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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.
Book News Annotation:
Farrell (literature, Claremont McKenna College) analyzes Freud's personality and thought to give insight into modernity's paranoid character and into the true nature of Freudian psychoanalysis. He argues that Freud was afflicted with excessive grandiosity and a false sense of persecution, demonstrates that psychoanalysis borrows from the rhetoric of the satiric romance, and attempts to explain the lure of the charismatic paranoid hero.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
"A well-organized and engaging read."
—Religious Studies Review
The first in-depth look at...an important nineteenth century Jewish thinker and historian. Well-written [and] well- researched."
—The Jerusalem Post Magazine
"A significant contribution to our understanding of the rise of modern Judaism in its East European manifestation."
Harris examines Nachman Krochmal's work, particularly as it aimed to guide Jews through the modern revolution in metaphysical and historical thinking, thus enabling them to commit themselves to Judaism without sacrificing intellectual integrity.
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.
About the Author
John Farrell is Associate Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College.
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