This is the fifth volume in the series “Contemporary Freud: Turning Points and Critical Issues,” co-published with the International Psychoanalytical Association. This book, like the others in the series, presents a classic essay by Freud, followed by discussions that set Freud’s work in context and demonstrate its contemporary relevance. The prominent analysts, analytic teachers, and theoreticians who have contributed to this volume represent diverse perspectives as well as diverse regions of the psychoanalytic world.
“A Child Is Being Beaten” (1919) deals with the theoretical problem of how pleasure and suffering become linked. Freud explores the childhood beating fantasy (which is often accompanied by sexual arousal), its transformational stages, the changing cast of protagonists, and the differences between boys and girls in the sequences and meanings of the fantasy. He extends his discussion to encompass masochism and perversion.
The contributors to the volume--Jack Novick and Kerry Kelly Novick, Patrick Joseph Mahony, Arnold H. Modell, Leonard Shengold, Marcio De F. Giovannetti, Jean-Michel Quinodoz, Isidoro Berenstein, Rivka R. Eifermann, and Marcelo N. Viñar--explore the many meanings of Freud’s paper. “A Child Is Being Beaten” is of particular relevance in the current debate over how to tell whether an apparent memory of abuse is a memory of a real event or a derivative of fantasy. And the essay takes on added interest in the light of evidence that one of the six patients Freud discusses was his daughter Anna, who wrote her own essay on the subject three years later. Ethel Spector Person’s introduction provides a concise overview. --- from the publisher
About the Editor:
Ethel Spector Person is vice president of the International Psychoanalytical Association.