This is a superb and profound book. Rosine Perelberg’s masterful understanding of the most important French and British psychoanalytic writers is only surpassed by her delicate and acute attunement to her patients, who are described in a language that is at the same time elegant, precise and poetic. Perelberg’s thinking is audacious, creative and innovative. Her book not only gives a powerful insight into an important and original psychoanalytic thinker, but also provides a framework for modern clinical practice. - Jean Claude Rolland is a Training Analyst of the Association Psychanalytique de France, author, and co-editor of the 30 volumes of Libres Cahiers Pour la Psychanalyse
This book shows Rosine Perelberg’s characteristic blend of acute clinical perceptiveness with profound scholarship. Her background in anthropology offers fresh perspectives on the Oedipus complex in non-Western cultures, on Biblical narrative, and on the Holocaust. Culturally and intellectually, this book has a breadth of vision that must enrich any reader. The wealth of ideas is underpinned by vivid clinical examples and, most especially, by a meticulous reading of Freud. However well you know Freud’s writing, you will come away from Rosine Perelberg’s book knowing it better. - Michael Parsons, British Psychoanalytical Society, French Psychoanalytic Association
Central to Professor Perelberg’s illuminating revisitation of the Oedipus complex is the distinction between the Oedipal story that represents the murdered father as a universal infantile phantasy, and the Oedipus complex, which represents the dead father as the symbolic third that institutes the prohibition of incest. Perelberg’s scholarly approach to Freud’s texts, combined with her sensitive analysis of clinical material, literary examples, and anthropological references, deepen the meaning of the Oedipus complex. Her compelling reflections on the Holocaust offer insights particularly relevant to our understanding of history. - Donald Campbell, Training and Supervising Analyst, Past-President of the British Psychoanalytical SocietyVom Verlag:
Murdered Father, Dead Father: Revisiting the Oedipus Complex examines the progressive construction of the notion of paternal function and its central relevance in psychoanalysis.
The distinction between the murdered (narcissistic) father and the dead father is seen as providing a paradigm for the understanding of different types of psychopathologies, as well as works of literature, anthropology and historical events. New concepts are introduced, such as "a father is being beaten", and a distinction between the descriptive après coup and the dynamic après coup that provides a model for a psychoanalytic understanding of temporality. The book includes a reflection on how the concepts of the death instinct and the negative, in their connection with that which is at the limits of representability, are an aid to an understanding of Auschwitz, a moment of rupture in European culture that the author characterizes as " the murder of the dead father".
Perelberg's book is an important clinical and intellectual marker, and will be required reading for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, anthropologists, and historians, as well as students in all these disciplines.
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