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Tip: To review the bibliography…

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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Grossman, W.I. (2000). Freud and his Aphasia Book: Language and the Sources of Psychoanalysis: Valerie D. Greenberg. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press. 1997. Pp. 207.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 81(3):603-606.

(2000). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 81(3):603-606

Freud and his Aphasia Book: Language and the Sources of Psychoanalysis: Valerie D. Greenberg. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press. 1997. Pp. 207.

Review by:
William I. Grossman

At the threshold of psychoanalysis in 1891, Freud wrote his book on aphasia. This work is increasingly recognised as Freud's declaration of independence from some of his teachers and the meeting place of his ways of thinking about the brain with a nascent psychoanalytic theory of mind. In moving away from direct involvement with neurology in the years following publication of the aphasia book, a number of fundamental ideas about brain organisation and the language/speech apparatus served Freud as the model of mental organisation.

Freud's book on aphasia has had a curious history in both neurology and psychoanalysis. The book was a critique of the major points of view on aphasia and of their proponents, and some of the ideas expressed in it have continued to find their place in the neurological literature. However, Freud has been mentioned rarely, even in connection with the term ‘agnosia’, which he coined.

On the psychoanalytic side, there were some notable discussions of the aphasia book, but until the last fifteen years or so, the work has received less attention from psychoanalysts than others interested in the background of Freud's work. More recently, its importance as a step in the development of psychoanalytic thought has been recognised by psychoanalytic authors.

Among the factors contributing to this relative psychoanalytic neglect is the fact that only a couple of selections from the aphasia book were included in the Standard Edition. There was no English translation until Stengel's appeared in 1953.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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