In Quest of the Hero

Editor : Otto Rank

In Quest of the Hero

Book Details

  • Publisher : Princeton U.P.
  • Published : 1990
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 272
  • Catalogue No : 1352
  • ISBN 13 : 9780691020624
  • ISBN 10 : 0691020620
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About the Editor(s)

Freud considered Otto Rank to be the most brilliant of his disciples. With access to the master’s most intimate thoughts and feelings, Rank contributed two chapters to The Interpretation of Dreams in 1914. His name would appear below Freud’s on the title page for the next 15 years.

In the wake of Freud’s rage against the pre-Oedipal thesis of The Trauma of Birth (1924), which proposed the heresy that mothers are just as powerful as fathers, those Rank had trained as analysts in Vienna were required to be re-analysed by Freudians in order to retain their credentials. Co-creator of the psychoanalytic movement with Freud, Rank was now anathema. His enemies in the inner circle, especially Ernest Jones, ‘fell on him like dogs,’ said Helene Deutsch, an early analyst.

For almost a century, Rank has been vilified, ignored, or simply forgotten by the psychoanalytic establishment. But with the publication in 1973 of Ernest Becker’s Pulitzer-prize winning, The Denial of Death, Rank’s fortunes began to change dramatically. Single-handedly, Becker brought Rank back from the dead, making a powerful case that Rank was the most brilliant mind in Freud’s circle, with more insight into human nature than even the master himself.

If the 20th century was Freud’s, the 21st century, as Becker predicted fifty years ago, is shaping up to be Rank’s, ‘the brooding genius waiting in the wings,’ according to Irvin Yalom.

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