New Books in Psychoanalysis

Carlo Bonomi's two-volume set dreams the foundation of psychoanalysis as it writes its history. The work animates the reader's imagination, inviting them to journey the interwoven paths of Sigmund Freud's associations, anxieties and conflicts. These books tackle what has often remained hidden both in the historical writing about psychoanalysis and in Freud's explicit account of castration: the practice of female genital mutilation, pervasive in major European cities as treatment for hysteria in the end of 19th century.

In this interview we discussed the first volume of work, The Cut and the Building of Psychoanalysis: Sigmund Freud and Emma Eckstein (Routledge, 2015). We talked about Freud's reaction to the practices of medical castration of women and children, as well as his attempts to cope with the demands of his father that Sigmund, following the orthodox Jewish custom, circumcise his own sons. We begin to introduce the complex imagistic structure of Bonomi's analysis: the dreams that form the backbone of this study, particularly the dream of Irma's Injection. In the next part, we will speak about the relationship between Freud, his trauma, and Sándor Ferenczi, and discuss Ferenczi's legacy in the history of psychoanalysis.

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