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Garella, A. (2009). Hysteria and the Field of Dissociation by Filippo M. Ferro and Giuseppe Riefolo Borla, Rome, 2006; 232 pp; €22. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(3):692-695.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(3):692-695

Hysteria and the Field of Dissociation by Filippo M. Ferro and Giuseppe Riefolo Borla, Rome, 2006; 232 pp; €22

Review by:
Alessandro Garella

In this book, Filippo Ferro and Giuseppe Riefolo review the issue of hysteria, clearly showing that it is a theoretical cinder smouldering under the ashes produced by current classifications. Modern psychiatric classifications have got rid of the term ‘hysteria’, ‘hysterical neurosis’ and ‘neurosis’ in general, as accepted pathological entities. This has not resulted in a clearer and simpler picture; indeed it has generated a proliferation of definitions and disorders, in a sort of Freudian nemesis.

The two authors have adopted a historical and a conceptual approach in order to trace the birth and the development of Freud's concept of hysteria. Their effort is not designed to nostalgically re-launch or provide a historical overview of the notion of hysteria. But it is aimed at tracing the line drawn early by Freud between the psychopathological core of this disease and the concept of hysterical dissociation.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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