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Solms, M. (1996). A Review Of Het Geval Freud: 1. Scheppingsverhalen. : By Han Israëls: Uitgeverij Bert Bakker. 1993. Pp. 248.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:1041-1046.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:1041-1046

A Review Of Het Geval Freud: 1. Scheppingsverhalen. : By Han Israëls: Uitgeverij Bert Bakker. 1993. Pp. 248.

Review by:
Mark Solms

This book, the title of which translates literally as ‘The Case of Freud: 1. Stories of Creation’, focuses on Freud's early research into the subjects of cocaine and hysteria. However, the book is not a serious attempt to document and appraise this period in Freud's working life; rather it is a piece of investigative journalism which leaves no stone unturned in an attempt to discredit the man Sigmund Freud. In this respect it belongs to the currently fashionable genre of literature devoted to the assassination of the character and scientific integrity of the founder of psychoanalysis.

When a deceased scientist is attacked in this way, and he is no longer able to defend himself, it falls to the lot of those who know better to ensure that historical and scientific injustices do not go unchallenged. Otherwise a caricature can gradually replace the complex reality in the minds of uninformed readers, and sometimes even readers of the specialist literature too. This responsibility is particularly pressing in instances where the published allegations are propagated further by uncritical book reviews in serious newspapers, the readers of which are in no position to form an independent judgement on the matter (see for example, in the present instance, Martin Stingelin's review in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 30 June 1993).

Isaëls's book was brought to my attention by the Director of Sigmund Freud Copyrights, who had given the author access to restricted documents in his care.

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