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Heuer, G.M. (2012). ‘Soul Murder’ and ‘The Birth of Intersubjectivity’ in David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method. J. Anal. Psychol., 57(5):667-678.

(2012). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 57(5):667-678

‘Soul Murder’ and ‘The Birth of Intersubjectivity’ in David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method

Gottfried M. Heuer, Ph.D.

The logic of the cinema is the logic of the dream.

(Cronenberg/Höbel 2011, p. 136)

As the first Hollywood film to focus on Jung's role in the early history of psychoanalysis, David Cronenberg's 2011 film A Dangerous Method constitutes a milestone in the portrayal of Jung - and his relationship with Freud - in the popular media. The film unfolds complex relationships at a pivotal point in the development of analytical theory and clinical practice along with the discovery of countertransference (and its uses and abuses) leading to the birth of intersubjectivity

Cronenberg states, ‘Artists are like soul-doctors!… The discoveries of Freud and Jung are a world-shaking moment’ (Cronenberg & Höbel 2011, p. 136) ‘that changed… how we see ourselves’ (Diamond 2011). Yet their healing method is a most dangerous one indeed, especially when the soul-doctor betrays his art to commit ‘soul murder’.

1. Introduction

For memory, the first stop is not history but the cinema.

(Willemsen 2010, p. 334)

Freud (Vigo Mortenson) and Jung (Michael Fassbender) were not alone in making their pivotal discoveries: in 1908 they are being decisively helped by two pioneers who subsequently - thanks to these founding fathers -almost completely vanished from the history of psychoanalysis; they are Sabina Spielrein (1885-1942) and Otto Gross (1877-1920). Provocatively, Erich Fromm calls the history of psychoanalysis ‘Stalinist’ (1989, p. 195).

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