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Schmukler, A.G. (1990). American Imago. XLV, 1988: The Myth of the Birth of the Hero Revisited: Disasters and Brutal Child Rearing. Stanley Rosenman. Pp. 1-44.. Psychoanal Q., 59:514-515.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XLV, 1988: The Myth of the Birth of the Hero Revisited: Disasters and Brutal Child Rearing. Stanley Rosenman. Pp. 1-44.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:514-515

American Imago. XLV, 1988: The Myth of the Birth of the Hero Revisited: Disasters and Brutal Child Rearing. Stanley Rosenman. Pp. 1-44.

Anita G. Schmukler

Freud and Rank studied multiple forms of the myth of the hero's birth and viewed oedipal conflict and efforts to overcome early injury as significant contributors to the development of hero-birth myths. Rosenman pursues the theme of injured narcissism in this context and focuses upon the effect of catastrophes on

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child-rearing practices and on heroic imagoes of succeeding generations. Parents who attempt to master the overwhelming anxiety of societal catastrophe may identify with the destructive force, thus behaving brutally toward their children. The hero-birth myth presents this conflict, sets forth a potentially regenerative solution, and issues a warning about future transgressions. The form of the myth is shaped by the reverberations of catastrophic experience in its originators. Rosenman emphasizes the significant role in world mythology and primitive ritual of parents' destructive wishes toward their children, a subject neglected in early analytic literature. The abused or sacrificed child is placed in the role of the parents who were defenseless in the face of catastrophic forces. Sacrifices are accompanied by purgation, fantasies of purification. The hero who successfully overcomes parental hatred becomes an internalized object. Freud's contributions are seen, in part, as an effort to help Jewish parents, traumatized for multiple generations, alter behavior so that their children would not be repositories of retaliation.

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Article Citation

Schmukler, A.G. (1990). American Imago. XLV, 1988. Psychoanal. Q., 59:514-515

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