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Brattemo, C. (1994). Barndomens Återkomst. En Psykoanalytisk Och LitteräR Studie. (The Return of Childhood. A Psychoanalytic and Literary Study.): Clarence Crafoord. Stockholm: Natur och Kultur, 1993.. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 17(2):182-184.
Barndomens Återkomst. En Psykoanalytisk Och LitteräR Studie. (The Return of Childhood. A Psychoanalytic and Literary Study.): Clarence Crafoord. Stockholm: Natur och Kultur, 1993.
Review by: Carl-Erik Brattemo
This psychoanalytic and literary study has stirred considerable interest within literary, psychotherapeutic/psychoanalytic and other circles in Sweden. It has been subject to many positive reviews and interviews in newspapers and journals.
In presenting Crafoord's book for a wider circle of readers, I will commence with a short presentation of the author, to give an idea of him and his authorship. I then give a summary of the book, and end the review with some personal reflections.
Clarance Crafoord is a well-known Swedish psychoanalyst and teacher in psychotherapy in Stockholm. He is also known as a fighter for a modernized and humanized psychiatry. He has previously published several books on the situation of psychiatry, on being a psychoanalyst in the public health service, on the diagnosis of borderline conditions and on effective therapeutic agents in the therapeutic interview.
A summary of The Return of Childhood could read as follows.
Starting with a recollection from his own childhood, Crafoord describes a psychoanalytic perspective on childhood memories, as exponents of symbols and patterns recurring as themes throughout life. He then presents the reader with such patterns in the authorship of Marcel Proust, and the Swedish novelists August Strindberg and Selma Lagerlöf.
This perspective makes fascinating reading through well-chosen quotations and partly new interpretations of both well-known and less well-known texts.
Crafoord's point is that it is impossible to fabricate a story. Even stories which are pure constructions contain more truth than the author can know. They tell more about childhood than even the story as described will have us literally believe.
The book ends with some reflexions on the conditions of being an artist—what precious gift this creative ability is, but also what high price the artist sometimes has to pay for the continually ongoing self-analysis it submits him to.
Thus far, I have written a more-or-less formal review. I will end the review, giving a personal addendum to it, by making a comment on the book, starting with a question and an observation.
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