Ginsburg, Nancy, and Ginsburg, Roy. Eds. Psychoanalysis and Culture at the Millennium. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1999. xii + 394 pp. $40.00.
This volume was inspired by a conference, "Psychoanalysis and Culture: The Contributions of Sigmund Freud," held at Stanford University in January 1991. It was organized by the late Roy Ginsburg to coincide with an exhibition of Freud's collection of antiquities. However, only 4 of the 15 essays in the volume were presented at the conference. The product is uniformly entertaining and instructive, written by Freud scholars and admirers, all of whom recognize his creation as a product of the previous fin de siecle. The contributors represent the fields of philosophy, history, anthropology, literature, and art history as well as psycho-analysis. Their topics range from picture books for the young child, the idea of perversion, and Freud's concerns with gender, to nationalism. However, the prevailing perspective is that of American psychoanalysis. Although analyst Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel is from Paris and philosopher-psychoanalyst Charles Hanly is from Toronto, the others are from the United States. They include psychoanalyst-clinicians Robert Wallerstein and Richard Almond, historians Carl Schorske, John Toews, and Peter Loewenberg (also a practicing analyst), humanities and social science professors Paul Robinson, Eli Sagan, and Paul Schwaber (also a practicing analyst), art historians and scholars Lynn Gamwell and Ellen Handler Spitz, psychiatrist Jerome A. Winer, and psychologist Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco.
These essays are addressed to the special audience of those who enjoy literary and artistic criticism as well as the study of Freudiana. They will be most rewarding if read individually, at a leisurely pace allowing adequate time for reflection.