Analysis and Exile: Boyhood, Loss, and the Lessons of Anna Freud

Author(s) : Vivian Heller

Analysis and Exile: Boyhood, Loss, and the Lessons of Anna Freud

Book Details

  • Publisher : Confer Books
  • Published : January 2022
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 304
  • Category :
    Forthcoming
  • Category 2 :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 95864
  • ISBN 13 : 9781913494360
  • ISBN 10 : 9781913494
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"When my father was a little boy in Vienna, he told Anna Freud this dream: He is walking on the rim of the white gravel path that leads around the oval pond in the upper part of the Belvedere Gardens. The birds are singing, the sun is out ... Then a blue-black machine with a brilliant array of handles and shafts comes into sight... The machine comes closer and closer...He calls out for help as loud as he can, but no one comes to rescue him. There is nothing he can do; the machine grinds him up."

Analysis and Exile: Boyhood, Loss, and the Lessons of Anna Freud is the story of the childhood and youth of Peter Heller, one of the first children to be psychoanalyzed by Anna Freud and one of the 20 students invited to attend her experimental school in 1920s Vienna. While Anna Freud tries to teach him how to overcome his fears, Peter's native Vienna slides into Fascist barbarism and he is forced to navigate an increasingly dangerous world. When he is eighteen, he flees to England only to be deported to Canada, where he is interned as a German-speaking foreign national; here Jewish refugees and Nazi P.O.W.'s live cheek by jowl. To tell this story, Vivian Heller draws on a wealth of primary sources, including her father's case history and his internment diary, using novelistic techniques to bring the past alive.

Part I

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1: Early Sorrow (Vienna, 1920s)

Chapter 2: Visitations, Habitats (Vienna, 1929-1930)

Chapter 3: The Hietzing School (Vienna, 1927-32)

Chapter 4: Lessons in Self-Defense (Vienna, 1929-31)

Chapter 5: The Real Berlin (Berlin, 1930)

Chapter 6: The Zobeltitz Plan (Vienna, 1931-32)

Chapter 7: Sex and Politics (Berlin, Italy, Vienna, 1933-37)

Chapter 8: Graduation (Vienna, 1938)

Part II

Chapter 9: Experiments in Living (England, 1938-40)

Chapter 10: Kindly Come Along with Me (England, 1940)

Chapter 11: The Isle of Man (1940)

Chapter 12: Sea-Legs (1940)

Chapter 13: The New World (Canada, 1940-41)

Chapter 14: Camp N (Canada, 1941)

Epilogue

Author's Note

Explanatory Notes

Sources

Index

Reviews and Endorsements

“What Vivian Heller has accomplished in this book is little short of a miracle – it brings an incomprehensible story into the everyday. I am so gripped by the images – a balcony over a lake near Vienna, a drawing for Anna Freud, writing a journal in a Canadian concentration camp – that I want the words to go on and on. Somehow the surprise of all this leaves me enriched beyond my wildest dreams and deeply grateful to the Hellers for sharing from the heart of darkness through which they have passed.” – Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, social psychiatrist and author of Main Street: How a City’s Heart Connects Us All.

Analysis and Exile is not only a remarkable portrait of a young man’s development – it also gives an unusually intimate portrait of the early years of child psychoanalysis, the rise of fascism in Europe and the shameful treatment of Jewish refugees escaping Nazi persecution. This is both social history and a rich account of a young man’s struggle to make sense of his own place in the world, as that world transforms around him.” – Nick Midgley, author of Reading Anna Freud and Co-director of the Child Attachment and Psychological Therapies Research Unit at The Anna Freud Centre.

“Heller weaves her remarkable resources of diaries, letters, Freud’s clinical notes, recorded conversations and drawings, into pure gold. In these delicious pages we enter Berggasse 19 through the perspective of a little boy, the son of a Viennese candy magnate in treatment with Anna Freud. We see the psychoanalytic work in action, but the delights of this book are not just for psychoanalysts; we are treated to so many and varied pleasures, a rich historical fabric, privileged access to figures of consequence, a remarkable family story, girded intellectual underpinnings, and incandescent prose.” – Maura Spiegel, Co-director of The Division of Narrative Medicine, Department of Medical.

About the Author(s)

Vivian Heller received her Ph.D. in English Literature and Modern Studies from Yale University. She is the author of Joyce, Decadence, and Emancipation (University of Illinois Press) which won the Choice Book Award, and The City Beneath Us: Building the New York Subway. Her essays have appeared in New Observations, the Journal of Literature and Medicine, and The Georgetown Review; her short fiction has been published in Confrontation, Bomb, and Fence. She works at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and the Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia University

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