hiess Tatiana Rosenthal
Music: Belaia armiia, chiornyj
baron [White Army, Black Baron]
music: Samuil Pokrass, lyrics: P. Grigoriev; 1920
notes about Tatiana Rosenthal:
S. Neidisch, <<Dr. Tatiana Rosenthal. Petersburg>>, Internationale
Zeitschrift fur Psychoanalyse, VII, 1921, pp. 384-85.
This is T. Rosenthal's Obituary, written by Sara Neiditsch,
included in the same number of the "Int.Zeitschr. Psychoanal."
in which S . Neiditsch gave her account of contemporary russian psychoanalysis: S. Neiditsch, "Die
Psychoanalyse in Russland wärend
der letzen Jahre", Internationale Zeitschrift für
Psychoanalyse, VII, 1921, pagg. 381-84.
to read it in russian version
Ossipow, (1922), Psychoanalysis
published in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 1922, 3: 513-520.
A. Carotenuto, Diario di una segreta simmetria, Roma, Astrolabio,
(4) H. Nunberg, E. Federn (eds.), Protokolle der Wiener Psychoanalitischen
Vereinigung, vol. IV, Frankfurt a/m, S. Fischer, 1978.
In the "Protokolle"
of the Wiener Psychoanalytic Society Tatiana Rosenthal is mentioned in the
following sessions: on January, 24, 1912 and on February, 7, 1912, whereas
on January, 31, 1912 and on February, 14, 1912 she made some remarks to
Paul Federn' s report regarding "Flying sensations in dream".
A. Angelini, La psicoanalisi in Russia, Napoli, Liguori, 1988.
J. Marti, La psychanalyse en Russie, in "Critique", Tome XXXII, n.346,
mars 1976. [Italian translation <<La psicoanalisi in Russia e nell'Unione Sovietica dal 1909 al
1930>>, in AA.VV., Critica e storia dell'istituzione psicoanalitica, Roma,
Il Pensiero Scientifico Editore, 1978.]
(7) T. Rosenthal, <<Karin Michaelis: "Das gefährliche
Alter" im Lichte der Psychoanalyse>>,
Zentalblatt fur Psychoanalyse, 1911, p. 277.
Russian version: "Опасный возраст" Карин Михаэлис в
свете психоанализа // Психотерапия, 1911, № 4-5, с. 189-94; № 6, с. 273-89. This article is available in this web site
(8) T. Rosenthal,
(1920)"Sofferenza e creazione in Dostojevskij. Analisi
psicogenetica", italian translation by Patrizia Sechi, published in Giornale
Storico di Psicologia Dinamica, Vol. XIII gennaio 1989 fascicolo 25, page
33. See also in the same number, A.M. Accerboni, <<Tatjana Rosenthal. Una
breve stagione analitica>>, page 6 1.
Original Russian version :
Страдание и творчество Достоевского: психогенетическое исследование / Вопросы
изучения и воспитания личности.
(Woprosi psychologiu litschnosty/ Problems of individual psychology) Пг., 1920.
(1998) Freud and the Bolsheviks: Psychoanalysis in Imperial Russia and the
Soviet Union. By Martin Miller. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
(See below in this
page the review by George E. Snow "Freud
vs. Marx: The Rise and Fall of Psychoanalysis in the SovietUnion", in H-Russia,
September, 1999, URL:
See also Jeffrey Brooks' review of this
book - below in this page it is available the abstract.
See also Hans Pols' review of this book,
appeared in Left History 7 (2001)2:108-114 ( available below in this
A. (1993) Eros nevozmozhnogo. Istoria psychoanaliza v Rossii. S-Pb.Meduza
(In English: (1995) Eros of the Impossible. The History of Psychoanalysis
in Russia). (Review in hungarian by Katalin
Szoke - see below in this page)
11) V. Bechterev, Das Verbrechertum im Lichte der objectiven
Psychologie, Wiesbaden, Bergmann, 1914. Translated from russian by
12) Luria A.R.. "Die psychoanalyse in Russland", in
Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 11, 1925, pp.
13) Rice J. L., (1993) Freud's Russia, Transaction Publisher.
Some reference to Tatiana Rosenthal are mentioned in this web site - LINKS
14) Badou G., (2000) Histoires secrčtes de la psychanalyse, Paris:
15) Goldsmith G. N., (2002) Between certainty and uncertainty
observations on psychoanalysis in Russia, Journal of
Analytical Psychology, Volume 47 Issue 2 Page 203 - April 2002 .
Abstract - see below in this page)
16) Complete Correspondence of
Sigmund Freud and Karl Abraham, 1907-1925( edited by Ernst
Falzeder ), Karnak Books, 2002.
Two letters mention Tatiana Rosenthal
and they are available in this web site - LINKS
17) Kadyrov I.
Analytical space and work in Russia:
Some remarks on past and present,
in International Journal of Psychoanalysis,
Vol. 86, Number 2/April 2005, pp. 467-482. (See
below in this page the Abstract)
18) Rescetnikov M., "Periodo di
illusioni e di speranze", in Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane, fasc. 3,
2002. (For the Abstract: see below
in this page)
19) Spielrein S., "Russische
Literatur", in Bericht
Fortschritte der Psychoanalyse 1914-1919, 3. Beiheft der Int.
Psychoanalyse, Leipzig, Wien, Zürich, 1921. Italian translation:
"Letteratura russa", in Angelini A., "La psicoanalisi in Russia", Napoli,
Wulff M. "Zur
Stellung der Psychoanalyse in der Sowjetunion",
Verlag, Wien. - II. - 1930. -
21) Neumann D. "Studentinnen
aus dem russischen Reich in der Schweiz (1867-1914)", Verlag Hans Rohr, Zürich,
1987 . The notes concerning Tatiana Rosenthal are the following: <<Tatjana
Rosenthal begann mit 17 Jahren das Medizinstudium in Zürich, Sie liess
sich gleichzeitig bei C. G. Jung zur Psychoanalytikerin ausbilden, kehrte
1911 nach St. Petersburg
zurück, um dort die Lehren
Sigmund Freuds zu verbreiten. Später
nahm sie sich dort das Leben >>
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Freud S., Opere, Boringhieri, Torino,1977.
