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By Bettelheim, Bruno; Fisher, David James; Bettelheim, Bruno; Ekstein, Rudolf

?A self-declared 'critical admirer? and ultimate convinced of Bruno Bettelheim, David James Fisher succeeds with as balanced and nuanced a portrayal as turns out attainable of the nature, the lifetime contributions, and the ultimate justifications of a so much debatable psychoanalytic eminence. Bettelheim used to be immediately the heart of significant specialist polemics, and even as, the psychoanalyst who, after Sigmund Freud  Read more...

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In looking at their earliest assessment of fascist racism and the dynamics of prejudice, I will organize my chapter into five categories: (1) awareness of environmental factors; (2) data upon which they base their interpretations; (3) dynamic formulations about antiSemitism; (4) their ambivalence about their own Jewishness; and (5) conclusion. My approach will be comparative and thematic. The key texts to be discussed include two papers by Otto Fenichel; two papers by Ernst Simmel, including one originally published in 1932 Der Sozialistiche Arzt (The Socialist Physician) and the other a lengthy essay on “Anti-Semitism and Mass Psychopathology” from Simmel’s 1946 edited volume Anti-Semitism: A Social Disease; several papers by Erik Homburger Erikson written prior to Childhood and Society (1950), including “Hitler’s Imagery and German Youth,” (1942) and four recently published pieces of “war memoranda” written between 1940 and 1945, from A Way of Looking At Things9 (1987); Rudolph M.

Historically, both Strachey and Anna Freud were lay analysts, both were analyzed by Freud, and both were deeply trusted by Freud and members of his estate. Ultimately, Bettelheim’s indictment of the translators of The Standard Edition is exaggerated. Perhaps purposefully. From their own published writings, it is clear that Strachey and Anna Freud sought to anchor psychoanalysis in a biological framework based on Freud’s early energy model and instinctual drive theory. It was not bad faith or unconscious motives that made them reject Bettelheim’s version of psychoanalysis as an interpretive science with its own laws and techniques, its own, primarily hermeneutical, sense of exactitude and research strategies.

If he directly experienced terror and clinically immersed himself in the horrific life histories of the severely disturbed, the fairy tale text, perhaps Bettelheim’s masterpiece, abounds in the author’s sense of delight and astonishment in the poetic and imaginative inner world of the child. For the child, fairy tales entertain, arouse curiosity, stimulate the imagination, enlighten, clarify emotions, and resonate with their anxieties, depressive states, and conflicted aspirations. They accomplish something that realistic or didactic stories fail to do: namely, to take seriously the drama and enormity of the child’s psychological and developmental dilemmas.

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