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Nazi Psychoanalysis v3

Volume III

2002
Author:

Laurence A. Rickels
Foreword by Benjamin Bennett

Nazi Psychoanalysis v3

A revolutionary new approach to the place of Nazi ideology in twentieth-century thought

In volume III, Rickels explores the ways in which Nazi Germany imagined itself and expressed that realization through technology and science fiction or fantasy.

This is a challenging work, alternately fascinating and infuriating, and it resists being summarized or distilled into one or several essential contributions. Compelling and persuasive. He brilliantly traces discourses on the relationship between pilots and their aircraft, spinning out all kinds of associations around men and machines, treating psychoanalysis as a kind of privileged discourse on the ‘ongoing technologization of our bodies’ that ran through the twentieth century. Equally fascinating are the discussions in Volume Three of a seemingly repressed body of mid-twentieth-century German science fiction.

Times Literary Supplement

Psychoanalysis was a symptom of everything the Nazis reviled: an intellectual assault on Kultur largely perpetrated by Jews. It was also, as this remarkable work shows, an inescapable symptom of modernity, practiced, transformed, and perpetuated by and within the Nazi regime. A sweeping, magisterial work by one of the most incisive and interesting scholars of modern philosophy, theory, and culture, Nazi Psychoanalysis studies the breadth of this phenomenon in order to clarify and deepen our understanding not only of psychoanalysis but of the twentieth century.

Tracing the intersections of psychoanalysis and Nazism, Laurence A. Rickels discovers startling conjunctions and continuities in writers as diverse as Adler and Adorno, Kafka and Goethe, Lacan, H. Rider Haggard, and Heidegger; and in works as different as Der Golem, Civilization and Its Discontents, Frankenstein, Faust, and Brave New World. In a richly allusive style, he writes of psychoanalysis in multifarious incarnations, of the concept and actual history of "insurance," of propaganda in theory and practice, of psychological warfare, Walt Disney, and the Frankfurt School debates—a dizzying tour of the twentieth century that helps us see how the "corridor wars" that arise in the course of theoretical, clinical, social, political, and cultural attempts to describe the human psyche are related to the world wars of the century in an intimate and infinitely complicated manner.

Though some have used its appropriation by the Nazis to brand psychoanalysis with the political odium of fascism, Rickels instead finds an uncanny convergence-one that suggests far-reaching possibilities for both psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic criticism. His work, with its enormous intellectual and historical span, makes a persuasive argument that no element of modernity—not psychoanalysis any more than Marxism or deconstruction, cultural revolutions or technological advances—can be adequately understood without a thorough consideration of its Nazi component.


Nazi Psychoanalysis v3

Laurence A. Rickels is professor of German and comparative literature at the University of California at Santa Barbara. His books include The Vampire Lectures (1999), The Case of California (2001), and the edited volume Acting Out in Groups (1999), all published by Minnesota.

Nazi Psychoanalysis v3

This is a challenging work, alternately fascinating and infuriating, and it resists being summarized or distilled into one or several essential contributions. Compelling and persuasive. He brilliantly traces discourses on the relationship between pilots and their aircraft, spinning out all kinds of associations around men and machines, treating psychoanalysis as a kind of privileged discourse on the ‘ongoing technologization of our bodies’ that ran through the twentieth century. Equally fascinating are the discussions in Volume Three of a seemingly repressed body of mid-twentieth-century German science fiction.

Times Literary Supplement

Rickels’s book is successful as a daring, wide-ranging inquiry into previously unexplored or neglected connections between Nazism and psychoanalytical theory. Moreover, Rickels’s densely theoretical treatment of his material is novel and provocative.

H-Net Reviews

Rickels provides an idiosyncratic and illuminating new look at the meaning of psychoanalysis in the Third Reich. Eschewing straightforward narrative for a prismatic account of the twists and turns of psychoanalysts who collaborated to survive, he offers a gripping history of the phenomenon of what made the Nazis think like Nazis.

Sander L. Gilman, University of Illinois at Chicago

Rickels’s writing is marvelously witty, ironic, erudite, and original . . . unlike some critics who would read the Nazi appropriation of psychoanalysis as a sign of the politically odious character of psychoanalysis itself, Rickels reads the convergence as ‘uncanny’ and offers, in his very reading, another possibility for psychoanalytic criticism beside the one that forms the topic of this text.

Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley

Rickels has unearthed a mass of fascinating information about the underground life of psychoanalysis during the Nazi period. His book will constitute a provocative contribution both to psychoanalysis and to studies of Nazi Germany.

Fredric R. Jameson, Duke University

Nazi Psychoanalysis v3

CONTENTS

Foreword
BENJAMINBENNETT
Achtung
A PREFACE TO NAZI PSYCHOANALYSIS

Apart

It’s Back!
Werther Report
How Many Siblings
Same Difference
Conversion
The Buff Object of Identification
The Body of His Work
Gotta Read Goette
U.S. Is Them

Higher and Higher

Plane Talk
Lights! Action! Cut!
Double Burial
Therapists for Heyer
Shock Talk
Columns
Writing a Letter to Heyer
The Hand-Me-Down Book
Heyer and Heyer
Humanities
It Just Takes Two
Aircraft That Cannot Be
Panic Attack

Mars Attracts
Siegerkraft
The Psychotic Sublime
The Schreber Garden of Eden
Projection Therapy
Wishing Wells
It’s Time
Dominik Gene
Countdown
Hotel Dominik

Doubles

Double Amnesia
Hunger
Exile on War Neurosis
On the Second Date
Manuals
Efficiency Pack
GI Joey
Family Program
Family Outing
Therapy Values

Epilogue on Fire

Leave a Message, but Don’t Forget to Breathe
The Teen Age
Middle Ages Crisis
Jung Frankenstein
Last Word
Primal Time
Wonders Never Cease
TV Services
A Couple More Drags
Up in Smoke

References
Filmography
Index