A History Psychoanalysis in Australia: From Freud to Lacan

  • ISBN 9780646570457

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In this rich and compelling volume, Peter Ellingsen traces the intellectual and institutional development of Freud's ideas in Australia with the meticulous attention of the historian, and the questioning eye and sharp pen of the writer. Professor Dany Nobus, Chair of Psychology and Psychoanalysis Head of the School of Social Sciences, Brunel University, UK. This is a book in which psychoanalysis goes on the couch. For the first time, and drawing on the teaching of not just Freud but also Melanie Klein, Anna Freud and Jacques Lacan, psychoanalysis in Australia is subject to a lengthy interrogation. From the earliest awakenings more than a century ago, to the 1970s arrival of Lacanian analysts and the transformation of psychoanalysis, the trajectory of a unique theory of the self is charted. This ground-breaking book examines the major theories of psychoanalysis, along with the narrative of those who sought to introduce it to Australia. It is a rich tapestry in which Freud's dream of coming to Australia is matched by Australia's dream of his arrival.
Along the way the wilderness that Australia was for Freud is considered beside the outback white settlers sought to subdue, and the unruly unconscious that was the whole point of psychoanalysis. Peter Ellingsen, psychoanalyst and award-winning writer, wonders why psychoanalysis -- said to be 'the grandest and purest of those apparatuses for the generation of knowledge-power' -- has evaded being analysed in Australia. The result is, according to Professor Dany Nobus, 'a compelling, original, volume'. As an 'an excellent piece of work its original approach and Lacanian underpinnings will generate thought-provoking debate.'
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