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The Spectral Mother: Freud, Feminism, and…
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The Spectral Mother: Freud, Feminism, and Psychoanalysis

by Madelon Sprengnether

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I don't know why I kept this book for almost a decade, thinking I'd enjoy it. I dislike psychology in general and Freud specifically.

Having said that, Sprengnether has an interesting read on Freud and an even more interesting point, once she gets around to it in the last few pages. Her argument is that locating the formation of the ego at the point of separation from the mother allows the mother to have a reasonably independent existence, neither object of a bizarrely framed symbiosis/forced separation nor the useless third player in an Oedipal drama.

The discussion at the end about the ego memorializing an absence that it never experienced other than as an absence resonated with me, and reminded me of the persistence of the story of Eden in western civilization, and nostalgia in general, and the motivating political power of the good old days. ( )
  bexaplex | Nov 17, 2007 |
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