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Zalkind A., Polovoj vopros v uslovijach sovietskoj občestvennosti [La
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references come from some web pages:
PSZICHOANALÍZIS KELET-EURÓPÁBAN AZ OROSZ
SZÁZADELŐ KULTÚRTÖRTÉNETE ÉS A PSZICHOANALÍZIS
BEVEZETÉS A. ETKIND TANULMÁNYÁHOZ
Alekszandr Etkind, a szentpétervári
kultúrtörténész és pszichológus könyve, a Lehetetlen Erósza. A
pszichoanalízis története Oroszországban (1. kiad.: 1993, 2. kiad.: 1994)
igazi bestsellerré vált az orosz könyvpiacon. Etkind könyve ugyanis jó példa
arra, hogyan lehet ideológiai elfogultságok nélkül izgalmas tanulmánykötetet
írni az orosz mentalitásról, melynek történetében a XX. század első két
évtizedében a pszichoanalízis jelentős szerepet játszott. Etkind könyvében
párhuzamosan vizsgálja az irodalom, tudomány és a politika jelenségeit,
szemléletének átfogó jellegét a Lehetetlen Erosza előszavában a
következőképp indokolja: Az orosz hagyományban ismeretlen volt és mind a mai
napig ismeretlen a szakterületek nyugaton szokásos egymástól való
elszigeteltsége: a tudományt és a művészeteket egy és ugyanazon szellemi
áramlatok és politikai eszmék táplálták és forrasztották egységbe. A
pszichoanalízis történetének Oroszországban nem csak orvosok és
pszichológusok voltak a résztvevői, hanem hozzájuk hasonló mértékben a
dekadens költők, a vallásfilozófusok és a hivatásos forradalmárok."
A Lehetetlen Erószában Etkind tehát nem csak az oroszországi
pszichoanalízis történetét vázolja fel, hanem bemutatja annak tág,
kulturális környezetét, a szimbolista költőktől kezdve a bolsevik
kísérleteken át M. Bahtyin és M. Bulgakov munkásságáig. Természetesen,
figyelme középpontjában a nemzetközi pszichoanalitikus mozgalom oroszországi
résztvevői állnak, legyenek azok analitikusok, illetve betegek. Freud híres
esettanulmányának, a Farkasember hősének, Szergej Pankejevnek az
élettörténete is szorosan kapcsolódik a századelő kultúrtörténetéhez, az
Ezüstkor (így nevezik Oroszországban a XX. század első évtizedét, amikor
addig soha nem látott szellemi izzás jellemezte az orosz intellektuális
életet) mentalitástörténetéhez. A könyvben Pankejev sorsán kívül
megismerkedhetünk a szintén orosz származású Lou Andreas-Salome életével és
munkásságával két világ és korszak határán", akiről köztudott, hogy nagy
szerepet játszott Nietzsche és Freud életében. A tehetséges analitikusnő,
Szabina Spielrein tragikus élettörténete, Junggal és Freuddal való
kapcsolata, szovjetunióbeli sorsa az immáron orosz archívumokból nemrég
előkerült dokumentumok fényében kap új értelmezést. Kultúrtörténeti
szempontból különösen érdekes Etkind tanulmánya az orosz szimbolizmus és a
freudizmus kapcsolatáról: az orosz modernizmus népszerű, nietzschei eredetű
mitologémáját, Dionüszoszt a freudi Ödipusszal konfrontálva olyan új
következtetésekre jut, melyek differenciáltabb megközelítést tesznek
lehetővé Andrej Belij és Vjacseszlav Ivanov művei motívumrendszerét illetően.
Vitathatatlan tény, hogy az 1910-től a harmincas évek végéig az orosz
intellektuális élet egyik legfontosabb összetevője volt a freudizmus.
Oroszországban a freudizmus befogadását alig kísérte ellenállás, sőt az első
világháború után népszerűbb volt, mint akár Franciaországban vagy
Németországban. A tízes és húszas években alakult ki az orosz analitikus
iskola, melynek olyan képviselői voltak, mint Ny. Oszipov, Tatjana Rozental,
Mojszej Vulf, Leonyid Droznesz és mások. A bolsevikok kezdetben, voltaképpen
Trockij bukásáig - ahogy Etkind könyve bemutatja, Trockij viszonylag közeli
kapcsolatba került az analízissel -, támogatták az orosz analitikusokat,
felhasználva őket saját utópisztikus eszményeik megvalósítására. Az új ember"
nevelésében, s a specifikusan szovjet tudomány, a pedológia megteremtésében
az analitikusok tevékeny részt vállaltak. Az 1920-as években jelentős
hatással volt az analízis a későbbi kiemelkedő szovjet
pszichológusnemzedékre: A. Lurijára, L. Vigotszkijra, P. Blonszkijra.
1930-tól egészen a nyolcvanas évekig a Szovjetunióban, mint közismert, a
pszichoanalízis tiltott tudomány volt. Lényegében A. Etkind könyve az első
hazai" tanulmánykötet - az orosz analízis történetét eddig külföldön írták -
e fontos mozgalomról.
Original Article (source:
Blackwell Synergy )
Between certainty and
uncertainty observations on psychoanalysis in Russia
'Diversity', the theme of our
conference, carries a subversive sub-text in totalitarian societies. This is
one of the themes presented as the current revival of psychoanalysis in the
more democratic post-Communist Russia is explored. The history of
psychoanalysis in Russia is summarized with a focus on its politicization,
which led to initial interest in its theory (by way of a misapprehension of
its tenets), and then to ultimate suppression of psychoanalytic thinking as
an ideology deemed antagonistic to the totalitarian regime. In contrast,
features of psychoanalysis and democracy are explored for their mutual
affinities. The background of the resourceful new generation of analytic
therapists is discussed, especially in regard to their experience of the
parallel meanings of the word 'repression' (political, psychological). There
is a persistence of some traits in patients and practitioners alike that are
referable to past repression, such as the newness of verbal treatments, the
inhibition of psychological curiosity, the ambivalent lure of certainty, and
the pressure of authoritarian introjects. It is noted that psychoanalysis
has its own history of a posture opposed to pluralism and diversity, which
deepens the dialogue on the mutual engagement between psychoanalysis and the
vicissitudes of its history in Russian culture.
Eros of the
Impossible. The History of Psychoanalysis In Russia.
Translated by Noah and
Maria Rubens. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press, 1997. vii + 408 pp. Notes,
bibliography, index. $34.00 (cloth), ISBN 0-8133-2712-1.
