“Dostoevsky and Parricide” (German: Dostojewski und die Vatertötung) is an introductory article contributed by Sigmund Freud to a scholarly collection on The . Int J Psychoanal. ; Dostoevsky and parricide. FREUD S. PMID: ; [Indexed for MEDLINE]. Publication Types: Biography; Historical Article. Freud’s essay “Dostoevsky and Parricide” was published in as an introduction to a German collection of materials on The Brothers Karamazov. (1) This.

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Open Preview See a Problem? I do not even feel inclined to defend literally every opinion voiced by Freud in his article, such as his views on Russian history and the Russian character. The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

Later we shall see how, according to Freud, Dostoevsky’s seizures expressed exactly his feelings about his father’s death. It also has a momentary “aura” at the beginning of a seizure – usually fear, anxiety, or terror. Basic Books,p. Generalized epilepsy presupposes a hereditary origin no damage to the brain ; it has no aura, and is characterized by brief lapses of consciousness “absences” or petit mal seizures. In an epileptic attack the patient Scholars, led by Joseph Frank, have questioned the biographical facts on which Freud bases his theory.

Dostoevsky’s epilepsy was both organic and hysterical. What is the evidence? From an entirely different point of view the analysis of Kramskoi’s painting “Contemplative” James Rice reinforces Peace’s thesis about the importance of the Castrate theme.

Dostoevsky and Parricide – Wikiwand

A full frontal attack was then mounted, and it has turned into an act of demolition. He is regarded as one of the most influential—and controversial—minds of the 20th century. This raises an obvious question: Fani Toteva rated it it was amazing Feb 26, Inthe International Psychoanalytic Association was founded with Carl Junga close associate of Freud’s, as the president.

Diagnoses by Voskuil, Rice and others are similar. Aware of the limitations of his source material he took pains to qualify his arguments: The most authoritative diagnosis is by Henri Gastaut: We have detailed portraits of his parents; we learn of his traumatic birth; we know exactly when and how his first seizure originated.


Actually, the novelist had used the same explanation to account for Smerdyakov’s epilepsy. If I may digress for a moment, I find it hard to understand the certainty with which epilepsy experts know that Freud is mistaken.

The moralist in Dostoevsky is the most readily assailable. Why then did he “perpetrate the monstrous error” as Gastaut put it of ignoring the fact that all of Dostoevsky’s symptoms indicated genuine epilepsy and not hysteria? His mother was Stinking Lizaveta Smerdyashchayaan idiot peasant girl who could barely speak. I pareicide at him with fixed attention, sensing that he was about to say something unusual, that I would hear a revelation of some kind.

Or is it rather his realization – and ours – that the audience is hungry for sensation to replace its loss of faith parricid God; Dostoevsky builds up this characterization of the audience western, liberal as well as of the judge.

He has not achieved the essence of morality, renunciation, for the moral conduct of life is a practical human interest. The same year he married Martha Bernays, with whom he had six children. Viking Penguin,p. He was indifferent to women and even looked emasculated, as if something vital had been taken from him.

Freud, of course, seized upon this as proof that Dostoevsky felt guilty of parricide. To save a shortcut to an article to your desktop…. Prentice-Hall,pp.

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Dostoevsky’s ecstatic aura was considered so unique that Gastaut thought Dostoevsky was engaged in “unconscious mythologizing,” that is, he was deceiving himself. Second, his mother made a special point of giving birth to Smerdyakov in Fyodor’s garden, even at the cost of her life see fn. The subjective element is also important in another aspect of Dostoevsky’s seizures – his feeling of guilt at the end of a seizure.

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Before the problem of the creative artist analysis must, alas, lay down its arms.

First, just as Ivan tried to shift the blame for the murder from himself to Smerdyakov, so he now tried to lessen his guilt by attributing the same desire to everyone else. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. The experience of almost all other epileptics is that at the beginning of a seizure they feel fear, terror, or anxiety. In this case the patient, who suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy, was not religious but loved music, and he compared the bliss of his aura with sensations evoked by music.

He does not even hint anywhere at the relationship. And in view of the primitive state of research in epilepsy, Freud was not troubled by indications that Dostoevsky’s seizures resembled true epilepsy rather than hysteria. At that time, according to the “family legend,” Dostoevsky suffered his first epileptic attack.

Dostoevsky and Parricide – Wikipedia

A person may suffer from both hysteria and organic epilepsy, with each disorder manifesting itself separately. Smerdyakov, on the other hand, anf almost a perfect study of an epileptic.

In an epileptic attack the patient’s complexion shows cyanosis or pallor; there is no change of complexion in a hysterical seizure. After graduating, he worked at the Vienna General Hospital Dr.

Feb 27, Bookfreak rated it really liked it. Could it not be that, as in the case of Dostoevsky, the ecstatic aura – which was so deeply subjective – was the product of hysterical epilepsy? And there is another echo: See the bibliography in James Rice’s book.