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Kaye, R. (1989). Freud and His Father. Marianne Krüll. New York: Norton, 1986, xxi + 294 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 76(1):131-134.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Review, 76(1):131-134

Freud and His Father. Marianne Krüll. New York: Norton, 1986, xxi + 294 pp.

Review by:
Ruth Kaye

Freud and his Father is an important book; yet its virtues and its limitations - one is tempted to say vices- are so intermixed that occasionally the reader is hard put to separate fact from fancy and accurate presentation from purely fictional narrative. What begins as a speculation, as a possibility, frequently reappears, pages later, fully confirmed.

The thesis of the book is that from the moment of Sigmund Freud's birth his father Jacob, “gave him the ambivalent mandate to expunge Jacob's guilt, rooted as it was in the past, but to refrain from uncovering its precise nature” (p. 99). and what was the guilt that Sigmund was not to expose -indeed, according to Kriill, that Sigmund had never been explicitly told? -“nothing other than [Jacob's] masturbation” (p. 101). and why, one might ask, was masturbation such a torment to Jacob Freud?

Because Judaism considers masturbation a grave sin, and because Jacob probably felt the same way despite his new attitude [his giving up of orthodoxy], it is quite conceivable that masturbation accounted for a large part of his guilt, (p. 101, emphasis added)

Every tail is pinned to the donkey of Jacob's masturbation and Sigmund's need to cover up for this “sin.”

[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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