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The list of books available on PEP Web is sorted alphabetically, with the exception of Freud’s Collected Works, Glossaries, and Dictionaries. You can find this list in the Books Section.

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Kaplan, D.M. (1990). Tragic Drama and the Family. Psychoanalytic Studies from Aeschylus to Beckett: By Bennett Simon. New Haven/London: Yale University Press. 1988. Pp. 274.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 17:127-130.

(1990). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 17:127-130

Tragic Drama and the Family. Psychoanalytic Studies from Aeschylus to Beckett: By Bennett Simon. New Haven/London: Yale University Press. 1988. Pp. 274.

Review by:
Donald M. Kaplan

The plight of being human, which is so central to the interests of psychoanalysis, is also the subject of art. This is why it was plausible for Freud to have looked to art now and again in the development of his thought. On the other hand, works of art are not patients and therefore cannot protest wild analyses and other kinds of malpractice. Hence a certain suspicion has long obtained in connexion with what we call applied psychoanalysis, as if the defenceless objects of its study required of us a special protective attitude. While this state of affairs has sometimes led to an excessive scepticism towards any commerce between psychoanalysis and art, it has also improved the quality of applied psychoanalysis because of the criticality such endeavour must survive. Any worth-while psychoanalytic reflection on culture now takes some exceptional doing. The result is that over the past fifteen or so years the literature of applied psychoanalysis has rewarded careful study in ways it never did before.

Thus it is momentous praise to observe that Bennett Simon's current book Tragic Drama and the Family is a towering achievement of applied psychoanalysis. But, then, this should come as no surprise; for Simon has been in the vanguard of this present stage of applied psychoanalysis for quite a long time. For 25 years, he has been diligently at work on the psychoanalysis of tragic, epic and philosophic literature, and, in one publication after another, he has given us a brilliant record of this activity.

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