Freud and the Bolsheviks: Psychoanalysis in Russia and the Soviet Union.
New Haven and London:
Yale University Press, 1998. xvii + 237 pp. Notes, bibliography, index.
$30.00 (cloth), ISBN 0-8133-2712-1.
George E. Snow
, Department of History, Shippensburg
Freud vs. Marx: The Rise and Fall of
Psychoanalysis in the SovietUnion
Russian, Soviet and intellectual
historians are extremely fortunate in the almost simultaneous appearance
of two books on the topic of Freud and psychoanalysis in Russia and the
Soviet Union. They afford a rare opportunity to evaluate these subjects
from a comparative perspective and to investigate in more detail one of
the twentieth century's most intriguing sagas of the politicization of
ideas. Moreover, aside from David Joravsky's more general Russian
Psychology: A Critical History and the work of Julie Y. Brown on
pre-revolutionary Russian psychiatry, this is a field in which good
secondary studies are few.
>From a stylistic standpoint,
Miller's Freud and the Bolsheviks and the English language
translation of Etkind's earlier (1993) Eros of the Impossible,
also reward readers by their interesting contrasts in comparative
methodology, conceptualization and relative treatment of themes, framing
of narrative, and depth of analysis. For example, Miller's tightly written
monograph devotes only twenty percent to both Russian psychiatry and the
influence of Freudian psychoanalsis in pre-Revolutionary Russia. Etkind by
contrast, casts his net more broadly. He devotes fully a third of his book
to the period before 1917, and includes under the rubric of Russian
psychiatry and the Freudian experience there two notable Russians
relatively absent from Miller's discussion: Lou Andreas-Salome and Sergei
Pankeev--Freud's famous "Wolf Man." The latter is absolutely central to
the whole of the Freudian construct, while the former was a central figure
in the early European Freudian movement in general through her close
association with both Freud and Jung. The subject of several monographs,
her total absence from Miller's work is as puzzling as the brief mention
In fact, Miller's focus is almost
wholly on the travails of psychoanalysis in the early Soviet period with
its interaction and clash of Freudian and Communist world views and the
former's eventual crushing by the latter inside the Soviet Union. To be
sure, Miller points out the existence of an indigenous Russian analytic
tradition through the works of Nikolai Osipov, Tatiana Rosenthal, and
Sabina Spielrein--all three of whom became active Freudians in the early
Soviet period. Indeed, the latter met Freud in 1911-12 and became not only
a frequent participant in the Viennese and European psychoanalytic circles,
but also a go-between for Freud and Jung, an intimate of the latter, and
the creator of the concept of the "death wish" (for which Freud later took
Miller notes too that the
experimental nature of the early Soviet experience led not to the
disappearance of Freudian analysis after the October Revolution, but in
fact its toleration so long as it was nominally supportive of the
revolution and its goals. The Russian psychoanalytic community thus faced
the reality that its survival was impossible without the approval and
tolerance of a party that wanted all groups to tackle the problems which
it defined as worthwhile. In this situation the Russian Freudians struck a
Faustian bargain: in return for their official recognition by the State (thus
making them, as Miller notes, the only officially state-sanctioned
psychoanalytic group in the world), they lost control over their ability
to determine their own agenda. It would not, therefore be too much of an
exaggeration to say that the remainder of Miller's study is an expansion
on the consequences of that bargain.
Delving deeply into the published
materials, writings and stenographic records which detail the work of such
Russian Freudians as Moshe Wulff, Sabina Spielrein, and Ivan Ermakov among
others, he records the formation of the state-approved Institute for
Psychoanalysis. With its many activities--including establishment of a
clinic for disturbed children in which psychoanalytic principles could be
used in their treatment in an attempt to socialize them for the benefit of
the State--this institution, Miller notes, attempted to find a link "between
the collectivist ethos of a society committed to Communist principles...and
the radical 'bourgeois individualism' inherent in Freud's psychoanalytic
principles..." (p. 360).
An even more notorious example of
attempting to make Freudian psychoanalysis socially useful was the
involvement of a number of Russian Freudians in the experiment with
Pedology, but Miller mentions it only cursorily. Yet they were never able
to square this circle and thus, and thus, Miller notes, the position of
Freudian psychoanalysis began to erode in the mid-1920s and even more
rapidly thereafter under Stalin's cultural offensive. Limning the
essential points of the growing volume of anti-Freudian criticism, he
pointedly notes the growing favoritism shown by authorities to the
Pavlovian school of reflex physiology, stressing the initially benign
distinction which was made beween the "rationalist and scientific"
approach of the Pavlovian paradigm of the origins of mental functions and
the "idealistic" paradigm of the Freudians.
These benign comparisons soon gave
way to full-scale criticisms and open attacks on psychoanalysis; for
example the charge that Freud's famous "talking cure" was based on verbal
discourse and thus--similar to thoughts and desires--epiphenomenal. Miller
thus takes the position that all facets of the numerous attacks launched
against the Soviet Freudians once Lenin was dead and Trotsky was exiled (ranging
from the hostile Congress on Human Behavior in 1930 to numerous articles
in the pages of learned journals) were due primarily, if not exclusively,
to the animus of the Communist regime.
Whatever the method, the regime
succeeded, according to Miller, in establishing new guidelines for future
inquiries into the nature of man and society--guidelines based on
political rather than scientific or intellectual grounds. Two things are
noteworthy here. First, this position of the Party's unmitigated
responsibility for the demise of Russian psychoanalysis is not in
agreement with Etkind's conclusions and, second, the attacks, whether
launched by former Freudians, Party hacks, or the merely ambitious are, in
the final analysis, both confusing and difficult to sort out.
Since Miller appears more interested
in the politics and the political implications of the topic than the ideas
themselves, it is, consequently, these, rather than methods of the
clinical application of Freudian psychoanalysis in the Soviet Union that
are his major focus. And although much of the literature involved in the
resurrection of Freudian psychology after Stalin's death are advanced and
discussed here, the emphasis still appears distinctly political rather
than intellectual; institutional rather than focused on mentalite.
Stylistically Miller's monograph is a
tightly written, focused, and almost clinically dispassionate in tone. His
research is prodigious and impressive. Yet there are some problems--albeit
not of the author's creation. Rather, they seem to be editorial in nature.
