Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To quickly go to the Table of Volumes from any article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To quickly go to the Table of Volumes from any article, click on the banner for the journal at the top of the article.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Grasing, D. (2005). Roudinesco, Elisabeth. Why Psychoanalysis? Translated from the French by Rachel Bowlby (Librairie Arthème Fayard, 1999). New York: Columbia University Press, 2004. Pp. 181. Pbk. £11.00/$16.50.. J. Anal. Psychol., 50(1):113-115.

(2005). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 50(1):113-115

Roudinesco, Elisabeth. Why Psychoanalysis? Translated from the French by Rachel Bowlby (Librairie Arthème Fayard, 1999). New York: Columbia University Press, 2004. Pp. 181. Pbk. £11.00/$16.50.

Review by:
Donald Grasing

Those who recall Phillip Slater's The Pursuit of Loneliness will recognize a kindred spirit in Elisabeth Routlinesco's ambitious and bracing Why Psychoanalysis? Each offers a brief, cogent broadside of contemporary thought and institutions. For Roudinesco, a ‘depressive society’ that shrinks from conflict and seeks the roots of psychic malaise in pathological mechanisms of the body or environment, generates an individual devoid of responsibility and disconnected from its own subjectivity. Nowadays it is the pursuit of objectivity that derails us on the way to full engagement in life. Weaving through topics philosophical, historical, psychological, medical and political, she explains the persistence of psychoanalysis and takes to task its many foes. Along the way the author, who has previously published twelve books including a biography of Jacques Lacan, recounts historical developments within psychoanalysis, especially in France. I imagine her historical interpretations will ruffle a few feathers here and there.

Jungians will have to contend with the wearisomely familiar description of Jung's having ‘abandoned the sexual theory for the ‘“black tide of mud … and of occultism”’, and may be surprised to find Freud portrayed as champion and liberator of the repressed, oppressed feminine, paving the way for the current acceptance of difference in family composition and structure. After all, we know Freud as the pragmatist who rejected the suggestion of a subjectivity in the unconscious and, by reducing it to a few key factors, strove to objectify it and thereby limit its autonomy.

[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.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.