Thesis ID: CBB001567380

The Adventures of the Unconscious: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in Italy, 1920--1940s (2012)


Pasqualini, Mauro (Author)

Emory University
Gilman, Sander L.
Goodstein, Elizabeth L
Adamson, Walter L
Goodstein, Elizabeth L

Publication Date: 2012
Edition Details: Advisor: Adamson, Walter L; Committee Members: Gilman, Sander L., Goodstein, Elizabeth L.
Physical Details: 319 pp.
Language: English

The thesis studies the history of psychoanalysis in Italy during the interwar period (c.1920-1940s). The first part (chapters one and two) focuses on the psychoanalytic movement (chapter one) and the professions of psychiatry and psychology (chapter two). The second part (chapters three and four) focuses on the circulation of psychoanalytic notions as well as responses to psychoanalysis in literature and culture more broadly. Chapter one contends that ideas of a strong dichotomy or antagonism between Fascism and the psychoanalytic movement are exaggerated and simplistic. While showing how some psychoanalysts were sympathetic toward Fascism or willing to shape psychoanalytic ideas in forms that could make them interesting for the regime, it points to the anti-Semitic legislation of the late 1930s as the main reason why Fascism destroyed the psychoanalytic initiatives that had emerged during the previous years. Chapter two focuses on the professions of psychology and psychiatry. The chapter shows important profession builders within the world of psychiatry and psychology sought to integrate psychoanalysis. By so doing, it contends that Italian psychiatry and psychology could not incorporate psychoanalysis more intimately because they were institutionally weak. They could not get the resources and confidence from society that a psychoanalytic orientation of any such profession requires. Chapter three focuses on debates around the modern novel among Italian writers and critics. These debates were crucial for shaping the reception and perception of psychoanalysis as a cultural current in interwar Italy. Some writers' reflections on psychoanalysis, in fact, were intimately linked to their ideas about the narrative genre. The chapter also shows that literary realism and perceptions of generational change emerging in the early 1930s were central for promoting psychoanalysis as a cultural contemporary trend. In chapter four I focus on the Triestine writer Italo Svevo (1861-1928) and his appropriation of psychoanalysis. I show that Svevo's ideas on the issue were significantly shaped by his perception of the main political changes impacting Trieste in the post-war period. Through a close reading of Svevo's fiction pieces--among other documents--I show the specific concerns that guided his reading of Freud.


Description Cited in Dissertation Abstracts International-A 74/07(E), Jan 2014. Proquest Document ID: 1321497077.

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Authors & Contributors
Escamilla, Michael
Boriaud, Jean-Yves
Giuseppe Salzillo
Henze, Patrick
Cerea, Alessandra
Lahl, Aaron
Psychoanalysis and History
History of Psychiatry
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
History of the Human Sciences
Bruniana & Campanelliana: Ricerche Filosofiche e Materiali Storico-testuali
Raffaello Cortina Editore
University of Chicago Press
Editrice Bibliografica
Unconscious (psychology)
Mental disorders and diseases
Science and politics
Jung, Carl Gustav
Freud, Sigmund
Morgenthaler, Fritz
Sullivan, Harry Stack
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm
Lacan, Jacques
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
21st century
20th century, late
United States
North America

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