My life with Paul Schreber

  • Freud's 1911 and Niederland's 1959 problematic interpretations of Schreber's Memoirs set off a flood of secondary literature. In both selected facts were paired with a plethora of fictions. The narratives of Schreber father and son were misdescribed, misdiagnosed, and misinterpreted, errors have been uncritically copied by commentators ever since. Freud's theory of homosexuality as a cause of paranoia has not stood the test of time. In 1963 Niederland himself stated that the data he collected on Schreber father and son do not explain Schreber's second illness. A further misconception was to totalize both Schreber as person and the content of his book as psychotic, controverted by the fact that Schreber recovered by 1897 and the book is a creative essay with a profound moral message. Schreber's hermaphroditic fantasies were neither homosexual desires toward psychiatrist Flechsig nor morbid delusions but images of an identification with or compassion for his wife who suffered repeated miscarriages and stillbirths. The author revisits the description, diagnosis, dynamics, and deontology of Schreber's story from the perspective of dramatology and narratology and adds new information and insights. The goal of this essay is not only historical, but also a clinical and practical approach to fantasy and delusion.

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Author:Henry Zvi Lothane
Parent Title (English):International Forum of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 30 (No. 1, 2021), pp. 009-021.
Document Type:Articles
Year of first Publication:2021
Release Date:2022/05/04
Format:PDF-scan upon request / PDF-Scan auf Anfrage
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Articles / Artikel
Licence (German):
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