For example, the editors claim that Miller's book is "the first
comprehensive history of psychoanalysis in Russia from the last years of
the tsars to the collapse of the Soviet Union. But Etkind's book appeared
in Russian in 1993, a full five years before Miller's--and Miller
graciously acknowledges Etkind's collegial assistance in the shaping of
his own work through sharing parts of his own book while in manuscript.
The editors further claim that the
book is based--at least in part-- on "newly opened Soviet archives." But
there is no section specifically referring to archives or archival
materials in Miller's eighteen-page bibliography and there are no
citations of any fondy, opisi, or dela
in the thirty-five pages of endnotes. Finally, at least one chapter in
Miller's book, Chapter Four ("Freud in the House of Lenin"), is curiously
close to the title of Etkind's Chapter Six, ("Psychoanalysis in the Land
of the Bolsheviks").
Etkind's book, on the other hand, is
in the very broadest sense both a cultural and an intellectual history of
psychoanalysis in Russia and the Soviet Union. In the introduction he
contextualizes the role of Freudian ideas--indeed of any idea--within the
tradition of what he terms Russian Romanticism by quoting Grigoriev's
remarks on its tendency to take ideas, however odd or laughable, to their
utmost limit and to attempt to put them into practice. Further, he notes
that this tendency was accompanied by the belief expressed by Bogdanov in
1904 that man was only a means toward a more advanced, future creature.
This inherently transformative nature
of Freud's ideas not only made their assimilation in Russia more rapid and
without opposition than in the West, but also seemingly addressed problems
central to the intelligentsia's quest for knowledge and eagerness to free
itself from traditional constraints (p. 2). Etkind also more than implies
that this maximalist approach recommended Marxism to Russian intellectuals.
The dichotomy and conflict--as well as the essential similarity of goals
between the two world views--are thus set up for readers very early.
Russian Symbolism represents the
essence of this kind of Romanticism for Etkind. Personalities, ideas, and
epochs and their interaction play a much greater role in Etkind's history
of psychoanalysis in Russia than in Miller's approach, leading him to
frame his narrative as something of a discourse between Oedipus and
Dionysus; between the intense individuality, non-confounding of feelings,
and separation of love and hatred of the former and the alleviation of
opposition between individual and universal, man and woman, parent and
child through synthesis of the latter.
Etkind thus sees the oeuvre
of the Russian Symbolists as prefiguring Freudian psychoanalytical
concepts and contends that it filled the same roles and performed roughly
the same sociocultural and psychological functions that psychoanalysis had
come to fill in German-and in English-speaking countries at the time. It
was, then, a movement that "transcended literature and was indissolubly
connected with issues of religion, philosophy, and community" (p. 76). He
backs up this assertion by a detailed comparison and contrast of the two
that is at once highly allusive and potentially confusing to readers not
already familiar with the figures and issues of Russia's "Silver Age."
Despite this, by the end of the first
two chapters the reader is fully aware that Etkind's arena is a much
broader one than Miller's. It is only after a detailed investigation of
Pankeev's typicality as a neurotic Russian turn-of-the-century
intellectual that the author turns to psychoanalytic activity in Russia
before World War I. Here the names and figures noted by Miller are
revisited, but, in addition, the reader is introduced to figures absent
from or only briefly mentioned in the latter's work--e. g., A. Pevnitsky,
Nikolai Bernstein, Iurii Kannabikh, and Aron Zalkind.
However--again--Etkind notes where Miller has not, that in Russian
practice, psychoanalytic concepts often were applied in the general
cultural context of art and politics before finding a direct application
on the analyst's couch (p. 121).
Moreover, the real area of comparison
between Etkind's and Miller's works is their relative treatment of one of
the seminal figures of Russian psychoanalysis: Sabina Spielrein. Whereas
Miller devotes a dozen pages to her and to her work, Etkind makes much
more of her centrality as a pioneer of Freudian analysis in Russia and as
a transition figure from pre-revolutionary to Bolshevik Russia. He does
this, moreover, in a lengthy chapter of almost fifty pages, one based
extensively on Spielrein's correspondence found in Carotenuto's A
Secret Symetry: Sabina Spielrein Between Jung and Freud, the
Freud-Jung Correspondence itself, and materials from the Central
State Archives of Russia, whereas Miller has obviously used only the first
two. The background and bona fides of this remarkable woman are thus
thoroughly established--as is her theory of the death wish, her chief
contribution to the Freudian canon.
It is only after this that Etkind
turns to the fate of Russian psychoanalysis in the Soviet period, noting
explicitly--where Miller only strongly implies it--that the "Marxist-leaning"
and "Marxist-agitating" segments of the non-Party intelligentsia were
particularly attracted to it in the days immediately following October
1917 (p. 179). Yet Etkind also notes (as does Miller), the growing
preoccuption of the political elite with an "alteration of
man" that implied a deep-rooted transformation of human nature within the
socialist mold. This preoccupation he stresses, caused that elite to look
for new ideas to complete such a process, and Freudian psychoanalysis was
one such idea. In this way the new political masters of Russia sought to
achieve the political and economic structural changes it had theretofore
failed to attain, relying instead on psychoanalysis and educational
experimentation, at least temporarily. In any case, it was to be an
alteration of mankind through a reformation of its consciousness with the
assistance of Freudian analysis (pp. 183-185).
Etkind is unambiguous in his
assertion that the master architect of this Faustian bargain for Russian
Freudians was Leon Trotsky. The political link between the latter and
Russian psychoanalysis has, in Etkind's view, been consistently
underestimated in Western literature on the history of psychoanalysis. He
thus strives to set right this lack of appreciation--devoting over forty
pages to Trotsky, a dozen of which specifically deal with his intellectual
enthusiasm and continued political support for both psychoanalysis and its
educational offshoot, pedology. The latter, a unique Soviet approach
stressing the transformation of human nature through childhood, was
founded by people who had gone through relatively serious training in
psychoanalysis (p. 5).
