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Goodman, W.H. (2000). Freud and his Aphasla Book: Valerie D. Greenberg. Ithaca, NY/London: Cornell Univ. Press, 1997. 207 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 69(1):175-177.

(2000). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 69(1):175-177

Freud and his Aphasla Book: Valerie D. Greenberg. Ithaca, NY/London: Cornell Univ. Press, 1997. 207 pp.

Review by:
Warren H. Goodman

The recent exhibit from the Freud Archives at the Library of Congress and at other institutions, and the intense interest and controversy it aroused, give testimony to the ongoing significance of the contributions of the father of psychoanalysis to a wide variety of intellectual endeavors. This scholarly volume is the product of a psychoanalytically informed academic, Professor Valerie D. Greenberg, Professor of German and acting Dean of Newcomb College at Tulane University. This is an in-depth study of Freud's book on aphasia, first published in 1891 as On Interpretation of the Aphasias: A Critical Study. Greenberg notes that the aphasia book was the first of Freud's publications of which he was the sole author, and while it was a seminal document in the early history of psychoanalysis, she observes that it received little attention compared to his later works. While the book was dedicated to Joseph Breuer, suggesting Freud's recognition of Breuer's influence on psychoanalysis, it nevertheless was written from the perspective of Freud as a neuropathologist. In addition, the author demonstrates how Freud incorporated influences from the sciences of linguistics and psychology to inform and broaden his perspective on the symptoms and the theoretical formulations of the pathology of aphasia. Indeed, Greenberg provides an exhaustive review of the many and varied sources in the literature that may well have influenced Freud, from the point of view of intellectual stimulation and with regard to deriving concepts for rebuttal and refutation.

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