Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Liston, Heather C. "Review of Joseph Merlino, et al., eds. FREUD AT 150." METAPYSCHOLOGY ONLINE REVIEWS April 1, 2008.

Merlino, Joseph P., Marilyn S. Jacobs, Judy Ann Kaplan, and K. Lynne Moritz, eds. Freud at 150: Twenty-First Century Essays on a Man of Genius. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007. Sigmund Freud was born May 6, 1856. One hundred and fifty years later, on September 15, 2006, the Austrian government sponsored a symposium at its embassy in Washington, D.C., to explore and celebrate the effects this singular man has had on the world in the intervening period. The new book, Freud at 150: 21st Century Essays on a Man of Genius, is largely an outgrowth of that event, and consists of thirty-eight (mostly brief) reflections and analyses by the four editors and twenty-four other distinguished contributors. Relatively light on jargon overall, the book provides a refreshing variety of topics and styles that offer something to the curious newcomer who knows little of Freud's life or work and also to the more experienced student of psychology interested in the most recent interpretations and applications of his work. . . . Although Freud didn't publish The Ego and the Id until 1923, when he was 67 years old, those terms, along with "superego," "projection," and "transference," have long since become household words for nearly all of us, and it is common today for lay people to discuss the Oedipal conflict, sublimation, and the subconscious; and the powerful, warring drives toward sex and death that Freud described as Eros and Thanatos. Anyone who would like to check her understanding of these ideas is advised to read the seven informative and (thankfully) comprehensible chapters by the Viennese college instructor and public relations executive Helmut Strutzmann, who earned his Ph.D. in drama, semiotics, and fine arts. Much of the book, though, goes beyond reviews of Freud's life and principles and does something Freud himself could not do--check the lasting effects of his work some generations down the line. . . . Read the rest here:

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