Hence, Etkind forcefully argues that
the apogee of the strength of both movements came at a time--the early
1920s--when Trotsky was exerting maximal influence, and their stagnation
and fall coincided with his political fall (p. 241). He insists that,
despite support from Krupskaia, Radek, and even Stalin for the activities
of the Moscow Psychoanalytic Society and its orphanage, the Trotsky link
was its major strength (and, ultimately, drawback), since even its
vice-president, Viktor Kopp was a conspicuous figure in the Trotskyist
Opposition. What evidence Etkind possesses of Stalin's early support for
the Moscow Psychoanalytic Society aside from his son Vasilii's attendance
at its Psychoanalytic Orphanage we are not vouchsafed, however. But he is
unambiguous in his judgement that its members were fully aware of the
political nature of its activity, and that portrayers of its leaders as
dissidents bravely opposing the system, or as "autistic intellectuals" who
paid no heed to the political process are inaccurate. Miller, as noted
above, appears to be closer to this latter position than the former.
The remaining chapters of Etkind's
book are devoted to a number of matters, including a detailed analysis of
the pedology phenomenon and to subjects that are interesting but, in the
main, highly speculative and connected by only a thin tissue of inference.
The first of these is his viewpoint that the international
psychoanalytical movement was financed indirectly by the Soviets through
monies supplied to Max Eitington by a relative highly placed in Stalin's
NKVD from the mid- to the late-1920s. If true, how then does one account
for the heightened attacks on psychoanalysis and its eventual demise in
the 1930s? Of course, Stalin's pursuit of one policy abroad and a totally
different one at home is not unheard of.
The second issue is encompassed by
the penultimate chapter, "The Ambassador and Satan." With Mikhail Bulgakov,
former U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union William Bullitt, and Bulgakov's
The Master and Margarita as pivotal elements, the common
denominator of this section is, again, Freud. Bullitt was both an
analysand and collaborator on a biography of Woodrow Wilson with the
founder of psychoanalysis. As ambassador to the Soviet Union at the very
time when psychoanalitic concepts were under increasing attack from
officials, Bullitt exercised--Etkind would have us know--a hypnotic
influence on Bulgakov, because of the former's worldliness, sophistication
and association with all that was exotic and strange in a world
increasingly denied Soviet writers and intellectuals. This combination
resulted, Etkind further contends, in the incorporation of much of
Bullitt's personality in the character of Woland and the tranferral of
many of the soires and get-togethers at Spasso House into the wild and
orgiastic scenes in the novel.
Etkind thus sees this work as both a
cry for help (emigration) and an attempt to come to grips with the
question of whether Russians could be--and, indeed, had been--transformed
into the homo sovieticus so intensely desired by Stalin and
his associates. It is precisely this concern which serves as a coda in the
final chapter, one which is a consideration of the impact on and
internalization of elements of the Freudian paradigm by Russian
intellectuals as diverse as Mikhail Zoshchenko, Sergei Eisenstein, and
It is also the concern of Etkind's
Conclusion. Indeed, the latter is a brilliant piece of summary and
analysis, a section which not only draws together the many strands of the
subject, but one which inevitably invites final comparisons with Miller's
work. Etkind makes explicit his belief--again, one shared with
Miller--that the history of psychoanalysis in Russia testifies to the
penetrability of national borders by ideas (p. 347). Similarly, both
authors note the incredible complexity of such transnational penetrations.
But, unlike Miller, Etkind lays greater stress on the deadliness of the
perverse results of such a process both in the case of psychoanalysis and
Marxism. Etkind notes too that in the former case, the places occupied by
sexuality in Freudian psychoanalytic theory and by transference in
Freudian analytic practice were usurped in Russian theory and practice by
questions of power and consciouness (p. 348).
Consequently, he argues that the
wound to the Russian psychoanalytical community was largely self-inflicted.
It was the practitioners themselves who abandoned these two staples of
Western psychoanalysis in their eagerness to discover other forces
motivating the human psyche. Other traditions in early psychoanalysis were
similarly abandoned or forgotten because they had no direct bearing on the
problem of power. Thus the Faustian bargain and subsequent ruin, which
Miller suggests as something of partnership between Soviet Russia's
political leaders and the leaders of Russian psychoanalysis and in which
the former "turned" on the latter, is seen by Etkind as wholly or at least
largely the intellectual responsibility of the Russian practitioners of
psychoanalysis who struggled for political dominance rather than merely
the ill-will of the authorities. Their fault, then, was their ultimate
pursuit of power in the service of death--the eros of the impossible.
Etkind's is a powerful, learned and
stimulating book; one that will certainly intrigue and inform Russian,
Soviet and intellectual historians alike. Professor Miller's book is
similarly stimulating and informative, but it lacks the scope and richness
of Etkind's work. This should in no fashion be construed as a failing on
Miller's part for he duly acknowledges the assistance Etkind has rendered
him in his own research. Rather, it is a sad commentary on an age when
university presses seek to economize by reducing complex issues to as few
pages as possible.
. Julie Y. Brown, "Peasant
Survival Strategies in Later Imperial Russia: The Social Uses of the
Mental Hospital," Social Problems 34 (4), 1987, pp. 311-329;
Idem., "Revolution and Psychoanalysis: The Mixing of Science and Politics
in Russian Psychiatric Medicine, 1905-1913," Russian Review
46 (3) 1987, pp. 283-302; and David Joravsky, Russian Psychology. A
Critical History (New York, 1989).
. Aldo Carotunato, A Secret
Symmetry: Sabina Spielrein Between Jung and Freud (New York, 1982);
and The Freud/Jung Letters: The Correspondence Between Sigmund Freud
and C. G. Jung. Edited by William McGuire, translated by R. F. C.
Hull. Bollingen Series XCIV, (Princeton, New Jersey, 1974).
International Journal of Psychoanalysis
||Volume 86, Number 2
/ April 2005
||467 - 482
Analytical space and work in Russia: Some remarks on past and present
IGOR M. KADYROV A1
ul., 6-170, Moscow, 125047, Russia -- email@example.com
In this paper, the author
outlines the historical-cultural picture in the former USSR and
post-Soviet Russia. He looks at some facets of psychoanalysis in
Russia in the years immediately before and after the October
Revolution as well as in its recent history, exploring the implicit
question of how the wider social context, and specifi cally
totalitarian and post-totalitarian reality, has infl uenced
psychoanalytic work and analytic space in this country. With the help
of Sebek's concept of the totalitarian object and Britton's
formulations about the triangular space, the author attempts to
understand the interaction of external and internal space and to give
an introduction to the problem of establishing the analytic setting as
well as fi nding some new possibilities of enlarging the space for new
psychoanalysts in Russia.
