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Lupinacci, M.A. (2005). Le famiglie di Edipo [The families of Oedipus] By Gilda De Simone Roma: Borla. 2004. 123 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(3):915-919.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(3):915-919

Le famiglie di Edipo [The families of Oedipus] By Gilda De Simone Roma: Borla. 2004. 123 pp.

Review by:
Maria Adelaide Lupinacci

In psychoanalytical thinking, there has been an unceasing development and enrichment of thought and debate on the subject of the Oedipus complex. The polysemy implicit in the myth, as Gilda De Simone shows us, has also allowed us to go beyond the ‘classical’ reading of Freud, which was based on his discovery of the instinctual reality of early childhood.

Can these various points of view be integrated into the Freudian model, accompanying and enlarging it, or do they contradict it? This is one of the many points for reflection that this short, but dense book raises and faces. It forms part of this living tradition though it has its own specific character. De Simone underlines the implications of the ‘hidden corners’ in the myth, following her own reflections and thoughtful wanderings through a vast, not only psychoanalytical, selection of literature. She follows the evolution, through different lines of thought of, as Antonino Ferro describes it in the introduction, ‘the most Freudian of all subjects, the Oedipus complex’, till she arrives at what she believes to be the most important and up-to-date consequences. This multiplicity of facets is already signalled in the plural ‘families’ of the title. However, this book in its richness is not easy reading, mostly because of the amount of reflection and bibliographic material contained in a relatively short and strictly theoretical book.

The first chapters look at the sources: the myth in its widest significance, and the origin, developments and implications of Freud's concept.

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