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Yassa, M. (2019). Judy Gammelgaard: Efter Freud – Erindringsforstyrrelser og andre normale mærkværdigheder, After Freud – Memory Disturbances and Other Normal Remarkabilities (reviewer’s translation of title). Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 42(1-2):114-117.

(2019). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 42(1-2):114-117

Judy Gammelgaard: Efter Freud – Erindringsforstyrrelser og andre normale mærkværdigheder, After Freud – Memory Disturbances and Other Normal Remarkabilities (reviewer’s translation of title)

Review by:
Maria Yassa

The reader of Freud is struck by the heterogeneity of his oeuvre – it is as if there were not one Freud, but several. Since the Freudian corpus is filled with caesuras, shifts of model and theoretical about-faces, early Freud is very different from late Freud. Besides chronological development, and the consequent heterogeneity of theory over time, a tension exists at any given point in Freud’s thinking, as he perpetually sways between a paradigm of the natural sciences on the one hand and a hermeneutic paradigm on the other, between the effort for exhaustive knowledge, and the stance that there will always remain something mysterious in psychoanalysis as a science – since its subject is the unconscious, which can never be the object of direct knowledge. Reading Freud literally, without consideration for the implications of these theoretical ambiguities, gives a rather flat and concrete picture of psychoanalysis, and it is in all probability readings of this kind that have led to the plethora of attacks on psychoanalysis that we have lately become all too accustomed to. One can imagine that what characterizes such readings is that they omit the complication in Freud. A reading that embraces and reckons with the complications and contradictions inherent in the Freudian models, on the other hand, is a reading that puts Freud to work – work that opens for wider, deeper understanding. Such a reading would be in accordance with the very emergence of Freud’s psychoanalytic theorizing, since it is the result of repeated reinterpretations and workings-through of his conceptual apparatus.

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