Project MUSE )
Brooks, Jeffrey 1942- "Freud and the
Bolsheviks: Psychoanalysis in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union (review)"
Bulletin of the History of Medicine - Volume 74, Number 2, Summer 2000,
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Freud's impact on
Russia was predictable: the country's intellectual elite followed European
trends, and artists such as Kandinsky and Malevich were at home in Western
capitals, as were some Russian physicians and scientists. Martin Miller
situates Russian Freudianism in the history of medicine, however, not in
cultural ferment, and there is merit to his approach. Freud had an
enormous impact on Russian medicine, first as an exciting outside
influence and then as a powerful taboo, and Miller tells this story with
spirit. He shows that late-imperial Russian medicine, in contrast to
music, literature, and the arts, was largely on the receiving end of the
cultural interchange. However, his discussion of female Russian
psychiatrists--such as Tatiana Rosenthal, who studied in Zurich, and
Sabina Spielrein, who he...
"Periodo di illusioni e di speranze",
in PSICOTERAPIA E SCIENZE
UMANE, fasc. 3, 2002.
ABSTRACT: LAutore illustra la
situazione della psicoanalisi in Russia, dove, a partire dagli anni
90, la psicoanalisi ha dato segnali di promettente sviluppo,
nonostante le perduranti difficoltŕ legate alla sua diffusione e al
precario stato della formazione che viene offerta ai candidati che vi
si avvicinano. Grazie anche allaiuto dei colleghi stranieri,
soprattutto inglesi, tedeschi e nordamericani, la diffusione della
psicoanalisi in Russia pare comunque registrare una costante e
crescente tendenza a una maggiore presenza a fianco della psichiatria
come approccio alternativo per la gestione di alcuni importanti
The Pursuit of Psychoanalysis under Conditions of
Review of: Martin A. Miller. Freud and the
Bolsheviks: Psychoanalysis in imperial Russia and the Soviet Union. New
Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998.
Appeared in: Left History 7 (2001)2:
Martin Miller's Freud and the Bolsheviks
provides a concise history of the vicissitudes of the psychoanalytic
movement in Russia. He relates how the psychoanalytic movement started in
tsarist Russia, how it adapted and further developed under Communism before
it was outlawed, and how it blossomed again since the 1960s. Initially,
Russia's cosmopolitan culture proved particularly receptive to
psychoanalytic ideas. A number of works by Sigmund Freud had been translated
before 1917 and two psychoanalytic societies had been founded. Initially,
the new Communist regime allowed a relative freedom in intellectual
exploration; some psychoanalysts were eager to demonstrate how their ideas
could contribute to construction of the New Man for the new, Communist,
society. During the late 1920s, however, debates around the nature of
psychoanalysis and the compatibility of Freud and Marx became increasingly
strident. Psychoanalysis came under fire for being bourgeois, idealist,
biologistic, and pessimistic; critics charged that it was inherently tied to
its bourgeois roots and, as a suspect capitalist ideology, had no place in
Soviet society. In the 1930s, psychoanalysis disappeared in Soviet Russia.
During the next few decades, interest in psychoanalysis in the Soviet Union
was limited to a few individuals who secretly kept the writings of Freud and
discussed them in private. From the early 1960s on, slowly a new openness to
psychoanalysis emerged; as the grip of the Communist party on society
loosened, psychoanalytic topics were discussed more freely.
Miller has provided an extremely readable and
comprehensive overview of the history of psychoanalysis in Russia and the
Soviet Union. By presenting the most important parameters in that history,
his book serves as a superb introduction to the topic. The first two parts
of Miller's overview, dealing with psychoanalysis in pre-revolutionary
Russia and under Communism until 1936, present information available in a
wide variety of disparate sources; Miller [ - 108 - ] conveniently presents
the whole story in accessible form. The third part of the book, dealing with
psychoanalysis in the Soviet Union after 1960, is based on new research and
describes developments not discussed elsewhere. Miller's research is mostly
based on published sources; he presents the history of psychoanalysis by
summarizing a wide variety of publications dealing with psychoanalytic
topics and placing them in their contexts.
The first question one can ask of any book
dealing with the history of psychoanalysis written in recent years is why
one should focus on the history of psychoanalysis in the first place. Up
until the 1960s, when psychoanalysis reigned supreme in the United States,
one did not need to provide a justification for writing a historical account
of its development. Accounts written at that time, of which Gregory
Zilboorg's History of Medical Psychology (New York: Norton, 1941)
is the most well-known, generally contrasted the ignorance of the past with
the enlightened present and sought to analyze why it took such a long time
for the psychiatric profession or society at large to accept the obviously
true, valid, and scientific insights of psychoanalysis. Today,
psychoanalysis has been largely discredited within the helping professions (although
it seems to enjoy great popularity in literary, cultural, and film studies).
One historian of psychiatry, Edward Shorter, presented it as a hiatus in the
growth of an ever-more powerful somatic psychiatry.
(1) If psychoanalysis appears to be
discredited in the Western world, one could wonder why an entire book to its
development elsewhere should be written. Unfortunately, Miller does not tell
us why it is important to tell the story of psychoanalysis in Russia.
A second problem for the historian who sets out
to investigate the history of psychoanalysis is that the object of his
interest has changed considerably over time. When the psychoanalytic
movement started, relatively few ideas had been spelled out and there was
considerable freedom to develop new ideas. Probably reflecting this earlier
openness within the psychoanalytic movement, Miller states that, in his
book, "psychoanalysis" stands for the work of Freud, Carl Gustav Jung,
Alfred Adler, and others who had at one time or another some connection to
psychoanalysis; all in all, they were a rather diverse group of clinicians
and theoreticians. In the first decade of the twentieth century, "psychoanalysis"
covered a wide variety of ideas. Interested individuals had great leeway to
formulate their own approach. It was, after all, not easy to gain an
accurate understanding of Sigmund Freud's ideas when one did not read German;
Freud's works appeared in translation rather slowly. Because of these
reasons, what were actually understood to be essential tenets of
psychoanalysis could vary widely among individuals and nations. It would
have been helpful if Miller had elaborated what elements of this wide body
of ideas were espoused by the Russians and which ones were neglected.
