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Acklin, T. (1996). The Psychohistory Review. XXII, 1993/94. “Great Is Diana of the Ephesians”: Remarks on the Masculine-Feminine-Jewish Triangle from Goethe to Freud. Jacques Le Rider. Pp. 267-293.. Psychoanal Q., 65:675.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:675

The Psychohistory Review. XXII, 1993/94. “Great Is Diana of the Ephesians”: Remarks on the Masculine-Feminine-Jewish Triangle from Goethe to Freud. Jacques Le Rider. Pp. 267-293.

Review by:
Thomas Acklin

Comparing Goethe's poem and Freud's article, both entitled “Great Is Diana of the Ephesians,” the author examines Freud's identification with Goethe's refusal of mysticism in Goethe's depiction of Demetrius the Elder, who rebalances matriarchy and the Law of the Father, refusing a mysticism oriented toward hidden things. In reaction against Jacobi, under the influence of Goethe and Franz Brentano, Freud rejected the descent into mysticism of theoretical and rationalistic investigation, particularly in mysticism's one-sidedly feminine forms involving the oceanic sentiment. Such mysticism is depicted by Demetrius in the “Acts of the Apostles” when he parades through the streets in protest against the Christians and Jews, in contrast to Goethe's Demetrius who remains alone in his workshop immersed in an artist's meditation.

Through his analysis of Gustav Mahler, in his essay, “On the Universal Tendency to Debasement in the Sphere of Love,” Freud considered the split between earthly love and celestial love. In his essay, “Great Is Diana …” as well as in his studies of Leonardo da Vinci and “A Seventeenth-Century Demonological Neurosis,” Freud discovered the complex and fundamental bond with the mother, which surely Freud saw behind his own genius.

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