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Teising, M. (2006). Und Freud hat doch Recht. Die Entstehung der Kultur durch Transformation der Gewalt. Bausteine einer allgemeinen Kulturtheorie [So Freud was right. The emergence of culture through the transformation of violence. Outline of a general theory of culture] by Eberhard T. Haas Gießen: Psychosozial. 2002. 407 p.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 87(1):291-295.

(2006). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 87(1):291-295

Und Freud hat doch Recht. Die Entstehung der Kultur durch Transformation der Gewalt. Bausteine einer allgemeinen Kulturtheorie [So Freud was right. The emergence of culture through the transformation of violence. Outline of a general theory of culture] by Eberhard T. Haas Gießen: Psychosozial. 2002. 407 p.

Review by:
Martin Teising

This book of cultural criticism contains essays by the author from the 1990s to 2005, most of which have been revised for this publication. The most important statement is contained in the book's subtitle: the emergence of culture through the transformation of violence. Haas hereby gives us a multifaceted and powerful reminder of the bad news that Freud entered in the genealogical register of humanity. Taking up the tradition of social psychology in psychoanalysis, Haas points to internal laws on which the cultural dimension of the human being is founded and which determine the human condition from ‘which we are in danger of becoming further and further removed with regard to projects relating to biotechnological reform and promises of perfection’ (p. 9).

Haas has arranged his texts, arising from interdisciplinary dialogues over many years, in five sections, which after the introduction are entitled ‘The Oedipus complex’, ‘Mourning’, ‘Religion'and‘Art’. He links Bionian formulations with Freud's writings of cultural criticism and draws some support from non-psychoanalytic authors. Girard's cultural theory and the ‘social drama’ of Turner, the ethnologist, as well as the works of the classical scholar, Walter Burkert, provide some external validation of Freud's work and the contemporary relevance and significance of Freud's writings on cultural theory become clear to the reader.

The Oedipus complex is also understood as the core complex of Freud's cultural theory. Oedipus, whose existence is cursed with disaster by the oracle, is abandoned and thrown out by his parents, who wanted to avoid their fate.

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