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Spruiell, V. (1990). A Phylogenetic Fantasy. Overview of the Transference Neuroses: By Sigmund Freud. Edited and with an essay by Ilse Grubrich-Simitis. Translated by Axel Hoffer and Peter T. Hoffer. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987. 113 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 59:115-122.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:115-122

A Phylogenetic Fantasy. Overview of the Transference Neuroses: By Sigmund Freud. Edited and with an essay by Ilse Grubrich-Simitis. Translated by Axel Hoffer and Peter T. Hoffer. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987. 113 pp.

Review by:
Vann Spruiell

By mid-1915 Freud had more or less completed the twelve chapters of what he hoped would be his magnum opus on psychoanalytic theory, the successor to Chapter VII of The Interpretation of Dreams. The book on metapsychology was written in gloomy times when there were few patients and only one available close collaborator, Sandor Ferenczi. Despite the hard times, or because of them, the work took on a life of its own. First conceived as a completion and summation, and written under the duress of what Freud called his "bad moods" (he even said the first metapsychological papers functioned as sedation), the subsequent papers led to new ideas. Stimulation replaced sedation. Freud soared into audacious fantasies about our origins as social (and neurotic) beings.

During the next two years, he read the literature by and about Lamarck, and planned a paper with Ferenczi on the subject of inherited racial memories. But then, gradually or suddenly, he abandoned both the joint venture and his own book. Five of the chapters were published as individual papers: "Instincts and Their Vicissitudes," "Repression," "The Unconscious," "Mourning and Melancholia," and "A Metapsychological Supplement to the Theory of Dreams." They rank among our classics. But presumably Freud destroyed the manuscripts of the other seven.

It

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