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Weill, D. (1997). Freud, Judéité, Lumières Et Romantisme. : By Henri Vermorel, Anne Clancier and Madeleine Vermorel. Lausanne, Paris: Éditions Delachaux et Niestlé. 1995. Pp. 395.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 78:181-183.
(1997). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 78:181-183
Freud, Judéité, Lumières Et Romantisme. : By Henri Vermorel, Anne Clancier and Madeleine Vermorel. Lausanne, Paris: Éditions Delachaux et Niestlé. 1995. Pp. 395.
Review by: Denise Weill
In this book, whose title translates as ‘Freud, Jewishness, the Enlightenment and Romanticism’, Henri and Madeleine Vermorel and Anne Clancier present contributions from a colloquium that they organised in 1990 at the Cerisy Cultural Centre on the subject of ‘Freud and psychoanalysis from Goethe and the German romantics to Viennese modernity’.
René Roussillon, one of the seventeen authors represented in the book, writes: ‘A vital question today concerns the management of the Freudian heritage, primarily by psychoanalysts, but also throughout the cultural region to which psychoanalysis may be relevant’. These contributions are extremely important from this point of view.
Against this background it is essential not to ‘fetishise’ Freud or to see him as self-engendered, unconnected with the culture that nurtured his ideas; he did not bring about a complete epistemological break, but should on the contrary be regarded as falling within the mainstream of western thought. The object of this book is to demonstrate the plurality of sources and predeterminations of Freud's thought, a vital task if that thought is to survive in the long term.
The erudition of the organisers and participants here assembled—psychoanalytic researchers, philosophers, scientists and experts in German language—shows how it was possible for psychoanalysis to arise at the intersection of the various currents that moulded the identity of its creator—an identity which, we are reminded, had the German language as its vehicle.
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