Charles Rycroft (1914–1998) was a British psychoanalyst and writer. His books include A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, Anxiety and Neurosis, The Innocence of Dreams, and Psychoanalysis and Beyond.

The Last Wilderness

In 1982 the British psychiatrist Anthony Stevens published Archetype, a book in which he attempted to reconcile two psychological theories that were then, and still are, usually considered incompatible: Jung’s concept of archetypes (which holds that there exist certain psychic images, such as that of the mother, that are innate …

The Wound and the Bow

In his introduction to Soul Murder, Dr. Shengold confesses that he is “fond of meandering designs; this book proceeds more by association than by orderly progression.” In his acknowledgements he states that in his present book, Soul Murder, and in his previous book, Halo in the Sky (1988), he has …

The Sixth Sense

Dr. Oliver Sacks is a British-trained neurologist who now practices in New York, where he is professor of clinical neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. With his earlier book, Awakenings (1973), which described the remarkable effect of a new drug, LDopa, on cases of postencephalitic parkinsonism, Dr. Sacks …

Freud’s Creative Illness

In December 1936 Reinhold Stahl, a Berlin bookseller, sold to Princess Marie Bonaparte, Princess George of Greece and Denmark, friend and pupil of Sigmund Freud, a set of documents he had acquired from the widow of Wilhelm Fliess (1858–1928), who in his day had been a successful ear, nose, and …

A Hard Day’s Night

According to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary the primary meaning of the word “nightmare” is a “female monster supposed to settle upon people and animals in their sleep producing a feeling of suffocation,” and it only secondarily refers to “a bad dream producing these or similar sensations.” It is, in …

A Case of Hysteria

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is, or perhaps rather was, a psychoanalyst—at present he is not, one gathers, a member of any psychoanalytical organization, does not see patients, and does not teach psychoanalysis anywhere. His book is a contribution to the early history of psychoanalysis, or rather would have been if he …

How Psychosomatic Is Your Illness?

The first, and perhaps the most important, thing to be said about this book is that its title is misleading. Social Causes of Illness is not about whether social habits, customs, conditions, or structures cause illnesses—or whether social changes are reflected in changes in the incidence of illnesses. It is …

Actions Louder than Words

Although written by a psychoanalyst for other psychoanalysts and largely consisting of papers already published in the learned journals, this book should be of considerable interest to a wider public, since it proposes a radical reformulation of psychoanalytical theory which, if accepted, would render outmoded almost all the analytical jargon …

Freud and the Imagination

Psychoanalysts differ widely among themselves over which aspects of Freud’s theories they wish to remember and commemorate. Freud’s theories, so far from constituting a unitary, fixed structure, which either stands or falls as a whole and which analysts subscribe to in its entirety, are really more a collection of miscellaneous …

Folie à deux

In view of the fact that both Freud and Jung have made a great stir in the world and that the ideas of both of them have become part of the intellectual climate of our time, the publication of their letters to each other is obviously an event of some …

Is Freudian Symbolism a Myth?

It has become a commonplace among the general public, and perhaps among journalists in particular, that some things are Freudian symbols. In the popular usage of this phrase, the word Freudian is synonymous with “sexual,” the word “sexual” is synonymous with “genital,” while the question “What does the word ‘symbol’ …

Doctoring Freud

In 1915, while a medical student, Dr. Max Schur, the author of this latest biographical study of Freud, attended the course of lectures which were later published as the Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis. After qualification, he practiced internal medicine and in 1928 became Freud’s physician and, as such, responsible for …

A Great Mother’s Helper

Although his ideas have as yet made little impact in the United States, D.W. Winnicott, who died early last year, was for the last fifteen to twenty years of his life by far the best known psychoanalyst in the British Isles. This was partly due to the mere fact of …

Not so Much a Treatment, More a Way of Life

“In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath,” observed Dr. Johnson; nor, I suppose, is he when writing blurbs, introductions, and forewords, particularly when, as in the present case, the book has been composed in a spirit of reverence. Anyone cursorily inspecting The Wolf-Man by the Wolf-Man would assume …

The Case of Wilhelm Reich

There are two popular views of Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957), farmer’s son, army officer, physician, psychoanalyst, communist, discoverer of orgone energy, inventor of orgone therapy and of a new science, orgonomy, and finally inmate of the Federal Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pa. He was either a madman or a genius, a half-baked, sex-crazed …

What’s So Funny?

Some years ago the present reviewer acted as an experimental subject in a research project on the physiological effects of alcohol. He was put into a room alone and made to drink the equivalent of ten sherries in as many minutes and then spend the hours in which he returned …

All in the Mind

This volume makes available the text of five lectures which Jung gave, in English, to the Institute of Medical Psychology (the Tavistock Clinic), London, in 1935. A mimeographed version has apparently been in private circulation among Jungians for more than thirty years—and extracts have been published in French—but this is …

Ouch!

Although both these books are about pain and suffering and are written by psychologists, they are as unlike as chalk and cheese. Dr. Bakan’s is concerned with the philosophy of pain, and with its biological and existential meaning, while Dr. Petrie’s is concerned with experimental data about pain, with techniques …

Lost Children

Professor Bettelheim is an authority on the capacity to survive extreme situations. His earlier book, The Informed Heart, which was mainly based on his personal experiences and observations while a prisoner in Dachau and Buchenwald, was largely an analysis of what decided whether a person lived or died in a …