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Berlin Psychoanalytic

Berlin Psychoanalytic: Psychoanalysis and Culture in Weimar Republic Germany and Beyond

Veronika Fuechtner
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 1
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Berlin Psychoanalytic
    Book Description:

    One hundred years after the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute was established, this book recovers the cultural and intellectual history connected to this vibrant organization and places it alongside the London Bloomsbury group, the Paris Surrealist circle, and the Viennese fin-de-siècle as a crucial chapter in the history of modernism. Taking us from World War I Berlin to the Third Reich and beyond to 1940s Palestine and 1950s New York—and to the influential work of the Frankfurt School—Veronika Fuechtner traces the network of artists and psychoanalysts that began in Germany and continued in exile. Connecting movements, forms, and themes such as Dada, multi-perspectivity, and the urban experience with the theory and practice of psychoanalysis, she illuminates themes distinctive to the Berlin psychoanalytic context such as war trauma, masculinity and femininity, race and anti-Semitism, and the cultural avant-garde. In particular, she explores the lives and works of Alfred Döblin, Max Eitingon, Georg Groddeck, Karen Horney, Richard Huelsenbeck, Count Hermann von Keyserling, Ernst Simmel, and Arnold Zweig.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95038-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-17)

    This book recovers the vibrant cultural and intellectual history of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute (BPI) in the years between the end of World War I and the rise of the Third Reich and traces the BPI’s worldwide impact on culture and psychoanalysis through its later development in 1940s Palestine and 1950s New York. It argues that Weimar Republic culture is inseparable from the psychoanalytic discourse on war neurosis, sexuality, and criminality specific to Berlin, and it connects paradigmatic movements, forms, and themes of Berlin modernism, such as Dada, multiperspectivity, and the urban experience, with the understanding of the psychoanalysis that...

  6. CHAPTER 1 Berlin Soulscapes: Alfred Döblin Talks to Ernst Simmel
    (pp. 18-64)

    The writer Alfred Döblin came into contact with the BPI and its members at a point when psychoanalysis was well on its way to transcending its disciplinary and institutional confines. As becomes manifest in Karl Abraham’s letters to Freud, there was a “great enthusiasm” in the group after the end of World War I, and Berlin was ready for psychoanalysis.¹ At this juncture, Döblin took an active role in the BPI’s project to implement psychoanalysis in other fields and thereby bring it to other audiences. As a result of his fruitful clinical and intellectual collaboration with the psychoanalyst Ernst Simmel...

  7. CHAPTER 2 Wild Psychoanalysis, Religion, and Race: Georg Groddeck Talks to Count Hermann von Keyserling (among Others)
    (pp. 65-112)

    After the previous discussion of the Berlin Psychoanalytic’s development from its beginnings through the 1920s, in this chapter I address this context from a perspective perceived by the Freudian psychoanalytic associations as marginal because of its theoretical eclecticism. The relationship of the self-declared “wild analyst” Georg Groddeck (1866–1934) to the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute provides a marginal perspective both geographically (Groddeck observed the developments in Berlin from southern Germany) and theoretically (a minority of Berlin psychoanalysts considered his psychoanalytic thought to be pathbreaking, but the majority labeled it as unscientific and outside the bounds of Freudian psychoanalysis).¹ The discussions about...

  8. CHAPTER 3 The Berlin Psychoanalytic in Palestine: Arnold Zweig Talks to Max Eitingon
    (pp. 113-143)

    The previous two chapters discussed examples of the Berlin Psychoanalytic that were directly linked to the most productive and influential years of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. While the first chapter dealt with the psychoanalytic scene in Berlin, the second chapter provided a perspective on how the Berlin Psychoanalytic influenced the institutionalization of psychoanalysis as well as psychoanalytic and cultural practices throughout Germany. This chapter deals with the transition of the Berlin Psychoanalytic into exile and, ultimately, with the question “What did 1933 mean for the Berlin Psychoanalytic?”

    Helmuth Plessner, the founder of philosophical anthropology, who influenced Keyserling’s idea of conduct...

  9. CHAPTER 4 Berlin Dada and Psychoanalysis in New York: Richard Huelsenbeck and Charles Hulbeck Talk to Karen Horney
    (pp. 144-174)

    This final chapter presents a different story of exile, ending, and continuity for the Berlin Psychoanalytic. Richard Huelsenbeck’s trajectory from agent of the Berlin Dada art movement to its living testimonial, and from Berlin psychiatry and psychoanalysis to New York psychoanalysis and, finally, psychiatry again, occurred at the very moment when Freudian psychoanalysis in the United States ceased to be part of the cultural avant-garde and became a psychiatric discipline. Huelsenbeck met Horney in his Berlin years, after the BPI had become an important institution of Weimar Berlin intellectual life. Horney was to become a crucial psychoanalytic interlocutor for Huelsenbeck...

  10. Conclusion
    (pp. 175-180)

    Let’s return to the question posed at this book’s beginning: What is the Berlin Psychoanalytic? Each chapter of this account has approached this question from a different angle, analyzing and connecting with jumps and detours different historic and aesthetic moments. My goal has been to open up more research into and discussion of what I found to be the vast, understudied, and worthwhile field of the Berlin Psychoanalytic, rather than to provide a comprehensive narrative of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute’s history and its intellectual influence.

    This book characterizes the Berlin Psychoanalytic as a diverse network of people and discourses and...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 181-210)
  12. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 211-226)
  13. Index
    (pp. 227-241)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 242-244)