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Mahony, P. (1989). A Phylogenetic Fantasy: Overview of the Transference Neuroses: By Sigmund Freud. Edited by I. Grubrich-Simitis (Frankfurt: S. Fischer Verlag, 1985). Translated by A. and P. Hoffer. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 1987. Pp. i–xvii + 113.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 70:165-167.

(1989). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 70:165-167

A Phylogenetic Fantasy: Overview of the Transference Neuroses: By Sigmund Freud. Edited by I. Grubrich-Simitis (Frankfurt: S. Fischer Verlag, 1985). Translated by A. and P. Hoffer. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 1987. Pp. i–xvii + 113.

Review by:
Patrick Mahony

In the course of preparing the forthcoming publication of the Freud-Ferenczi correspondence, Ms Grubrich-Simitis made a research visit to London in 1983. There, while rummaging through a trunkful of documents left by Ferenczi to his friend Michael Balint, she came upon something completely unexpected: one of Freud's missives addressed to Ferenczi and containing the draft of a lost metapsychological paper. In the accompanying letter, dated July 1915, Freud mentioned that he was retaining the fair copy. Because that fair copy has unfortunately not turned up, the surviving draft is understandably that much more precious.

Of the twelve metapsychological papers which Freud had drawn up, only five were published and these count among the greatest of his theoretical works. Until 1983 there was no trace of any of the remaining seven metapsychological texts. The newly discovered one, entitled 'Overview of the Transference Neuroses', was destined to be the culminative twelfth work of the metapsychological series. We are now fortunate to have a handsome edition of the 'Overview' published by Harvard University Press; it contains both a fascimile and transcription of the original text, an English translation by the Hoffer brothers, and separate commentaries by both the Hoffers and Grubrich-Simitis.

Freud's 'Overview' is divided into two parts. The shorter one, composed in a telegraphic and abbreviated style, deals with the so-named transference neuroses (anxiety hysteria, conversion hysteria, and obsessional neurosis), which are examined in the light of six factors: repression, anticathexis, substitutive-and symptom-formation, relation to sexual function, regression, and disposition.

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