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Aisenstein, M. (2017). Murdered father, dead father: Revisiting the Oedipus complex, by Rosine Jozef Perelberg, New Library of Psychoanalysis, Routledge, London, 2015; 260 pp. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(4):1245-1248.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(4):1245-1248

Book and Journal Reviews

Murdered father, dead father: Revisiting the Oedipus complex, by Rosine Jozef Perelberg, New Library of Psychoanalysis, Routledge, London, 2015; 260 pp

Review by:
Marilia Aisenstein

I have been privileged to witness the birth of the conceptualization that is at the heart of this book. Ten years ago, Rosine Perelberg and I were both invited with André Green and Julia Kristeva to a Symposium at Columbia in New York on the subject of ‘The Dead Father’. As ever, Rosine Perelberg was brilliant. We were all impressed by her paper: ‘The dead father and the sacrifice of sexuality(Perelberg, 2009). Her extensive knowledge of anthropology added to her clinical experience gives a rare originality and depth to her thinking. Starting from Jacques Hassoun's distinction between the “Murdered Father” and the “Dead Father” in which the passage from the former to the latter inaugurates the establishment of the law and the difference between the generations, she considers the regulation of sexuality to be a necessary sacrifice in order to access the symbolic order and the cultural realm. These ideas are presented in the first chapter.

This opening allows her to give a complex and profound personal reading of the Oedipus complex, mourning, the Third and temporality. The book is well constructed, comprising four related parts that proceed from the singular to the general, from the individual to society, from a close study of the subject to a philosophical reflection on what has become of humanity after the Shoah. In the final part of the book Rosine Perelberg raises the question of a culture born of the Holocaust, a ‘habitus’ which, according to P.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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