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Gay, P. (2001). Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision: Louis Breger. New York: Wiley, 2000, 472 pp., $30.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 49(3):1073-1076.

(2001). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 49(3):1073-1076

Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision: Louis Breger. New York: Wiley, 2000, 472 pp., $30.00.

Review by:
Peter Gay

I must begin by declaring an interest. Louis Breger devotes over two pages of the substantial bibliographical essay in his new life of Freud to denigration of my biography, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1988), as “worshipful” (Breger p. 381)—as adoring as Jones's three volumes. None of the texts critical of Freud, or correcting any of his views, he notes, “seems to have had any effect” on my judgment: One comes away from this biography believing that Freud was on the right side of all the controversies, that he was the hero and the others cowards, petty, or mentally disturbed (p. 381). Apparently my severe critiques of Freud's Lamarckianism, his anti-Americanism, his views on women, his death instinct seem not to have had any effect on Breger.

The first piece of evidence Breger offers to demonstrate my slavish worship of Freud is my handling of the Anna O. case. In Josef Breuer's version, he presumably concluded the treatment with his historic patient fully cured. Breger writes that even though I cite both Albert Hirschmüller's important monograph on the life of Josef Breuer and Henri F. Ellenberger's weighty The Discovery of the Unconscious, which should have taught me better, I present “as fact” Freud's version of Breuer's “supposed flight from Bertha Pappenheim (pp. 66-67) when she revealed her erotic transference” (p. 381). Both texts, according to Breger, “demonstrated that Breuer continued to treat Bertha for some years after his supposed flight” (p.

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