Murdered Father, Dead Father: Revisiting the Oedipus Complex (Paperback) book cover

Murdered Father, Dead Father

Revisiting the Oedipus Complex

By Rosine Jozef Perelberg

© 2016 – Routledge

238 pages

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About the Book

Murdered Father, Dead Father: Revisiting the Oedipus Complex examines the progressive construction of the notion of paternal function and its central relevance in psychoanalysis.

The distinction between the murdered (narcissistic) father and the dead father is seen as providing a paradigm for the understanding of different types of psychopathologies, as well as works of literature, anthropology and historical events. New concepts are introduced, such as "a father is being beaten", and a distinction between the descriptive après coup and the dynamic après coup that provides a model for a psychoanalytic understanding of temporality. The book includes a reflection on how the concepts of the death instinct and the negative, in their connection with that which is at the limits of representability, are an aid to an understanding of Auschwitz, a moment of rupture in European culture that the author characterizes as " the murder of the dead father".

Perelberg’s book is an important clinical and intellectual marker, and will be required reading for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, anthropologists, and historians, as well as students in all these disciplines.

Reviews

This is a superb and profound book. Rosine Perelberg’s masterful understanding of the most important French and British psychoanalytic writers is only surpassed by her delicate and acute attunement to her patients, who are described in a language that is at the same time elegant, precise and poetic. Perelberg’s thinking is audacious, creative and innovative. Her book not only gives a powerful insight into an important and original psychoanalytic thinker, but also provides a framework for modern clinical practice. - Jean Claude Rolland is a Training Analyst of the Association Psychanalytique de France, author, and co-editor of the 30 volumes of Libres Cahiers Pour la Psychanalyse

This book shows Rosine Perelberg’s characteristic blend of acute clinical perceptiveness with profound scholarship. Her background in anthropology offers fresh perspectives on the Oedipus complex in non-Western cultures, on Biblical narrative, and on the Holocaust. Culturally and intellectually, this book has a breadth of vision that must enrich any reader. The wealth of ideas is underpinned by vivid clinical examples and, most especially, by a meticulous reading of Freud. However well you know Freud’s writing, you will come away from Rosine Perelberg’s book knowing it better. - Michael Parsons, British Psychoanalytical Society, French Psychoanalytic Association

Central to Professor Perelberg’s illuminating revisitation of the Oedipus complex is the distinction between the Oedipal story that represents the murdered father as a universal infantile phantasy, and the Oedipus complex, which represents the dead father as the symbolic third that institutes the prohibition of incest. Perelberg’s scholarly approach to Freud’s texts, combined with her sensitive analysis of clinical material, literary examples, and anthropological references, deepen the meaning of the Oedipus complex. Her compelling reflections on the Holocaust offer insights particularly relevant to our understanding of history. - Donald Campbell, Training and Supervising Analyst, Past-Presidentof the British Psychoanalytical Society

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Acknowledgements

Foreword by Gregorio Kohon

Introduction

PART I

Paternal function: Theoretical and clinical considerations

1. Murdered father, dead father: Revisiting the Oedipus complex

2. "A Father Is Being Beaten"

PART II

Thirdness and temporality

3. Paternal function and thirdness in psychoanalysis and legend: Has the future been foretold?

4. The uncanny: Thirdness and temporality

PART III

Is the Oedipus complex universal?

5. The enigma of Oedipus in psychoanalysis and social anthropology

6. The structuring function of the Oedipus complex

PART IV

The murder of the dead father

7. The murder of the dead father as habitus

Postscript

Glossary

References

Index

About the Author

Rosine Jozef Perelberg is a Training Analyst and Supervisor and a Fellow of the British Psycho-Analytical Society. She is Visiting Professor in the Psychoanalysis Unit at University College London, and Corresponding Member of the Société Psychanalytique de Paris. She gained a PhD in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, University of London. In 2006 she was named one of the Ten Women of the Year by the Brazilian National Council of Women. She has a psychoanalytic private practice in London.

About the Series

The New Library of Psychoanalysis

The New Library of Psychoanalysis is published by Routledge Mental Health in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

Its purpose is to facilitate a greater and more widespread appreciation of psychoanalysis and to provide a forum for increasing mutual understanding between psychoanalysts and those in other disciplines. The series also aims to make some of the work of continental and other non-English speaking analysts more readily available to English-speaking readers, and to increase the interchange of ideas between British and American analysts.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis published its first book in 1987 under the editorship of David Tuckett, later followed by Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Susan Budd and Dana Birksted-Breen. A considerable number of Associate Editors and readers have assisted the editors.

Under the guidance of Foreign Rights Editors, a considerable number of the New Library books have been published abroad, particularly in Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Peru, Spain and Japan.

The aim of the New Library of Psychoanalysis is to maintain the high level of scholarship of the previous series, to provide a forum for increasing understanding between psychoanalysis and other disciplines and to increase the interest of the general book-reading public in psychoanalysis.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis also aims to help the various schools of psychoanalysis to better understand each other. It has published books representing all three schools of thought in British psychoanalysis, including a particularly important work edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner, expounding the intellectual and organisational controversies that developed in the British psychoanalytical Society between Kleinian, Viennese and 'middle group' analysts during the Second World War.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis has also translated and published several books by Continental psychoanalysts, and it plans in the future to continue the policy of publishing books that express as clearly as possible a variety of psychoanalytic points of view.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY026000
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis