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.

Rat Man's Lady (1909)

Rat man's lady (1909)

On sending the manuscript on Rat Man to Jung, Freud remarked that it was ‘hard going and hasn't turned out to my satisfaction’. However, Jung replied:

Your Rat Man has filled me with delight, it is written with awesome intelligence and full of the most subtle reality. Most people, though, will be too dumb to understand it in depth. Splendid ingenuities! I regret from the bottom of my heart that I didn't write it. (McGuire, 1974: 251)

Although ‘Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis’ (1909) is Freud's most substantial case history, it is prefaced by remarks to excuse its fragmentary nature, eked out by further comments on the aetiology and mechanisms of obsessional neurosis that he characterizes as ‘disconnected ...

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