FROM OEDIPUS TO MOSES by Marthe Robert

FROM OEDIPUS TO MOSES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Was Freud's thinking strongly influenced by his Jewish background? The author believes it was. In fact, she contends that Freud's Oedipus theory grew out of his own inner war with his father. He could neither fully accept nor reject him. Moreover, the elder Freud brought but a remnant of Judaism into his son's life; he never indoctrinated him thoroughly. As a result, the younger Freud could neither embrace his past nor ever successfully get rid of it. In today's terms, he was a very disturbed man who never reconciled the fragmented pieces of his psyche. However some of Robert's assumptions are hard to accept: that classical education ended long before WW I (which many of its products would dispute); that psychoanalysis as Freud developed it is as untouchable as the Bible; and that the reason only a Jew could create such a science arises from the fact that Judaism is a realistic religion without mysticism. She seems to have forgotten the Kabala, Jewish numerology, and the reverential hysteria of the Hassidim. At best, an interesting series of observations that most books would reduce to footnotes.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1976
Publisher: Anchor/Doubleday