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Weigert, E. (1954). Selected Papers: By Ludwig Jekels, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1952. 201 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 23:96-97.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:96-97

Selected Papers: By Ludwig Jekels, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1952. 201 pp.

Review by:
Edith Weigert

The first of Ludwig Jekels' selected papers is a pathographical sketch, The Turning Point in the Life of Napoleon I, first published in 1914. According to the author, Napoleon's passionate and ambitious patriotism stemmed from a deep incestuous mother fixation. A suspicion that his mother might have had an illicit relation with the French governor of Corsica, Marbeuf, nourished Napoleon's lack of respect for feminine loyalty, his need to be betrayed, his vindictive contempt of women. The relentless zest for conquest had its roots in Napoleon's Oedipus conflict; an intense ambivalence in his relation to paternal heroes made him turn from intense adoration to ruthless competition. This pathographical paper throws interesting lights on the development of Napoleon's extraordinary personality.

The Sense of Guilt was first published in 1932. It is based on reported episodes of two masochistic patients. Jekels comes to the conclusion that the sense of guilt is not only a source of pain, a masochistic gratification, but also the carrier of a highly important social function. It provides the impetus for renewed efforts of Eros in its struggle with the death instinct. It stimulates the instinct of mastery or aggression which is active in work, and redeems the selfish individual by reconciling him with the goals of humanity. Loved by the gods, by his superego, the individual is freed from guilt.

In The Psychology of Pity (1930), Jekels differentiates between a passive, masochistic, sentimental form of pity which submits to castration anxiety, and an active reaction-formation which heroically surmounts the course of suffering.

On the Psychology of Comedy (1926) points out the victory of the son over the father in a variety of comedies. Comedy is related to tragedy as mania to melancholia. The guilt of the Oedipus conflict is dissolved in an experience of liberation from tyranny, in a very ecstasy of freedom.

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