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Fletcher, J. (2013). Gradiva: Freud, Fetishism, and Pompeian Fantasy. Psychoanal Q., 82(4):965-1011.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 82(4):965-1011

Gradiva: Freud, Fetishism, and Pompeian Fantasy

John Fletcher

This paper is a critical reconsideration of Freud's analysis (1907) of Wilhelm Jensen's novella Gradiva: A Pompeian Fantasy (1903). Freud's interest was aroused by the parallels between Jensen's presentation of dreams and Freud's model of dream formation just published in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900). Freud also acclaims Jensen's presentation of the formation and “cure” of his protagonist's delusion about a marble bas-relief of a woman walking. This paper argues for the centrality of the phenomenon of fetishism, briefly considered but excluded from Freud's analysis. The fantasy of Gradiva as “the necessary conditions for loving” (Freud 1910, pp. 165-166) is also a key thesis of the essay, which makes use of the newly translated Freud-Jensen correspondence contained in this article's Appendix.

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