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Bouchard, F. (1995). Sigmund Freud And Romain Rolland: Correspondence, 1923-1936. By Henri and Madeleine Vermorel. Paris, France: Presses Universitaires de France, 1993, 657 pp., 350 FF.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 43:883-887.
(1995). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43:883-887
Sigmund Freud And Romain Rolland: Correspondence, 1923-1936. By Henri and Madeleine Vermorel. Paris, France: Presses Universitaires de France, 1993, 657 pp., 350 FF.
Review by: Françoise Bouchard
In the collection The History of Psychoanalysis (edited by Alain de Mijolla), Henri and Madeleine Vermorel present to us Sigmund Freud and Romain Rolland: Correspondence, 1923-1936. This volume is so interesting, so well constructed and enriching, that it is hard for the reader to put it aside. Without being simplistic, the authors invite us to follow the exchanges between Freud and Rolland as if in a novel. The exchange of letters and works between the two men generates for both of them questions and mutations in their thinking. According to the thesis of the Vermorels, a mirror transference modified the ideas of both correspondents and inspired writings of major importance for them both. We follow with avidity and ardent interest their shared path, with its passions, reflections, and vicissitudes.
The book, which starts with a foreword by André Bourguignon, contains, in addition to the text and original documents, the complete version of Civilization and Its Discontents and “A Disturbance of Memory on the Acropolis” and their analysis, an important bibliography, a very complex index, photo illustrations and a table of contents that outlines clearly the plan of the book. Finally, aside the constant references to Freud's works and the analysis of texts marked by Rolland's influence, we are immersed in the history and the culture of the time and in the literary and philosophical works that influenced the thinking of these two “romantic heroes,” both imbued with Germanic culture, both inheritors of Goethe and Spinoza.
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