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Lake, D. (1989). Freud and his Father: By Marianne Krüll. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. 1986. Pp. xxi + 294.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 70:365-369.

(1989). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 70:365-369

Freud and his Father: By Marianne Krüll. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. 1986. Pp. xxi + 294.

Review by:
David Lake

For most of us the publication of 'The interpretation of dreams' marked the birth of psychoanalysis, and precisely because the insights expressed in that work were epoch-making, it has acquired significance beyond its scientific contribution. It has come to be seen as historically momentous, both as a revolutionary development within science and because of the cultural impact of the psychoanalytic movement. It is also important as a product of scientific creativity, and we have an unprecedented body of information concerning the process of its creation. As a part of our heritage, it also has a personal significance for psychoanalysts—dream interpretation is to some extent emblematic of our continuity with our origins. For all of these reasons, 'The interpretation of dreams' has received special forms of attention both from within psychoanalysis and from without.

This work had a special meaning for Freud, as well. He wrote in his preface to the second edition that because of the durability and explanatory power of its insights, he had often returned to 'The interpretation of dreams' for reassurance when, over the course of his later explorations, he had been troubled by doubt. He added that he had come to realize that he had chosen to preserve without revision its illustrative dreams for a very specific reason: 'For this book has a further subjective significance for me personally—a significance which I only grasped after I had completed it. It was, I found, a portion of my own self-analysis, my reaction to my father's death—that is to say, to the most important event, the most poignant loss of a man's life' (Freud, 1900).

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