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Hanly, C. (1984). Freud's Odyssey. Psychoanalysis and the End of Metaphysics: By Stan Draenos. New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 1982. 177 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 53:106-109.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:106-109

Freud's Odyssey. Psychoanalysis and the End of Metaphysics: By Stan Draenos. New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 1982. 177 pp.

Review by:
Charles Hanly

Academics, first in Europe and especially in France, but now in North America too, are "discovering" Freud. Usually, however, to "discover" Freud's thought academically is to alter it in fundamental ways. For example, psychoanalysis is "philosophized" by Ricoeur in order to make it more congenial than it actually is to Ricoeur's own religious attitudes toward life. Habermas modifies psychoanalysis in the direction of phenomenology and existentialism in his "understanding" of it. Marcuse and numerous others confuse psychic conflict with Hegelian or Marxian dialectical logic. The result is an obfuscation of psychoanalysis which can scarcely illuminate either psychoanalysis or the cognate discipline by means of which or in relation to which Freud's ideas are being interpreted. This tendency is a symptom of the unfortunate isolation of academic thought from theoretical psychoanalytic thought disciplined by psychoanalytic practice, an isolation for which academics and psychoanalysts are equally responsible. That the problem has no simple or easy solution is evidenced by the work of Lacan; there, academic interests and clinical experience were united in a single individual who, nevertheless, remained a master of tenebrous obscurity.

Draenos's study of "freud's odyssey," unhappily, is another example of academic clouding of Freud's clarity of thought. For example, here is Draenos's gloss on Freud's lucid statement that the important events of an individual's life continue to exert an influence upon him in the form of charged memories: "The psychology of the unconscious being closer to the phenomenal field (consciousness) and further from the ground (body), represents the essential temporality of this logic mediately as a concrescence of past and present within a topographical articulation of surface and depth" (p.

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