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A Basic Theory of NeuropsychoanalysisA Cursing Brain?A Dream of Undying FameA Map of the MindAfter LacanAgainst AdaptationAgainst FreudAn Anatomy of AddictionAnalytic FreudAndré Green at the Squiggle FoundationAnger, Madness, and the DaimonicAnna FreudAnna Freud: A BiographyApproaching PsychoanalysisAttachment and PsychoanalysisBadiouBecoming a SubjectBefore ForgivingBerlin PsychoanalyticBetween Emotion and CognitionBeyond GenderBeyond SexualityBeyond the Pleasure PrincipleBiology of FreedomBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheCarl JungCassandra's DaughterCherishmentConfusion of TonguesContemporary Psychoanalysis and the Legacy of the Third ReichCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesCulture and Conflict in Child and Adolescent Mental HealthDarwin's WormsDesert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Dispatches from the Freud WarsDoes the Woman Exist?Doing Psychoanalysis in TehranDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDreaming by the BookEnergy Psychology InteractiveEqualsErrant SelvesEthics and the Discovery of the UnconsciousEthics Case Book of the American Psychoanalytic AssociationFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFed with Tears -- Poisoned with MilkFeminism and Its DiscontentsForms of Intersubjectivity in Infant Reasearch and Adult TreatmentFour Lessons of PsychoanalysisFratricide in the Holy LandFreudFreudFreudFreudFreudFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud at 150Freud's AnswerFreud's WizardFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFrom Classical to Contemporary PsychoanalysisFundamentals of Psychoanalytic TechniqueGenes on the CouchGoing SaneHans BellmerHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHate and Love in Psychoanalytical InstitutionsHatred and ForgivenessHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHeinz KohutHidden MindsHistory of ShitHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisImagination and Its PathologiesImagine There's No WomanIn Freud's TracksIn SessionIn the Floyd ArchivesIntimaciesIntimate RevoltIrrationalityIs Oedipus Online?Jacques LacanJacques Lacan and the Freudian Practice of PsychoanalysisJung and the Making of Modern PsychologyJung Stripped BareKilling FreudLacanLacanLacanLacan and Contemporary FilmLacan at the SceneLacan For BeginnersLacan in AmericaLacan TodayLacan's Seminar on AnxietyLawLearning from Our MistakesLove's ExecutionerMad Men and MedusasMale Female EmailMelanie KleinMemoirs of My Nervous IllnessMental SlaveryMind to MindMixing MindsMoral StealthMourning and ModernityMovies and the MindMurder in ByzantiumNew Studies of Old VillainsNocturnesNoir AnxietyOn Being Normal and Other DisordersOn BeliefOn IncestOn Not Being Able to SleepOn the Freud WatchOn the Way HomeOpen MindedOpera's Second DeathOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhenomology & Lacan on Schizophrenia, After the Decade of the BrainPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPractical Psychoanalysis for Therapists and PatientsPsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsychoanalysisPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and NeurosciencePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychoanalysis as Biological SciencePsychoanalysis at the MarginsPsychoanalysis at the MarginsPsychoanalysis in a New LightPsychoanalysis in FocusPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy As PraxisPutnam CampQuestions for FreudRe-Inventing the SymptomReading Seminar XXReinventing the SoulRelational Theory and the Practice of PsychotherapyRelationalityRepressed SpacesRevolt, She SaidSecrets of the SoulSerious ShoppingSex on the CouchSexuationSigmund FreudSoul Murder RevisitedSpectral EvidenceSpirit, Mind, and BrainStrangers to OurselvesSubjective Experience and the Logic of the OtherSubjectivity and OthernessSubstance Abuse As SymptomSurrealist Painters and PoetsTaboo SubjectsTalk is Not EnoughThe Arabic FreudThe Art of the SubjectThe Brain and the Inner WorldThe Brain, the Mind and the SelfThe Cambridge Companion to LacanThe Challenge for Psychoanalysis and PsychotherapyThe Clinical LacanThe Colonization Of Psychic SpaceThe Condition of MadnessThe Couch and the TreeThe Cruelty of DepressionThe Dissociative Mind in PsychoanalysisThe Dreams of InterpretationThe Examined LifeThe Fall Of An IconThe Freud EncyclopediaThe Freud FilesThe Freud WarsThe Fright of Real TearsThe Future of PsychoanalysisThe Gift of TherapyThe Heart & Soul of ChangeThe Knotted SubjectThe Last Good FreudianThe Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto RankThe Mind According to ShakespeareThe Mystery of PersonalityThe Mythological UnconsciousThe Neuropsychology of the UnconsciousThe New PsychoanalysisThe Power of FeelingsThe Psychoanalytic MovementThe Psychoanalytic MysticThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Puppet and the DwarfThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Revolt of the PrimitiveThe Seminar of Moustafa SafouanThe Sense and Non-Sense of RevoltThe Shortest ShadowThe Social History of the UnconsciousThe Surface EffectThe Symmetry of GodThe Tragedy of the SelfThe Trainings of the PsychoanalystThe UnsayableThe World of PerversionTherapeutic ActionTherapy's DelusionsThis Incredible Need to BelieveThoughts Without A ThinkerTo Redeem One Person Is to Redeem the WorldTrauma and Human ExistenceTraumatizing TheoryUmbr(a)Unconscious knowing and other essays in psycho-philosophical analysisUnderstanding Dissidence and Controversy in the History of PsychoanalysisUnderstanding PsychoanalysisUnfree AssociationsWalking HeadsWay Beyond FreudWhat Does a Woman Want?What Freud Really MeantWhen the Body SpeaksWhere Do We Fall When We Fall in Love?Whose Freud?Why Psychoanalysis?Wilhelm ReichWinnicottWinnicott On the ChildWisdom Won from IllnessWittgenstein on Freud and FrazerWittgenstein Reads FreudWorld, Affectivity, TraumaZizek
