 2002, which he presents to us without any fundamental reworking but amplified by an introduction. The author invites us to reflect on a ‘journey towards the beginnings’, which sets out not only to examine the beginnings of psychoanalysis but also to provide the experience of an origin for which the dynamics are still working themselves out. This work claims to be nothing other than ‘a simple essay’, providing that the term is understood in Montaigne's sense, for it is certainly self-interrogation with which we are concerned here, and from an analytic perspective.

The author is interested in the history of his discipline and its founder as a psychoanalyst rather than an historian or historiographer. De Mijolla has no wish to restrict himself simply to an informative inventory: he gives meticulous attention to the history of psychoanalysis, which he regards as having been neglected in France (it was he who founded the Association internationale de la psychanalyse in 1985), and he draws on rich sources of documentation, some of which are little known.

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