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Mahalel, A.T. (2018). Memory, Mourning, and Writing: Abram Kardiner's Memoir of Freud. Psychoanal. Rev., 105(4):397-424.

(2018). Psychoanalytic Review, 105(4):397-424

Memory, Mourning, and Writing: Abram Kardiner's Memoir of Freud

Anat Tzur Mahalel, Ph.D.

This paper offers a reading of psychoanalyst Abram Kardiner's memoir, which tells the story of his analytic encounter with Freud in the early 1920s. The memoir describes Kardiner's dependence on caretakers, parents, and psychoanalysts, as well as painful separations that are understood in relation to his deprived childhood. These memories were revived in analysis and then reactivated in its abrupt termination. In retrospect, it can be seen that Kardiner's work of memory and mourning is tied in ambiguous ways to Freud's mourning over his daughter Sophie at the time. The present paper uses ideas on writing and translation by Derrida, Ricoeur, and Laplanche to suggest a comparative reading of the texts written by the analyst and the patient. This reading views the essence of autobiographical writing not only as a reconstruction of the past but also as a new translation, with an emphasis on the experience of loss.

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