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Muensterberger, W. (1981). Fantasy and Symbol. Studies in Anthropological Interpretation. Essays in Honour of George Devereux: Edited by R. H. Hook. London/New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1979. 304 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 50:416-418.

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(1981). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 50:416-418

Fantasy and Symbol. Studies in Anthropological Interpretation. Essays in Honour of George Devereux: Edited by R. H. Hook. London/New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1979. 304 pp.

Review by:
Werner Muensterberger

Festschriften have become a laudable tradition as a well-deserved expression of professional standing and esteem. They represent a commendable way by which colleagues and students honor the accomplishments of a scholar or scientist. Such a collection of essays reminds one of a birthday party when well-wishing guests bring presents which they deem appropriate. The presents vary and are of necessity hardly alike in terms of scope and concern. Fantasy and Symbol marks George Devereux's seventieth birthday, and the volume contains a number of contributions which are meant to give evidence of the special regard in which Devereux's manifold writings on various aspects of anthropology and psychoanalysis are held. "To render George Devereux homage to his measure," writes Claude Lévi-Strauss, "one would have to prove oneself at once ethnologist, Hellenist and psychoanalyst," while Professor Weston LaBarre, with transparent affection, speaks of the honored recipient of these learned papers as the "universally acknowledged … ranking world authority in psychoanalytic anthropology." No wonder that well-known as well as young and aspiring scholars use the occasion to express their homage in a variety of contributions which reflect the cast of Devereux's impressive mind.

Besides R. H. Hook's introductory overview and his discussion of the main theme of this volume, namely, fantasy and symbol from a psychoanalytic angle, there is a biographical account by Ariane Deluz of Devereux's life and work. The book actually opens with a contribution to his Festschrift by George Devereux himself. His paper, "Fantasy and Symbol as Dimensions of Reality," underlines a theorem he has elaborated in many aspects: that in anthropological perspective "the guarantor of fantasy is reality" while from the psychoanalytic point of view "the guarantor of reality is fantasy," which in a way is the keynote of this collection of articles.

We find allusions to this issue in several of the essays. Lévi-Strauss's "Pythagoras in America," however, is not much more than a friend's

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