The Weimar period in Germany was a strange mixture of, on the one hand, depression and misery, and on the other of bright hopes and radical ideas. Something of this atmosphere is conveyed in Christopher Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin, It is useful to have some notion of this background when tackling the present work. The author, a German studies scholar whose primary interests are literature and culture, is an erudite guide through part of that weird and wonderful world.
In the introduction Fuechtner explains what she means by the title: 'the Berlin psychoanalytic is not a location (like Psychoanalytic Berlin) but a cultural practice that goes beyond the geographical and historical limits of Weimar Berlin.' Each of the four main chapters is centered on the relationship between two salient figures who were usually literary psychoanalysts, and around whom a range of others revolve.
The first two chapters focus on people in Germany, while the other two deal with emigrants in Palestine and New York respectively. Yet such a neat division is misleading, since numerous threads cut across them. The life histories of the major figures are told, and their literary productions discussed.
All this sounds rather dry, but nothing could be further from the truth. Take the two contrasting characters of Döbling and Groddeck, both prominent in the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute (BPI). Döblin was the author of the famous novel Berlin Alexanderplatz and another less known one about two girls who commit murder. In an appendix to this book he presented a series of Venn diagrams representing the psychoanalytic dynamics of the relationships in the novel. Incidentally, Doblin refers to Seele ('soul') as is often done in German, but a better translation would have been 'mind'. Döblin was a sober medical man with social conscience, troubled by the misery around him. He was active in a Polyclinic for low-income patients, financed by donations from psychoanalysts in the BPI.
Georg Groddeck, who also published novels, described himself as a 'wild analyst'. He delighted in shocking supposedly unshockable psychoanalysts, as when he presented at a conference an analysis of his own bed-wetting. At the same time he was in contact with Freud, who at one time regarded him favourably. Grodeck also influenced Karen Horney and Erich Fromm who after their emigration to the USA become exponents of ego --psychology. But Fuechtner devotes most space to his relationship with the strange Hermann von Keyserling, philosopher and writer, who ran a 'School of Wisdom'. He sought o purify psychoanalysis from its Jewish taint, and envisaged a eugenics program like that later put into practice by the Nazis.
The above is elaborated in the first two chapters, and two other deal with emigration. One on psychoanalysis in Palestine, while informative, is probably of rather less interest than the last one on the development of psychoanalysis in USA and especially New York. Readers who, like myself, have read Honey and Fromm will gain a deeper understanding of the origins of their ideas and the ways in which these took root in the USA.
It is tempting to quote more snippets from this rich tapestry. For instance, the ways in which the younger generation of psychoanalysts both deferred to and yet also revolted against their elders; or how many had multiple analyses from different analysts; or how several non-Jewish psychoanalysts were absorbed in a psychiatric institution found by and named after a cousin of Hermann Göring; or, finally, how the Dadaist and psychoanalyst Richard Huelsenbeck only escaped the Gestapo because they did not realise these were one and the same person.
All the main characters wrote what the author calls 'psychoanalytic novels', which are discussed in considerable depth. Groddeck, for example, sent parts of his manuscript of The book of the It to Freud, who was less than enthusiastic since it conflicted with his own concept of the id. In such ways the relationships between writers' literary productions and their psychoanalytic doctrines are clearly brought out.
Enough has been said show the fascination of this work, which has been meticulously researched and has a comprehensive index -- a great help since the material is so dense. In sum, this book is fine piece of scholarly work that throws fresh light on a formative period of psychoanalysis.
© 2011 Gustav Jahoda
Gustav Jahoda, Ph.D. is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. His main fields of interest are cross-cultural and social psychology, especially the development of social cognition. He is the author of A History of Social Psychology (Cambridge University Press).