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Freud's Paranoid Quest: Psychoanalysis and Modern Suspicionby John Farrell
Synopses & Reviews
Freud's Paranoid Quest is an exceptionally broad-ranging and well-written book....Whether or not one agrees with certain of his arguments and assessments, one must acknowledge the remarkable intelligence that is displayed on nearly every page.
--Louis Sassauthor of Madness and Modernism and The Paradoxes of Delusion
John Farrell's Freud's Paranoid Quest is the most trenchant, exhilarating and illuminating book I have encountered in many years. [The book] should be pondered not just by all students of Freud's thought but by everyone who senses that 'advanced modernity' has by now outstayed its welcome.
--Frederick CrewsUniversity of California, Berkeley
In Freud's Paranoid Quest, John Farrell analyzes the personality and thought of Sigmund Freud in order to give insight into modernity's paranoid character and into the true nature of Freudian psychoanalysis. John Farrell's Freud is not the path-breaking psychologist he claimed to be, but the fashioner and prisoner of a total system of suspicion. The most gifted of paranoids, Freud deployed this system as a self-heroizing myth and a compelling historical ideology.
In Freud's Paranoid Quest John Farrell analyzes the personality and thought of Sigmund Freud in order to give insight into modernity's paranoid character and into the true nature of Freudian psychoanalysis. Farrell's Freud is not the path-breaking psychologist he claimed to be, but the fashioner and prisoner of a total system of suspicion. The most gifted of paranoids, he deployed this system as a self-heroizing myth and a compelling historical ideology. Strangest of all, Freud's science borrows the rhetoric of the satiric romance adapted from his great model, Don Quixote. Freud asks all of us to share in the suspicion, victimization, and even the charm of the paranoid romance, to follow the heroic psychoanalyst on his quest in the quixotic territory of the unconscious mind.
In America's much-touted classless society, the middle class—decried by some as a mythical construct and heralded by others as the embodiment of the American dream--has always occupied a central and controversial position. This book explores the origins of the new middle classes that emerged in the 20th century, revealing the relationship of these classes to capitalism, bureaucracy, and politics. The book is divided into four parts, addressing: the theoretical problems and historical changes brought on by the emergence of the new middle classes; status and the psychology of class; the middle class in America; and the lifestyles and political orientations of the middle classes in the United States.
"(John) Farrell argues forcefully against Freud, but does something more important in the process: his reframing of the discussion of modernity has implications for every branch of contemporary humanistic inquiry, and makes this a timely and most significant book".--HARVARD REVIEW.
About the Author
John Farrell is Associate Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College.
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