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Freud and Oedipus
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Peter Rudnytsky

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Rudnytsky first focuses on Freud's biography, particularly the expanded Fliess correspondence, to elucidate the centrality of the Oedipus myth in Freud's understanding of himself and development of his theories. He then examines the myth as a vehicle for intense self-exploration in 19th-century German literature and idealistic philosophy, and finally closes with a literary-psychoanalytical discussion of the Oedipus cycle and a brief appendix that dismisses various opponents of Freud's Oedipal theories. The biographical section is the strongest and most engaging; afterwards, interest wanes. Unfortunately, Rudnytsky, professor of literature at Columbia, has not been able to make his deep and wide-ranging knowledge live: this is dogged, not exhilarating, scholarship. Richard Kuczkowski, Dir., Continuing Education, Dominican Coll., Blauvelt, N.Y.

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