Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To copy parts of an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To copy a phrase, paragraph, or large section of an article, highlight the text with the mouse and press Ctrl + C. Then to paste it, go to your text editor and press Ctrl + V.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Gilman, S.L. (1996). Psychoanalysis And The Postmodern Impulse: Knowing And Being Since Freud's Psychology. By Barnaby B. Barratt. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1993, 262 pp., $39.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 44:975-976.

(1996). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 44:975-976

Psychoanalysis And The Postmodern Impulse: Knowing And Being Since Freud's Psychology. By Barnaby B. Barratt. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1993, 262 pp., $39.95.

Review by:
Sander L. Gilman

Barnaby B. Barratt is the author of a major study, Psychic Reality and Psychoanalytic Knowing (1984), written under the impact of Theodor Adorno's understanding of the pitfalls of the “episteme.” Here it is Jacques Derrida who shapes Barnaby B. Barratt's argument on the postmodern. As in his earlier book, Barratt is interested in placing psychoanalysis within a set of contextual readings. Here, Barratt locates the question of psychoanalysis for the 1990s in cultural critique and semiotics. The postmodern, for Barratt, undercuts the notion of one's own control over one's psychic life. The “modern episteme” must evolve into a self-conscious postmodern undertaking. In this volume, Barratt enters into the arena of the recent work on free association by A. Grünbaum. Unlike Grünbaum, Barratt's focus is on the philosophical frame of the understanding of free association rather than on its “scientific” (however defined) meaning.

What is lost in Barratt's reading of what amounts to the “early” Freud—from the abandonment of the seduction theory through the therapy papers of 1914—is any sense of the historical or cultural context of Freud's argument. Now, this would not be important in an approach such as Barratt presents, except that by selecting this group of papers, Barratt avoids talking about Freud's intense anthropological interests and the works (including Totem and Taboo) that were shaped by them. It is possible to see psychoanalytic theory as valid across time and space, but it is impossible to see the works of any theoretician, including the best of them all, as ahistorical and divided into predetermined segments. For this reason, the question of ethicality that Barratt addresses in the context of the notion of “working through” (in Chapter 7) has had a more sophisticated “working through” in the recent book by Ernest Wallwork (1991). There the cultural and philosophical contexts are given more space.

[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.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.