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About the book
  • Published: 31 October 2005
  • ISBN: 9780141183794
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $27.99

On Murder, Mourning & Melancholia


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These works were written against a background of war and racism. Freud sought the sources of conflict in the deepest memories of humankind, finding clear continuities between our 'primitive' past and 'civilized' modernity. In Totem and Taboo he explores institutions of tribal life, tracing analogies between the rites of hunter-gatherers and the obsessions of urban-dwellers, while Mourning and Melancholia sees a similarly self-destructive savagery underlying individual life in the modern age, which issues at times in self-harm and suicide. And Freud's extraordinary letter to Einstein, Why War? - rejecting what he saw as the physicist's naïve pacifism - sums up his unsparing view of history in a few profoundly pessimistic, yet grimly persuasive pages.

  • Pub date: 31 October 2005
  • ISBN: 9780141183794
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $27.99

About the Author

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was born in Moravia; between the ages of four and eighty-two his home was in Vienna: in 1938 Hitler's invasion of Austria forced him to seek asylum in London, where he died in the following year. His career began with several years of brilliant work on the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. He was almost thirty when, after a period of study under Charcot in Paris, his interests first turned to psychology, and another ten years of clinical work in Vienna (at first in collaboration with Breuer, an older colleague) saw the birth of his creation, psychoanalysis. Freud's life was uneventful, but his ideas have shaped not only many specialist disciplines, but the whole intellectual climate of the twentieth century.

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