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Fogel, G.I. (1990). Freud's Theory of Psychoanalysis: By Ole Andkjaer Olsen and Simo Kφppe. Translated by Jean-Christian Delay and Carl Pedersen, with Patricia Knudsen. New York/London: New York University Press, 1988. 557 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 59:498-503.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:498-503

Freud's Theory of Psychoanalysis: By Ole Andkjaer Olsen and Simo Kφppe. Translated by Jean-Christian Delay and Carl Pedersen, with Patricia Knudsen. New York/London: New York University Press, 1988. 557 pp.

Review by:
Gerald I. Fogel

This book is the most recent in a series called "Psychoanalytic Crosscurrents." Leo Goldberger, the general editor, gives in the foreword the criteria for inclusion in the series: a work must "provide the critical reader with contemporary insights; and, above all … be high-quality scholarship, free of obsolete dogma, banalization, and empty jargon" (p. xii). Scholarship is what I find especially lacking, though the book does contain many interesting contemporary ideas. It also demonstrates decisively, however, that dogma, banality, and empty jargon may characterize the presentation of newer ideas as well as ones that are obsolete.

The dust jacket tells us that the authors are research associates in the Psychological Laboratory at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, that one has "written extensively on semiotics, psychoanalysis, and literature," and that the other "has written on subjects ranging from Freud's neurophysiology to psychoanalysis and the history of ideas, theories of socialization, and narcissism." It states further that they are jointly "translating and annotating Freud's major works into Danish, as well as the works of Melanie Klein and Jacques Lacan." They clearly aim to cover a lot of ground.

The first hundred pages are somewhat like an introductory college survey course on Freud and the history of ideas, with all the strengths and limits of that format. I found much in these chapters that was interesting and informative. Stimulating ideas from many disciplines are presented for synthesis and integration.

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