The Penguin Freud Reader
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Here are the essential ideas of psychoanalytic theory, including Freud's explanations of such concepts as the Id, Ego and Super-Ego, the Death Instinct and Pleasure Principle, along with classic case studies like that of the Wolf Man. Adam Phillips's marvellous selection provides an ideal overview of Freud's thought in all its extraordinary ambition and variety. Psychoanalysis may be known as the 'talking cure', yet it is also - and profoundly - a way of reading. Here we can see Freud's writings as readings and listenings, deciphering the secrets of the mind, finding words for desires that have never found expression. Much more than this, however, 'The Penguin Freud Reader' presents a compelling reading of life as we experience it today, and a way in to the work of one of the most haunting writers of the modern age.
Notes about the author(s):
Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in Moravia; from 1860 until Hitler's invasion of Austria in 1938 he lived in Vienna. He was then forced to seek asylum in London, where he died the following year.
He began his career as a doctor, specialising in work on the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. He was almost thirty when his interests first turned to psychology, and during ten years of clinical work in Vienna he developed the practice of what he called "psychoanalysis". This began simply as a method of treating neurotic patients by investigating their minds, but it quickly grew into an investigation of the workings of the mind in general, both ill or healthy. Freud demonstrated the normal development of the sexual instinct in childhood and, largely on the basis of an examination of dreams, arrived at his fundamental discovery of the unconscious forces that influence our everyday thoughts and actions.
Freud's ideas have shaped not only many specialist disciplines, but have also influenced the entire intellectual climate of the last century.
Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and a visiting professor in the English Department at the University of York. He is the author of several well-known volumes, all widely acclaimed, including On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, Going Sane, Side Effects and most recently On Kindness, co-written with historian Barbara Taylor, and On Balance.
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