To make the situation even more complicated, "psychoanalysis"
was, for a long time, short-hand for a movement which attracted all kinds of
individuals who were interested in developing a mental approach to human
nature. This [ - 109 - ]movement was dominated by the approaches developed
by three individuals, two of whom are not considered psychoanalysts by
today's standards: Pierre Janet, Paul Dubois, and Sigmund Freud. From the
1890s on, Janet had developed his dynamic psychology of alternate mental
states to explain phenomena such as multiple personality and the remarkable
ability of hypnosis to uncover forgotten memories, ranging from those of
traumatic events to rather mundane and unimportant details of life. Hypnosis
could provide access to the subliminal consciousness, which was much broader
in scope than our everyday consciousness. Not surprisingly, hypnosis became
the prime psychotherapeutic method for Janet. Paul Dubois, a Swiss
psychiatrist, had developed his rational psychotherapy to deal with neurotic
complaints. Through reasoning, suggestion, and persuasion, Dubois challenged
his patients to develop a rational perspective on their situation, which
would aid them in acting decisively to address the issues that made them
unhappy. He was opposed to the use of hypnosis since it would subvert the
power of the person to act and paralyzed the will. Freud's theories,
developed somewhat later, incorporated elements of both theorists. In the
beginning, individuals interested in the mental aspects of life did not feel
a strong need to differentiate between these three. The historian of
psychoanalysis, or, as I would prefer to put it, the historian of
psychological approaches to human nature, has to investigate the relative
importance of each of these three approaches in specific historical contexts.
Miller mentions that Osipov, one of the first Russian psychoanalysts, was
influenced by Dubois and published some of his articles in the journal of
the Russian Psychoanalytic Society. Unfortunately, he does not analyze the
relative importance of Dubois's approach in Russian psychoanalysis.
Earlier histories of psychoanalysis generally
sketched its growth as originating in the works of Sigmund Freud, after
which they sketch the dissemination of his ideas. Contemporary historical
research on the history of psychoanalysis in North America has become
increasingly sophisticated and analyzes a great number of cultural and
social factors which made North America receptive to psychoanalytic ideas.
(2) American historians interested in
the growth of psychological or mental approaches to human nature have
elaborated on the importance of the mind-cure movement, North American
religiosity, American individualism, the existing self-help culture, and
several other factors to explain the popularity of psychoanalysis at this
side of the Atlantic. One wishes that Miller had provided similar
explanations for the seeming popularity in Russia. His overview of the
crisis in somatic psychiatry which led to an interest in psychoanalysis
could have been expanded to include a wide variety of other factors.
During the first decades of the twentieth
century, one could become interested in psychoanalysis for a variety of
reasons. This would, not surprisingly, influence what specific individuals
took away from Freud. Miller mentions Lev Vygotsky and Alexander Luria as
early Russian enthusiasts for [ - 110 - ] psychoanalysis. One could wonder,
however, what their interests in psychoanalysis consisted of. Neither one
remained interested in it for a long time. However, both men developed
radically innovative and interesting approaches to the study of the human
mind. Vygotsky developed a highly original theory of the socialization of
children which incorporated social and cultural factors to a much greater
extent than orthodox psychoanalysis did. Luria became famous for his later
studies in brain physiology. Miller's study would have profited from a
description of approaches to the study of the human mind that existed when
psychoanalysis became known in Russia, and which alternative approaches to
the mind developed later on. This would place psychoanalysis in its proper
intellectual context and acquaint readers with fascinating bodies of thought
that are not particularly well-known in the Western world.
The high point of the book consists of the
descriptions of the infighting and expulsion of individuals and political
groups within the Politburo, the Communist Party, and several
state-controlled academic institutions, as well as the consequences of these
highly charged political struggles for psychoanalysis as well as any form of
psychology. In the decade after the Revolution, a relative freedom reigned
in which intellectuals developed a wide variety of ideas on how a Communist
society could best be realized. Active debates about how psychoanalysis and
Marxism could be combined in the building of the new Soviet society took
place. During the late 1920s, following Stalin's political ascendence, this
freedom became increasingly restricted. When the political faction which had
supported psychoanalysis fell from favor and was ousted from all influential
political bodies, the fate of psychoanalysis in the Soviet Union was sealed.
In a number of highly visible public discussions, the bourgeois roots of
psychoanalysis were decried and exposed as a poison for the true
revolutionary spirit. Psychoanalysis had, after all, come into being as a
treatment method for the worried well-off and thereby functioned as a
panacea for the neuroses in the wealthy, the class responsible for the
exploitative social structure of capitalism. At the 1930 Congress on Human
Behavior, organized by the Society of Materialist Psychoneurologists of the
Communist Academy of Sciences, psychoanalysis was widely condemned as a
system of thought incompatible with Marxism. Several intellectuals claimed
that earlier attempts to combine Freud and Marx were inherently fallacious
and would have to be abandoned. Aaron Zalkind, an earlier enthusiast for
Freud's theories, had read the writing on the wall and declared himself as
the most ardent opponent of any form of psychologism and idealism in
psychiatry and psychology; his speech at the Congress was designed to be the
death knell for the Soviet Freudians (despite all this, Zalkind was not able
to rescue his career). In 1936, the Central Committee of the Communist Party
banned psychoanalysis and related idealist, bourgeois ideas from academic
and public life.
Miller reports on this debate in a
matter-of-fact way, but does not provide his own perspective on the
developments. Were the Soviets afraid of the [ - 111 - ] unconscious and
therefore repressed psychoanalysis? Or were they right in their condemnation
of a sick ideology? The first problem for the Soviets with psychoanalysis
was that the latter deals with the problem of the imaginary. Psychoanalysis
deals with fantasies and desires-the imagination-and pays less attention to
actual life experiences and the social and cultural origins of these life
conditions. For psychoanalysts, personality development was based on desire
and sexual conflict, not on the class structure or economic reality.
(3) Soviet intellectuals were, on the
contrary, interested on the social determinants of behavior and thought, in
particular how the economic foundations of specific societies influences the
personality. Psychoanalysis was not particularly useful for gaining insight
into such factors. The question of the relative importance of economic,
social, and cultural factors on personality development has absorbed the
interests of a great number of neo-Freudians, among them Wilhelm Reich,
Erich Fromm, and Erik Erikson, who also felt that classical psychoanalysis
did not take these factors into account sufficiently. These authors did
their most creative work in accommodating social and cultural factors in a
psychoanalytic framework. Second, in the Western world, psychoanalysis
provided an expensive cure for the wealthy, leisurely classes and thereby
unwittingly kept class distinctions alive. It never was available for the
masses (although some initiatives were undertaken in Berlin and Vienna to
provide psychoanalysis to individuals who could not afford it).
