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Forrester, J. (2008). Editorial. Psychoanal. Hist., 10(1):1-2.

(2008). Psychoanalysis and History, 10(1):1-2

Editorial

John Forrester

For this journal, the question of the relation of psychoanalysis as a theory and practice to any theory and practice of history is of obvious interest. Is psychoanalysis a part of history, broadly construed? After all, Freud declared in 1901 that a goal of treatment, and also an index of its success, is the production of ‘an intelligible, consistent, and unbroken case history’. Can psychoanalysis ever be separated off from the requirements every historical enquiry must recognize and obey? In the first article in this issue, ‘Freud and history before 1905: from defending to questioning the theory of a glorious past’, Patricia Cotti undertakes a delicate and careful enquiry into the unintentionally concealed theme of Geschichte in Freud's early work. She allows the terms ‘story’, ‘history’, ‘case history’ and their relatives to become animated and destabilized in Freud's enquiry; she situates his historical project in the context of two different models of history influencing him: that of Schliemann and his archaeological digging and that of Burckhardt with his vision of cultural history.

The three articles that follow are concerned, in three very different ways, with events in the history of British psychoanalysis. Joan Riviere was a prominent early British analyst, one of the first of Freud's translators into English, whose particular style and way with language left a significant mark on the English Freud. She was also an analysand of Jones's and then of Freud's, a key colleague of Melanie Klein's and a dauntingly acute psychoanalytic theorist in her own right.

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