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Fisher, C. (1966). Sidney Tarachow—1908-1965. Psychoanal Q., 35:277-279.

(1966). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 35:277-279

Sidney Tarachow—1908-1965

Charles Fisher, M.D.

His many friends and colleagues were profoundly shocked to learn of the untimely death of Sidney Tarachow, a member of the New York Psychoanalytic Society since 1949.

Sidney Tarachow's work and scientific contributions more than anything else portray the special and unique qualities of his mind. For over thirty years there was a steady outpouring of scientific papers from his pen. The range of his interests is indicated by some of the titles: A Psychosomatic Theory Based on the Concepts of Mastery and Resolution of Tension; The Analysis of a Dream Occurring during a Migraine Attack; Remarks on the Comic Process and Beauty; Judas, the Beloved Executioner; A Short Contribution to the Problem of the Simulation of Insanity; Remarks Concerning Certain Examples of Late Medieval Ecclesiastical Art; Experimental Studies on Ambivalence; Saint Paul and Early Christianity; The Syndrome of Inhibition; Totem Feast in Modern Dress; Ambiguity and Human Imperfection; Circuses and Clowns. Perhaps his articles of most enduring value will be those that dealt with wit, humor, and the comic process, æsthetic subjects, and, above all, his historical religious studies. He had the makings of a great psychoanalytic historian. His paper on Saint Paul and Early Christianity is a model of psychoanalytic history, and he was in the process of expanding this study into a book at the time of his death.

In such work, Tarachow utilized his wide range of talents in a most original way. He had a special gift for understanding the interaction between cultural institutions and man's personality, especially the vicissitudes of instinctual drives. He postulated that Christianity owes much more to Paul than it does to Jesus, and that the neurotic aspects of Paul's character, especially his ambivalence toward the father, transformed Christianity from a father into a son religion.

His last published paper dealt with ambiguity and human imperfection. He believed that the religious demands of Western Christianity caused man to live beyond his means and to make greater instinctual renunciations than his capabilities would allow.

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