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Illumination by Darkness

Freud and the Social Bond

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Bernard Bergen

This book presents an original and innovative reading of Freud's thought based on a single premise: Our century requires us to understand what Freud tells us about ourselves and the way we are bonded to the social world, in his own terms, rather than filtered through the screen of the revisionist history of psychoanalytic thought. Refusing all revisionist judgments, which deem Freud's work to be fragmented and lacking in narrative coherency because it does not end with a vision of human possibility, this book follows the narrative movement of the instinctual doctrine which governs his work, to an end which calls us not to love, but interpret those visions of human possibility that seek to command the world. This call is a call to take responsibility for preserving the world that we now know is in constant peril.