This is the first major analysis of Freud's five celebrated case studies of Little Hans, Dora, the Rat Man, the Wolf Man and Schreber. O'Neill sets out the details of each case and critically engages with the narratives using a mixture of psychoanalytical insight and social theory. The book provides a clear and powerful account of the five major case studies that helped to establish the Freud legend; situates the cases and the analysis into the appropriate social and historical contexts; offers distinctive interpretations of the symptomatic body, of illness as a language, dream work and the Madonna complex; and challenges us to revisit the canonical texts of psychoanalysis. The book will be of interest to students of psychoanalysis, social theory and sociology.

Introduction

Introduction

What I am calling The Domestic Economy of the Soul is the scene of imaginative struggles within the family and between the analyst and surrendered patients. What is at stake is the resistance to Freud's founding of the oedipal family in the refinding of the mothered family that accepts a child apart from any legacy of murder and usurpation, yet not without pain and difficulty.

Thus in the largely ignored story of Little Hans we have a narrative punctuated by diagrams, drawings, fairy tales, a bestiary and dreams through which Freud's baby acts out his resistance to psychoanalysis. Similar tactics are revealed in Dora's three-way struggle with the husbands/wives/fathers/mothers who seduce and are seduced by her. Rat Man is, likewise, extraordinarily caught between his mother ...

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