1st Edition

Theories and Practices of Psychoanalysis in Central Europe Narrative Assemblages of Self-Analysis, Life Writing, and Fiction

By Agnieszka Sobolewska Copyright 2024
    270 Pages
    by Routledge

    270 Pages
    by Routledge

    Theories and Practices of Psychoanalysis in Central Europe explores the close relationship between psychoanalysis, psycho-medical discourses, literature, and the visual arts of the late 1800s and early 1900s in Central Europe.

    Agnieszka Sobolewska addresses the issue of theories and practices of psychoanalysis in Central Europe and the need to undertake interdisciplinary reflection on the specificity of psychoanalytic literary genres and fin-de-siècle psycho-medical discourses. With a focus on the circulation of Freudianism in the territories of present-day Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Germany, the book considers the creative transformations that psychoanalytic thought underwent in these countries and reflects on the specificity of psychoanalytic literary genres and the pivotal role of lifewriting genres in the psychoanalytic movement. Sobolewska’s work both fills a visible gap in research on the history of psychoanalysis in Central Europe before the outbreak of World War II and offers the first insightful analysis of the role of life writing in the development of psychoanalytic thought.

    Theories and Practices of Psychoanalysis in Central Europe will be of great interest to psychoanalysts in practice and in training as well as scholars of the history of psychoanalysis, the history of psychology, literature, cultural anthropology, and modernism.



    Chapter 1: Reading Sigmund Freud’s Correspondence with Wilhelm Fliess: Between A Lover’s Discourse and Self-Analysis

    Chapter 2: The Sexological Discourse on Non-Normative Sexuality: Sándor Ferenczi, Richard von Krafft-Ebing, and Magnus Hirschfeld

    Chapter 3: The Interpretation of Literary Dreams. Psychoanalysis, Trauma, and Painful Modernity: The Case of Mihály Babits

    Chapter 4: The Specters of Psychoanalysis in Interwar Prague: Bohuslav Brouk and Jindřich Štyrský

    Chapter 5: The Queer Case of Piotr Odmieniec Włast. Psychography, Psychoanalysis, and the Origins of Anti-Psychiatric Discourse in Poland

    Chapter 6: Freud’s Queer Fellow. Georg Groddeck Between Psychoanalytic Theory and Literary Modernism

    Chapter 7: Practicing Friendship. A New Beginning for Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice: Ferenczi Between Georg Groddeck and Elizabeth Severn




    Agnieszka Sobolewska, PhD, teaches at the Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw. She specializes in the cultural history of psychoanalysis in Central and Eastern Europe. She is the author of articles and books devoted to life writing and psychoanalysis, the cultural history of psychology in Poland, and German colonial imagination.

    “This book offers an eloquent and rigorous challenge to the narrative borders often surrounding the early history of psychoanalysis. Sobolewska’s vision is as transgressive as Freud would have wished for his unconscious.  Deccentering the primacy of Vienna, this work insists on the inclusion of various urban and creative centers elsewhere in Central Europe. But it extends the frame further, to privilege the formative roles of visual and literary productions, and the intersectional identities of many of its contributors. This is a truly innovative study, with ramifications for numerous disciplines.” - Diane ODonoghue, Tufts University and the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute