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Cole, E.M. (1922). What is Psycho-Analysis: By Isador H. Coriat, M.D. (Moffat Yard and Co., New York, 1919. Pp. 127. Price $ 150.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 3:76-77.

(1922). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 3:76-77

What is Psycho-Analysis: By Isador H. Coriat, M.D. (Moffat Yard and Co., New York, 1919. Pp. 127. Price $ 150.)

Review by:
Estelle Maude Cole

This book attempts to present mainly the tenets of Freud in the form of question and answer; the author (already well known for his other works in abnormal psychology) succeeds in some degree, and he also provides suggestions for mental hygiene and character formation. Nevertheless his enthusiasm for a concise catechism apparently leads him into some misleading and ambiguous statements which are obvious to the Freudian, but which are apt to confuse his other readers.

The 'division of consciousness' (page 57) is a gross error. Since consciousness is the term used to denote the mental processes of which a person is aware at a given moment, the unconscious could not be a division of the conscious. This term, like the analogous ones 'splitting' or 'dissociation of consciousness' is based on the old confusion between 'consciousness' and 'mind'.

Two conflicting statements are to be found regarding the sexual symbol (page 61), and the latent content of the dream (page 90), the latter one of which approximates more to the truth than that 'the sexual symbol is an effort to escape from the more grossly sexual'. It is rather 'an effort to escape' the vigilance of the censorship, and hence gratify grossly sexual wishes by its use in consciousness.

Also the term 'spirtualised' (p. 72) used in connection with dreams is not compatible with a scientific terminology.

No doubt this book will be welcomed by readers who have neither time nor inclination to pursue a larger work but who wish to gain a bird's eye view of the subject; and the bibliography in which most of the standard works are quoted will appeal to those readers who require more detailed information and accuracy.

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