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Weiss, J. (1960). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XL, 1959: Chess, Oedipus, and the Mater Dolorosa. Norman Reider. Pp. 320-333.. Psychoanal Q., 29:587-588.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XL, 1959: Chess, Oedipus, and the Mater Dolorosa. Norman Reider. Pp. 320-333.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:587-588

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XL, 1959: Chess, Oedipus, and the Mater Dolorosa. Norman Reider. Pp. 320-333.

Joseph Weiss

This article is devoted largely to a study of the myths of the origin of chess. No other game has provoked such a wealth of creative imagination in explaining its origin. Reider considers the theme of father-murder the central theme of these myths. The father-murder story is essentially an Oedipal myth with part omitted. The author relates several myths in which this theme is expressed in crude form. Legends that chess was invented as a preparation for war and its substitute derive from the Oedipal theme. Many myths further removed from the Oedipal theme can be traced by various displacements and substitutions. Several of them are strikingly similar to the mater dolorosa story. In these myths, too, the theme of father-murder may be the unconscious one. The son and mother are punished for the death of the father. Reider also explores legends of the Magna Mater to investigate what light they throw on the mater dolorsa theme. He concludes that, though perhaps containing fantasies of the bipolar mother-son relationship, they are also disguised Oedipal fantasies. The castration of the son in some of them is best explained on the basis of Oedipal guilt.

Reider returns to the Christ story and attempts to show that it is an Oedipal fantasy in disguise. Evidence for this thesis is found in the Talmudic story of

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Jesus as lame, showing the equation of Jesus and Oedipus. Other sources for the equation of Jesus and Oedipus are the medieval Judas myths. The glorification of Christ found its counterpart in the Judas myths, which contain a split-off part of the image of Jesus and closely approximate the Oedipus story.

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Article Citation

Weiss, J. (1960). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XL, 1959. Psychoanal. Q., 29:587-588

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