Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality | SpringerLink
Is there a Freudian psychoanalysis that is not Oedipal? This first version of Freud's Three Essays articulates just such a non-Oedipal psychoanalysis.
As such, it still has a definite 'emancipatory' potential; Freudian psychoanalysis is not Oedipal in its very nature. It is only from onwards that psychoanalysis tends to become a sophisticated defence of what Freud first called the 'popular opinion' about sexuality.
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- Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality?
- Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory, 2nd Edition (Authorized English Translation);
It was precisely this 'popular opinion' that psychoanalysis originally was meant to deconstruct. Is there a Freudian escape - that is an escape that remains not so much within Freudian orthodoxy, but at least within its inspiration - from this impasse? If Freud has respected more systematically his own original thesis, could it be that the Oedipus complex wouldn't be the shibboleth of psychoanalysis? Not only is this first edition less Oedipal than is generally believed, but it also contains the elements for thinking a 'non-Oedipal' psychoanalysis; a Freud against Oedipus.
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Freud and the Polymorphous Perverse
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If the transference of the erogenous excitability from the clitoris to the vagina has succeeded, the woman has thus changed her leading zone for the future sexual activity; the man on the other hand retains his from childhood. The main determinants for the woman's preference for the neuroses, especially for hysteria, lie in this change of the leading zone as well as in the repression of puberty.
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These determinants are therefore most intimately connected with the nature of femininity. This is the source of such concepts as penis envy, castration anxiety, and the Oedipus complex that we take for granted as fundamental to understanding human psychology. In the three essays here-"The Sexual Aberrations," "Infantile Sexuality," and "The Transformations of Puberty"-Freud sets out a theory of human sexuality that continues to influence us today.
While some of his ideas have been supplanted by subsequent research and refinement, his work continues to profoundly influence the sciences and the humanities alike. Why read this book? Have your say.