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Shapiro, T. (1994). Freud and Forbidden Knowledge: Edited by Peter Rudnytsky and Ellen Handler Spitz. New York and London: New York University Press. 1994. Pp. 186.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:1277-1278.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:1277-1278

Freud and Forbidden Knowledge: Edited by Peter Rudnytsky and Ellen Handler Spitz. New York and London: New York University Press. 1994. Pp. 186.

Review by:
Theodore Shapiro

If the mark of a good psychoanalytic book is that we learn something about ourselves and our science, then Freud and Forbidden Knowledge is a good book. As Peter Rudnytsky says in his Introduction, this is a book about confronting monsters. He further notes that the contributors were asked 'to look upon the rubric of forbidden knowledge as an evocative and not a restrictive one' (p. 2). The authors heed his exhortations and take as their sources for study the Bible, the Decameron, Hamlet, Oedipus, Prometheus and St Augustine's Confessions. There are nine essays written by scholars in classics and literary criticism: Yael Feldman, Professor of Judaic Studies at NYU; Richard Kuhns, Professor of Philosophy at Columbia; Vassilka Nikolova, Senior Lecturer in Latin at the Medical University of Sofia; Martha Nussbaum, University Professor of Philosophy and Classics at Brown; Peter Rudnytsky, Director of the Institute of Psychological Study of the Arts at the University of Florida; Charles Segal, Professor of Greek and Latin at Harvard; and Ellen Handler Spitz, Lecturer of Aesthetics in Psychiatry at Cornell Medical College. Two practising analysts with medical backgrounds are also contributors, Bennett Simon and André Green. Among the authors represented, Drs Spitz, Rudnytsky, Simon and Green are well known in psychoanalytic circles for their books and commentaries on psychoanalytic themes.

Each of the authors confronts his/her topic from the standpoint of 'why should we care?', as Dr Feldman says (p.

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