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Gyimesi, J. (2019). The Cut and the Building of Psychoanalysis: Volume II. Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi by Carlo Bonomi (London and New York: Routledge, 2018; 271 pp.). Psychoanal. Hist., 21(1):123-126.

(2019). Psychoanalysis and History, 21(1):123-126

The Cut and the Building of Psychoanalysis: Volume II. Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi by Carlo Bonomi (London and New York: Routledge, 2018; 271 pp.)

Review by:
Júlia Gyimesi

The investigation of Sigmund Freud's personal characteristics — behavioural, emotional, conscious and unconscious — has been a focus of research for decades. Most commonly, historians of psychoanalysis have illuminated and interpreted Freud's authoritarian features and actions, with plenty of attention given to his shortcomings and personal deficiencies, as well as to those of a few other orthodox psychoanalysts (e.g. Fromm, 1972[1959]; Masson, 1998). This unusual branch of research has contributed rather significantly to the re-evaluation of some influential, but previously neglected domains of psychoanalytic thinking, and also to the radical reshaping of the Freudian image. As a result, it has emerged that the father of psychoanalysis was a rather fallible figure, one who often compensated for his anxieties, insecurities and fears with authoritarianism. In connection with this line of research, other outstanding scholars of psychoanalysis have been rehabilitated, such as Sándor Ferenczi. As research in this specific field has revealed, the evolution of psychoanalytic theory and the designation of its boundaries were never independent from the personal psychological dynamics of its representatives.

Carlo Bonomi's work The Cut and the Building of Psychoanalysis: Volume II. Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi is a further contribution to this nuanced approach to the history of psychoanalysis. It merges psycho-biographical research with the use of explorative methods and applied psychoanalytic knowledge.

[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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