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Crow, J.F. (1989). Freud's Self-Analysis: By Didier Anzieu. Translated by Peter Graham. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc., 1986. 618 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 58:251-257.
(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:251-257
Freud's Self-Analysis: By Didier Anzieu. Translated by Peter Graham. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc., 1986. 618 pp.
Review by: John F. Crow
This scholarly, meticulously documented account of Freud's selfanalysis between 1895 and 1902 has finally been translated into English, by Peter Graham. The initial version, published in French in 1959, had been followed by an expanded, two-volume second version, published in 1975. For this English translation, a number of appendices were removed to produce a single-volume, 618-page examination of what ranks as one of the most creative and revolutionary periods of scientific discovery in recorded history. Certainly, there is no set of documents describing the remarkable process of scientific self-experimentation that can rival the rich sources Anzieu has assembled for his most illuminating interpretation of "the creative psychical work that resulted in the discovery of psychoanalysis."
The primary sources which Anzieu considers central to a study of Freud's self-analysis are two-fold: fifty dreams up to 1902, including forty-three in The Interpretation of Dreams and four in On Dreams; and forty-eight childhood memories, screen memories, and parapraxes up to 1907 (including forty-three described in The Psychopathology of Everyday Life). What is unique and remarkable about this book is the way the author has collated and arranged the chronological development of these unconscious derivatives as they were recorded by Freud during his seven-year period of scientific self-exploration.
My task was to bring together fragments of the same dream forms in several different published works by Freud; to compare the text of the dreams with accounts of past or contemporary events described in Freud's correspondence or revealed by his biographers; to date the dreams and other material connected with his self-analysis; and finally, by placing them in chronological order, to assess their role as milestones in a process of personal crisis, epistemological revolution, and hitherto unparalleled conceptual innovation (p. xiv).
Such an exegesis, initially undertaken in the 1950's, could never be duplicated by even the most advanced forms of today's computerized textual analyses.
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