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Devreese, D. (1996). Anatomy of Soul Murder: Family Romance and Structure of Delusion in the Memoirs of D. P. Schreber, Part I. Psychoanal. Rev., 83(5):709-734.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Review, 83(5):709-734

Anatomy of Soul Murder: Family Romance and Structure of Delusion in the Memoirs of D. P. Schreber, Part I

Daniel Devreese, Ph.D.

“Délire-délié, il aide à lire l'idée.”

M. Leiris, Mots sans mémoire. (1969)

“Actually, the story was incredible, but it impressed everyone because substantially it was true. True was Emma Zunz's tone, true was her shame, true was her hate. True also was the outrage she had suffered: only the circumstances were false, the time and one or two proper names.”

J. L. Borges, “Emma Zunz,” in Labyrinths (1964)

I. The Problem

Since Freud's inaugural essay (1911) about the Memoirs of D. P. Schreber (1903) there have been a wealth of theories and a proliferation of speculative constructions on the structure of this paranoiac delusion. Nonetheless, the central enigmatic theme of soul murder is unresolved still. The first chapters of the Memoirs, entirely devoted to a systematic exposition of this nodal delusional metaphor (Lacan, 1977, p. 220) are written in a strange idiom, still undeciphered. Paradoxically, most of all previous research dealt to a far greater degree with the subsequent delusional themes of unmanning and transsexualization.

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