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Gray, S.H. (1983). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XLV, 1981.. Psychoanal Q., 52:151.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:151

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XLV, 1981.

Sheila Hafter Gray

Freud's Seduction Theory: Its Implications for Fantasy and Memory in Psychoanalytic Theory. Milton I. Klein. Pp. 185-208.

The author re-examines Freud's seduction theory of neurosogenesis in light of recent historical studies of that period. He concludes taht Freud had accurately described and explained how abusive interpersonal events became casual determinants of personality and psychopathology, but he subsequently reinterpreted the theoretical significance of his clinical data while having little scientific reason to do so. Klein suggests taht Freud was motivated by the heavy burden of responsibility which this theory placed on all parents, particularly fathers, coupled with the unfavorable reception accorded it in contemporary scientific circles. The new theory of neurosogenesis emphasized the importance of impulsed and fantasy over memory and served to attenuate the force of the seduction theory as an explanatory principle. Thus, during the course of a few days in 1997, psychoanalysis changed from a psychology of memory to one in which fantasy alone, in the absence of external stimulation, could be a motive force. Clinical experience has confirmed that phylogenetically derived fantasies may be as traumatic as actual ontogenetic events, but both theories are necessary for accurate understanding of a case. The Wolf Man's psychopathology, based on an elusive blend of memory with fantasy, is cited as an illustration in point.

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