In Vienna, two years before the First World War, Sigmund Freud founded Imago as a journal for the application of psychoanalysis to the humanities, arts, and social sciences. When in the 1930s the spread of fascism forced the psychoanalytic movement from the European continent, one of its original editors, Hanns Sachs, re-established the journal in Boston as American Imago. We are now entering Imago's centenary year. As a historian of Vienna and psychoanalysis, and in common with the journal's readers, I am moved and inspired by a legacy of publication and editorial commitment that endured throughout the twentieth century and continued into our own.
From the beginning, Imago reflected Freud's conception of psychoanalysis as a cultural and intellectual movement. Freud inaugurated the journal with his four essays on Totem and Taboo and soon published in its pages his study of the Moses of Michelangelo and his post-1914 reflections on war and death. In those works, written within a short span of three years, he responded to core realities of the twentieth century: the tenacity and defensiveness of systems of social and cultural authority, the expanding reality and impact of visual culture and communication, and the rapid growth and increasing destructiveness of the state's war-making powers. This issue of American Imago centers on the last theme, one that Freud revisited throughout his life: the presence and experience of war in modern society.
Imago was one of the first scholarly and professional journals to view its purpose as multidisciplinary, and the essays in this issue explore the culture and consequences of war through that lens. They integrate the perspectives of clinical practice and historical analysis, social theory and cultural criticism, classical studies and media research. They examine how unacknowledged aggression has become fused with the art market in the most recent decade of war; how the social trauma of warfare and civil conflict has led communities to develop divergent [End Page 389] forms of psychological and social repair; how an intellectual fascist sympathizer attempted to re-imagine and reconstruct his cultural and political past; how a photographer endeavored to visualize the Blitz of London and so enable herself and others to endure it mentally; and how a wartime encounter in the United States summoned the prewar world and creativity of Henri Matisse. The review essay in this issue draws medical and psychological attention to the processes of aging among Holocaust survivors. One of the book reviews explores the effect of war on an artist who also became a psychoanalytic writer. Finally, the issue concludes with a review that recalls those psychoanalysts who openly stood against the use of state torture in Latin America and that emphasizes the necessity today to confront the complicity of the psychology profession in the U.S. practice of torture.
As stated above, this issue of the journal—the first under our editorship—reaffirms American Imago's links to its Viennese namesake. We recommit the journal to serving as an international forum in which psychoanalytic theorists and practitioners, researchers in the social sciences, and scholars and writers in the arts and humanities can explore and debate the historical meanings of psychoanalysis, its cross-disciplinary currents, and its future intellectual and social directions. At the opening of a new century of publication, American Imago will continue to seek and encourage work that grounds itself in independent research and theoretical reflection and that upholds the critical and scientific spirit of Freud and of those who have advanced the psychoanalytic movement.
Now, before closing this preface, we want to recognize the editor whose broad spirit and tireless dedication guided and sustained American Imago in the first decade of the 21st century. In the journal and in his own work, Peter L. Rudnytsky has devoted himself to supporting creative thought and innovative ideas across the field of psychoanalysis. He directed the journal as a model of both professional community and wide-ranging intellectual exchange. Authors and readers will remain in his debt. [End Page 390]
Louis Rose is the Editor of American Imago, a member of the Trustees of the Sigmund Freud Archives, Library of Congress, and Professor of...