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Deutsch, H. (1982). George Sand: A Woman's Destiny. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 9:445-446.

(1982). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 9:445-446

George Sand: A Woman's Destiny

Helene Deutsch


This paper (1928) about a great French writer and novelist, which has hitherto been untranslated into English, needs to be placed in the context of the history of psychoanalysis. Helene Deutsch, when she first delivered it, was the founding Director of the Training Institute of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (Anna Freud became her successor in 1935), and also served as a member of the International Training Commission (Roazen, 1975pp. 460–77). Helene Deutsch presented it again during her initial trip to the United States in 1930, when she was recognized as Freud's 'foremost feminine disciple' (Simpson, 1930p. 9); she had come with a few other European analysts to participate in the First International Congress of Mental Hygiene in Washington, D.C., which was to be a milestone in the reception of Freud's ideas in America (Williams, 1932). Later she excerpted parts of this essay to use in Vol. I of her The Psychology of Women, but after almost two decades she came to some additional theoretical conclusions (1944pp. 314–17). Like other early analysts, she was an immensely cultured woman, composed her papers with a sense of artistic form, and throughout her writings used literary allusions; in addition, she published essays specifically on both Don Quixote and Lord Jim (1965pp. 218–25, 353–57).

Psychoanalytic theories about femininity have been among the most controversial parts of Freud's legacy. As the first analyst to publish a book (1925) on women, Helene Deutsch has taken her share of the criticism, both in professional circles as well as among current feminists, for the import of Freud's outlook (Brownmiller, 1975); (Wimpfheimer & Schafer, 1977).

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