Visual Culture in Freud's Vienna: Science, Eros, and the Psychoanalytic Imagination

Author(s) : Mary Bergstein, Editor : Esther Rashkin, Editor : Mari Ruti, Editor : Peter L. Rudnytsky

Visual Culture in Freud's Vienna: Science, Eros, and the Psychoanalytic Imagination

Book Details

  • Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing USA
  • Published : February 2024
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 240
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 97715
  • ISBN 13 : 9798765111956
  • ISBN 10 : 8765111958
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Visual Culture in Freud's Vienna shows how photography and film in turn-of-the-century Vienna (the birthplace of psychoanalysis) not only reflected modernist ideas already in force, but helped to bring into being what might be referred to as a “psychoanalytic imagination.”

Mary Bergstein demonstrates that visual images not only illustrated, but also engendered ways of seeing social, psychological, and scientific ideas during a formative time in the creation and development of psychoanalysis and the modern age. Indeed, she argues that visual culture initiated significant aspects of psychoanalytic thought.

Visual Culture in Freud's Vienna examines a variety of visual materials and texts, ranging from scientific illustrations to popular "low culture" and even forms of erotica, including film. Attention is also given to women's dresses and shoes in a social context and as they are represented in photography and circulated as fetish objects.

Bergstein maintains a commitment to women's history and feminist inquiry throughout, particularly in her final chapter, which is devoted to the representations of women in the erotic photography and film. Visual Culture in Freud's Vienna is well illustrated with images drawn from the sources discussed and makes a significant contribution to our understanding of modernism and psychoanalysis.

Reviews and Endorsements

Visual Cultures in Freud's Vienna provides for the first time a serious and comprehensive account of seeing in Freud's Vienna. With the acumen of a brilliant historian of photography and the visual arts, Bergstein meticulously reconstructs the visual ambience of fin-de-siècle Austria, exposing many of the subliminal patterns of seeing in Freud's world. A necessary read for those engaged in understanding how our visual world limits and expands our understanding of psychic processes.
Sander Gilman, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Director, Program of Psychoanalysis, Emory University, USA

Many critics insist on a change of paradigm in the history of medical therapy, i.e. on the move from the eye (the observation of the body) to the ear (the attention to language). Mary Bergstein's brilliant study is able to correct this view. In offering a glimpse of Vienna's rich visual culture at the turn of the century, she describes photographic portraits and sexually charged images that not only offer themselves for psychoanalytic interpretation, but must have informed its very genesis. Bergstein's book is required
reading for psychoanalytic critics and cultural theorists alike. Liliane Weissberg, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor in Arts and Science, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Table of Contents

Introduction: Science, Eros, and the Psychoanalytic Imagination

1. X-Ray Photography and the Visual World
2. Freud, Saturn, and the Power of Hypnosis
3. Delusion and Dream in Vienna: Gradiva, Phryne, and the Child Woman


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