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Fritsch, R.C. (2018). Murdered Father, Dead Father: Revisiting the Oedipus Complex: By Rosine Jozef Perelberg. London/New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, 2015. 260 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 87(1):213-221.
(2018). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 87(1):213-221
Murdered Father, Dead Father: Revisiting the Oedipus Complex: By Rosine Jozef Perelberg. London/New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, 2015. 260 pp.
Review by: Richard C. Fritsch
Oh, God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”
Abe said, “Man, you must be puttin' me on”
God said, “No” Abe say, “What?”
God say, “You can do what you want, Abe, but
The next time you see me comin', you better run”
Well, Abe said, “Where d'you want this killin' done?”
God said, “Out on Highway 61”
Rosine Jozef Perelberg has written a book that she hopes will renew interest in the classical Freudian perspective on the Oedipus complex for psychoanalysis. Her combination of wide-ranging cross-disciplinary scholarship, deep grasp of psychoanalytic theory from multiple perspectives, and illustrative clinical work make for a challenging but very productive reading experience. Her clear writing style and her willingness to explain ideas in detail more than once throughout the book allowed me to chew on and take in some of the more difficult approaches (especially from French psychoanalysis) to the complexity of the Oedipus complex and the paternal function in oedipal configurations. While her subtitle modestly asserts “revisiting the Oedipus complex,” it seems to me that her intent is to reclaim it and put it in what she sees as its rightful place, at the center of psychoanalysis.
Several chapters provide detailed examples from Perelberg's clinical work to show how her ideas are applied in the consulting room.
[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]