Unfortunately, the 1930 Congress and the 1936
decree ended a period of fruitful dialogue between a limited number of
Marxists and a limited number of psychoanalysis (most of whom considered
Bolshevism inspired by neurotic desires or as a symptom of deeper-laying
psychoses). Attempts to combine insights from both have inspired
intellectuals for a long time. However, attempts to come up with a synthesis
have often been difficult. Louis Althusser, for example, stated in a moment
of exasperation about the relationship between ideology and the Unconscious:
"I have said that there must be some relation there, but ... I can only
reply that I don't see it."
(4) In other words, the debate about
the relationship between Marxism and psychoanalysis, although fruitful and
intellectually invigorating for all the decades it has been conducted, has
not been particularly conclusive. It is therefore not surprising that Soviet
intellectuals found it difficult to fit both ideologies within the same
Between 1930 and 1960, hardly anything on
psychoanalysis was published in the Soviet Union. Surprisingly, in the
1960s, a whole new trend of Soviet criticism of Freud appeared. In these
critiques, psychoanalysis is never dismissed out of hand; instead, detailed
critique is given, some of which anticipated arguments later articulated in
the West. It appears that these critiques provided an acceptable "code" to
discuss psychoanalytic topics publicly; those interested in psychoanalysis
needed to earn a reputation as critics to gain access to Freud's writings.
In the 1980s, psychoanalysis was more openly discussed in the Soviet Union;
in 1979, the famous Tbilisi conference on psychoanalysis was [ - 112 - ]
held, which had a lot of Western participants. During glasnost and
perestroika, psychoanalytic matters were discussed widely, as they are today
in an attempt to make sense of a post-Communist Russia. One could wonder
whether the renewed interest in psychoanalysis was based on a liking of
everything the Communist regime disliked or whether it was due to other
factors; unfortunately, Miller does not provide an explanation.
At some points, Miller reflects on the status of
psychoanalysis in widely-read Russian novels, some of which clearly reflect
psychoanalytic ideas but were politically savvy enough not to make this too
obvious. Here, Miller misses an important chance to analyze the importance
of psychiatric and psychological analyses of characters in Russian novels as
well as the authors of these novels. In Russia, it appears that
psychoanalytic ideas were applied to analyze literature, the arts, and
politics before they were used in psychotherapeutic practice. Miller
mentions the applications of psychoanalysis to literature of Nikolai Osipov
on Lev Tolstoy and the writings of Tatiana Rosenthal, among them an
extensive analysis of the author Fiodor Dostoyewski. Russian psychiatrists
spent ample time on such analyses; seen the importance of the Russian
literary tradition, they could make the importance of their discipline clear
to the public by providing new perspectives on well-known literary
characters. Of course, it was helpful that many Russian novels contain
elaborate descriptions of the mental life of its characters who suffer from
wide variety of psychological disturbances (one only has to think of
Dostoyewksi's The Double, The Idiot, and his Notes
from the Underground, and Gogol's Diary of a Madman). This
specifically Russian tradition has hardly been studied historically and
constitutes, in my opinion, one of the most interesting culturally-specific
applications of psychiatric and psychoanalytic theory in Russia and the
As I said before, Freud and the Bolsheviks
provides a superb overview of the history of psychoanalysis in Russia and
the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, the author does not make clear why the
reader should care about the topic of his book. It is not clear, for example,
whether the author intends to use the history of psychoanalysis to shed
light on developments within Russia and the Soviet Union or whether he
intended to do the reverse and use the history of Russia and the Soviet
Union to shed light on psychoanalysis. On the first page of his book, Miller
states that his book is principally concerned with, among other things, the
consequences of the establishment of a psychoanalytic presence in Russia and
the Soviet Union (p. ix). This, however, is the last we hear about this
potentially highly interesting topic. In the last pages, he seeks to answer
the question why psychoanalysis has been fought, debunked, and discredited
with an apparently endless vigor in the Soviet Union (pp. 161-8). After
provocatively stating that "psychoanalysis became a powerful symbol of a
deep problem endemic to the Soviet system itself" (p. 164), he fails to
follow up by informing the reader about the nature of that deep problem. He
mentions the psychoanalytic emphasis on individualist concerns, which,
understandably, was opposed to Soviet [ - 113 - ] collectivist values, but
this hardly explains the deep enmity the Soviets felt for Freud. It could be,
for example, that discrediting Freud became a propedeutic effort for any
Soviet intellectual to develop his or her ideological teeth in the same way
we ask college students today to write critical essays on any
non-controversial topic. Be that as it may, Miller's book leaves a number of
rather difficult questions unanswered which will occupy historians of
psychoanalysis and historians of Communism for the next few years.
Moreover, one could reflect on why the late
1920s and 1930s were the most prominent years for Freud-bashing in the
Soviet Union, while the 1990s proved to be the same in supposedly highly
individualistic North America. Were the same factors at work? Were they
highly divergent? Or has Freud, for reasons that are not entirely clear,
always been an interesting figure-head whom everybody loves to hate and who
can easily be criticized in any cultural context when, really, quite
different points are being made? Such questions are inevitably part of a
broader cultural history of psychoanalysis which transcends an analysis of
the dissemination of a specific and, over time, highly codified body of
ideas. [ - 114 - ]
1. Edward Shorter, A
history of psychiatry: From the era of the asylum to the age of Prozac
(New York: John Wiley, 1997), chapter 5, "The Psychoanalytic Hiatus."
2. See, for example, Nathan
G. Hale, Freud and the Americans: The beginnings of psychoanalysis in
the United States, 1876-1917 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971);
Freud and the Americans, 1917-1985: The rise and crisis of
psychoanalysis in the United States (New York: Oxford Univ Press,
3. Gilles Deleuze and Felix
Guattari, in their Anti-oedipus: Capitalism and schizophrenia
(Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1983 (or. 1972)) attempt to
develop a psychoanalytic theory of the unconscious in which desire is
understood to be directly connected to the material conditions of existence.
See, in particular, chapter 1.4, "A materialistic psychiatry."
4. Louis Althusser,
Writings on psychoanalysis: Freud and Lacan. Translated by Jeffrey
Mehlmann, edited by Olivier Corpet and François Matheron (New York: Columbia
University Press, 1996), 5.