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Namnum, A. (1962). Renacimiento De Edipo. La Vida Del Hombre En La Dialectica Del Adentro Y Del Afuera (Rebirth of Oedipus. Man's Life in the Dialectics of Inner and Outer): By Mauricio Abadi. Buenos Aires: Editorial Nova, 1960. 291 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 31:399-401.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:399-401

Renacimiento De Edipo. La Vida Del Hombre En La Dialectica Del Adentro Y Del Afuera (Rebirth of Oedipus. Man's Life in the Dialectics of Inner and Outer): By Mauricio Abadi. Buenos Aires: Editorial Nova, 1960. 291 pp.

Review by:
Alfredo Namnum

This book opens with a review of Freud's concept of the Oedipus complex and proposes to complement it in the light of the study of the Greek myth rather than to modify it; but as one reads on, it turns out that Dr. Abadi's work—roughly speaking, a piece of applied psychoanalysis—is concerned with the Theban myth of Oedipus, not the freudian Oedipus complex. The currents of psychological thought pursued by the author are those of Otto Rank's trauma of birth and Arnaldo Rasocvsky's studies of 'prenatal psychology'.

Since the announced purpose of the look is to further Freud's concept, the reader looks in the opening chapter for a fair statement of that concept as it stands today. This he does not find. Not only is the review entirely too brief and incomplete; it also does two injustices to Freud's concept of the Oedipus complex. First, it presents Freud's early discovery—what in the twenties he called 'the simple positive Oedipus complex in the male'—as the definitive formulation. It makes no mention of the later formulations in The Ego and the Id; and the 'negative Oedipus', which Freud ultimately attributed to the basic bisexual constitution of the child, finds no place in Abadi's cursory review. A complete initial review would have drastically altered the author's argument. Second, Abadi presents the concept as if Freud's discovery were the speculative conclusion of a piece of applied analysis, rather than the result of clinical investigation. In this connection, the author conveys the idea that it was mythology that threw light upon the son's behavior and that Freud 'extracted' his understanding of the normal conflict and its neurotic manifestations from his study of the myth of Oedipus. Thus the book proposes that further exhaustive study of the myth will result in better, more complete understanding of clinical and other behavioral phenomena.

In the second chapter, as Abadi prepares to follow this line of investigation, he emphasizes the idea that the study of myths is not merely a valid means of investigation but actually is as important and indispensable as the study of dreams for the understanding of man's unconscious.

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