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Silverman, M.A. (2012). On Myths and Myth-Making: Psychoanalytic Theorizing about Mother-daughter Relationships and the “Female Oedipus Complex” A Story of Her Own: The Female Oedipus Complex Reexamined and Renamed. By Nancy Kulish and Deanna Holtzman. Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson, 2008. 218 pp.Electra Versus Oedipus: The Drama of the Mother-Daughter Relationship. By Hendrika C. Freud; translated by Marjolin de Jager. London/New York: Routledge, 2011. 205 pp.The Monster Within: The Hidden Side of Motherhood. By Barbara Almond. Berkeley, CA/Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press, 2010. 265 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 81(3):727-750.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 81(3):727-750

Book Review Essays

On Myths and Myth-Making: Psychoanalytic Theorizing about Mother-daughter Relationships and the “Female Oedipus Complex” A Story of Her Own: The Female Oedipus Complex Reexamined and Renamed. By Nancy Kulish and Deanna Holtzman. Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson, 2008. 218 pp.Electra Versus Oedipus: The Drama of the Mother-Daughter Relationship. By Hendrika C. Freud; translated by Marjolin de Jager. London/New York: Routledge, 2011. 205 pp.The Monster Within: The Hidden Side of Motherhood. By Barbara Almond. Berkeley, CA/Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press, 2010. 265 pp.

Review by:
Martin A. Silverman

Myth-maker, Myth-maker, make me a myth

With just the right height

And with just the right width

Myth-maker, make me a Myth!

Myth-maker, Myth-maker, plots need to hatch

And I need a key that will push up the latch

To let loose a theory for people to catch

Myth-maker, make me a Match!

The morning after I began thinking about what I might write in response to Nancy Kulish and Deanna Holtzman's wonderful and intriguing book, A Story of Her Own: The Female Oedipus Complex Reexamined and Renamed, I awoke singing the first line of the lyrics that form the epigraph with which I have begun this essay. I completed the first stanza as I was shaking off my nocturnal cobwebs and preparing to see my first patient of the day, but to my surprise, I still could not identify the song whose words I was paraphrasing.

It was not until I was walking to my office that I realized it was the “Matchmaker” song from Fiddler on the Roof that had inspired my lame attempt at writing song lyrics. I had seen the musical on Broadway and then again on a Parents' Day visit to the performing arts camp where our children were spending the summer—and it was our older daughter who sang that song from up on stage while my wife and I sat in the audience! As I recalled this, the second stanza sprang from my brow, like Pallas Athena from the head of Zeus (although, as I was aware, it still needed a bit of refining). The latter came to me after I recalled that I had recently read or heard somewhere something about an observation made by a drama critic: that he viewed Fiddler as a prime example of modern cultural myth-making.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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