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216Rocky Mountain Review of dream interpretation and the efforts he made to disguise this debt. The usual explanation for those efforts (to which Frieden devotes only one line) is that Freud wanted psychoanalysis to be accepted as a science, not dismissed as "Jewish science." What is new here is the claim that Freud felt an "anxiety of influence" toward his Talmudic precursors and wished above all to preserve his own status as an original thinker. If it were fleshed out more fully, this essay would be a significant contribution to the "historically informed understanding" of psychoanalysis called for by Frederick Crews (Skeptical Engagements [NY: Oxford, 1986] 47). The editor, Carol Schreier Rupprecht, rounds out the book's diachronic and cross-cultural approach with a learned article on dreaming in the Renaissance. She focuses first on the life and work of Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576), who is known today chiefly as a mathematician. After discussing Cardano's belief that dreams provide a kind of natural divination into the future, Rupprecht turns, via Foucault's Madness and Civilization, to a discussion of historical attitudes towards dreams. She demonstrates that the association between dreams and divination came to be replaced by a medical model that associated dreams with insanity and culminated in the work of Freud. Overall, this book is valuable for the questions it raises and for the richness of the material its contributors confront. Readers who are drawn to Jung's way of thinking about dreams will enjoy most of the essays here. Readers with an interest in other schools of thought (Freudian, Kleinian, Self-psychological, Ego-psychological) would do well to consult the important clinical articles collected in Essential Papers on Dreams, edited by Melvin R. Lansky (NYU Press, 1992). In any event, students of literature will sympathize with Rupprecht's open-minded appeal for further investigation of "dreaming's contribution to creativity" and an end to the domination of dream theory by "medical pathology or theologically (or psychologically) based versions of spirituality" (129). RICHARD K. SANDERSON Boise State University CLARISE SAMUELS. Holocaust Visions: Surrealism and Existentialism in the Poetry of Paul Celan. Columbia, South Carolina: Camden House, 1993. 140 p. 1 he purpose of Holocaust Visions is to locate Paul Celan's opus within the existentialist context that has been largely ignored by Celan critics. Clarise Samuels lays out the cohesive philosophical system that she believes encompasses the poet's violent Holocaust images. Celan's route to existentialism is through surrealism. His illogical imagery symbolizes the irrational depths of the psyche and also, paradoxically, exposes the authentic or surreal "order" of existence. By disclosing the absurd truth beneath the facade of convention, Celan's existentialist revelations ultimately gesture beyond the irrational to a distant utopia. Book Reviews217 Samuels develops this thesis methodically, outlining first the links between surrealism and existentialism and then Celan's combined surrealist and existentialist quest for authenticity through the Holocaust. Surrealist absurdity converges with the existentialist's "anguish of being," characterized by Sartre as the individual's incomprehension of a senseless world. The Holocaust, which Celan experienced first hand, epitomizes the absurd reality of human life and provides the concrete foundation for the irrational imagery of authentic being. In the face of existential anguish the existentialist exercises the human freedom to choose a meaningful life course, and, analogously , the surrealist chooses to impose meaning on elemental chaos through art. Samuels moves from this background discussion to analysis of Celan's poetry. Celan depicts wasteland landscapes that suggest the Holocaust and its aftermath. His wastelands function primarily, however, not as revelations of historical fact but as timeless psychological landscapes "fraught with an existentialist's sense of despair" (57). Celan's "Todesfuge," to be sure, with its marked allusions to Auschwitz, does not cast the death camp as a universal symbol. But in later work Celan develops the Holocaust as a more general metaphor for abuse and ultimately for existence itself. Both the form and the content of the poems contribute to this universal vision of horror. Stylistically Celan juxtaposes incongruous elements, creating jarring impressions of absurdity. His grim images of misery and death catapult Holocaust victims beyond the normal and comprehensible into the horrific absurd. Despite...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-2833
Print ISSN
1948-2825
Pages
pp. 216-218
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-06
Open Access
No
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