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By Celia Brickman

What half does racial distinction play in psychoanalysis? What will be realized while contemplating this question from a postcolonial point of view? during this refined and commanding research, Celia Brickman explores how the colonialist racial discourse of late-nineteenth-century anthropology chanced on its approach into Freud´s paintings, the place it got here to play a covert yet the most important function in his notions of subjectivity. Brickman argues that the typical psychoanalytic thought of "primitivity" as an early level of mental improvement inevitably includes with it implications of an anthropologically understood "primitivity," which was once conceived by means of Freud -and maybe nonetheless is this day -in colonialist and racial phrases. She relates the racial subtext embedded in Freud´s notion to his representations of gender and faith and exhibits how this subtext varieties a part of the bigger historicizing development of the psychoanalytic undertaking. eventually, she indicates how colonialist strains have made their manner into the...

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The first emphasizes our essential incompleteness and disorientation, the disturbing existence of the alien within what is closest to home, and suggests that the elements of our being are in fundamental conflict with one another. The second emphasizes our desire for coherence and for the containment, if not the resolution, of anxiety and conflict; it suggests that the elements of our being are functional parts of a larger whole and that what is disturbing is contingent rather than elemental. ”8 Freud’s evolutionary pronouncements on race and primitivity find their most congenial—although not exclusive—home in those aspects of his works which lend themselves to the second, more positivistic view of the psyche, where the ego is the paramount agency of the mind whose structuration and stability is the telos of psychological development.

In Europe, the idea of the Noble Savage may have figured as a living critique of the burden of civilization; but when peoples were so described by explorers and settlers in the New World, it was often to indicate the gentleness and ease with which it was hoped they would become subservient to that same civilization by taking up the twin yokes of Christianity and slavery. ”20 But when they were to be enslaved and land was to be wrested from them for settlement, Amerindians previously seen as gentle and loving would suddenly appear to be brute beasts who were idle, godless, and cannibalistic.

Historicizing Consciousness: Time, History, and Religion 5. Primitivity in the Analytic Encounter Epilogue Notes Bibliography Index ACKNOWLEDGMENTS While writing this book, I have often looked forward to the pleasure of being able to thank all the people whose learning, conversation, and support have contributed in a myriad of ways to its completion. I am grateful for the intellectual support of Peter Homans, Wendy Doniger, and Lisa Ruddick, who read and commented on the manuscript in its initial stages.

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