Freud: Innovative Genius and Man of His Times

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1993, Vol 38(11), 1227–1228. Reviews the book, Freud, Dora, and Vienna 1900 by Hannah S. Decker (1991). Victorian male attitudes toward women. Professor Decker revisits Dora and proposes to explore the impact of historical, societal, and personal factors in Dora's and Freud's lives in an effort to enhance our comprehension of the transference and countertransference issues in the case. In so doing, she stresses Freud's traditional Victorian male view of women (especially those diagnosed as hysterics), his personal ties to Dora's father and to her family's friends, the profound impact of similarities in their family backgrounds, and the presence of unanalyzed anti-Semitism as critical to our understanding of those forces that helped to shape Freud's relationship to Dora. The author is especially interested in Freud's countertransference toward Dora, and she argues persuasively that Freud's unanalyzed anti-Semitism characterized him as a man of his times and affected his feelings toward Dora, another Jew. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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