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The Late Sigmund Freud
Or, The Last Word on Psychoanalysis, Society, and All the Riddles of Life

$29.99 (P)

  • Date Published: March 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316631027

$ 29.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Freud is best remembered for two applied works on society, The Future of an Illusion and Civilization and its Discontents. Yet the works of the final period are routinely denigrated as merely supplemental to the earlier, more fundamental 'discoveries' of the unconscious and dream interpretation. In fact, the 'cultural Freud' is sometimes considered an embarrassment to psychoanalysis. Dufresne argues that the late Freud, as brilliant as ever, was actually revealing the true meaning of his life's work. And so while The Future of an Illusion, Civilization and its Discontents, and his final work Moses and Monotheism may be embarrassing to some, they validate beliefs that Freud always held - including the psychobiology that provides the missing link between the individual psychology of the early period and the psychoanalysis of culture of the final period. The result is a lively, balanced, and scholarly defense of the late Freud that doubles as a major reassessment of psychoanalysis of interest to all readers of Freud.

    • This is Dufresne's final work on Freud and an unmissable addition to his previously acclaimed scholarship
    • One of the very few book-length treatments of the late Freud as a whole, offering a critical yet balanced analysis
    • Written in a punchy, accessible style to appeal to a wide audience of students, scholars, and lay readers
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘A superb book that will count among a handful of landmark works in the field of Freud Studies. Blending close readings of texts, a sustained attention to Freud's rhetoric, and rigorous historical-cum-biographical contextualization, Dufresne provides a major reassessment of Freud's late 'cultural' works.' Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, University of Washington

    'Dufresne serves as a deft, surefooted guide into the dazzling dark continent of drives explored by Freud's later 'cultural' work. It is an intriguing journey.' Richard Kearney, Boston College

    ‘In this provocative and engaging study, Dufresne demonstrates the philosophical relevance of Sigmund Freud's late work – including The Future of an Illusion (1927), Civilization and its Discontents (1927), and the essays leading to Moses and Monotheism (1939) – as well as the strong link between Freud's cultural critique and his psychoanalytic theory.' Liliane Weissberg, University of Pennsylvania

    'This book will provide scholars of Freudian theory with useful and complex considerations of Freud’s understanding of culture.' CHOICE

    'This book is must reading for anyone interested in the history and historiography of psychoanalysis … anyone interested in Freud’s life and times will find this an extremely rewarding book.' Daniel Burston, PsycCRITIQUES

    'The author writes with great wit and impressive conviction; an astonishing wealth and density of his learning, research and extrapolations are on display in these pages … As a reviewer, one can offer no purer praise, perhaps, than to say that the book under review will be picked up again and consulted; and this one will.' David Matthew, Metapsychology Online Reviews (

    'Dufresne’s exploration of the key cultural texts mixes a critical reading, intellectual history and biography. In the course of which he attempts to highlight hitherto underemphasised elements of the late Freud.' Matt Dawson, Sociology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316631027
    • length: 294 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 151 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. Death and the cultural turn in psychoanalysis
    1. Positivism and the specter of non-existence: the romantic depths of Freud's The Future of an Illusion
    2. Mysticism, war, love, and religion: Civilization and its Discontents, reality, and Romain Rolland
    3. 'The audacity cannot be avoided': Freud and Moses, reality and fiction
    Conclusion. Ethics, spirituality, and psychoanalysis: prequel to the 'late Freud'
    Coda. 'Undisguised resentment', war, and the challenge of being cultured

  • Author

    Todd Dufresne, Lakehead University, Ontario
    Todd Dufresne is Professor of Philosophy at Lakehead University, Ontario. He is the author or editor of Returns of the 'French Freud' (1997), Tales from the Freudian Crypt (2000), Killing Freud (2003), Against Freud (2007), Freud's 'Beyond the Pleasure Principle' (2011), The Future of an Illusion (2012) and Civilization and its Discontents (2016), amongst others.

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