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Gonchar, J. (1993). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIV, 1991: "Soul Murder" as Destruction of Psychic Integrity: Further Development of the Theme of Possessiveness in Schreber'sMemoirs of My Nervous Illness. Elyn R. Saks. Pp. 453-477.. Psychoanal Q., 62:511-512.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIV, 1991: "Soul Murder" as Destruction of Psychic Integrity: Further Development of the Theme of Possessiveness in Schreber'sMemoirs of My Nervous Illness. Elyn R. Saks. Pp. 453-477.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 62:511-512

Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIV, 1991: "Soul Murder" as Destruction of Psychic Integrity: Further Development of the Theme of Possessiveness in Schreber'sMemoirs of My Nervous Illness. Elyn R. Saks. Pp. 453-477.

Joel Gonchar

In examining Schreber's memoirs, Saks explores a theme she says was overlooked by Freud, but was first revealed by White: the child's jealous possessiveness of the parent. Freud's primary emphasis in understanding the etiology of Schreber's illness was his repressed passive homosexual strivings toward his father which created such inner conflict that he fell ill. While Saks agrees that this theme is important, she feels it does not adequately explain much of the memoir. Using the possessiveness theme, Saks discusses Schreber's description of his irresistible pull on God, finally holding God fast, to the exclusion and even death of all possible rivals, all mankind. Soul murder—the complete destruction of Schreber's mental integrity—was attempted on him by Flechsig, who wished to have God all to himself (a projection), and by God, who was attempting to break Schreber's hold on him out of fear that God himself would be destroyed by being possessed by Schreber. The author argues that

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using both themes—homosexuality and possessiveness—accounts for all the data in the memoirs. Saks explains that Freud ignored the possessiveness theme because he had not yet turned his attention to the aggressive drive, nor developed his theory of the death instinct; he had primarily focused on the oedipal phase while underemphasizing the preoedipal.

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Article Citation

Gonchar, J. (1993). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIV, 1991. Psychoanal. Q., 62:511-512

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