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498 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 becoming which is reality, is the essence of tragedy. (It is this Dionysian wisdom which paralyses Hamlet claims Nietzsche in a provocative aside.) It seems to follow that the great doctrines of 'modem' ethics are false. If there is no individual selt then autonomy (the ability to legislate morality for oneself) cannot be centrat and if individual autonomy is an illusion, then freedom and responsibility are false ideals. They are, Mcintyre explains, idealistic and also subjectivistic (in the special sense that they depend on isolating the subject from the objective world). If we permit this big move from metaphysics to ethics, how are we to reconceive Nietzsche's most notorious conceptions, the superman (Ubermensch) who rises above the common herd, his place beyond good and evit the love of fate and the eternal return? Mcintyre's account of the 'overman' differs radically from conventional ones. He describes first a character of a certain modesty, because he has willingly abandoned 'self' in the desire to embrace reality; second, a character who is not so much above as around others, encompassing them as becoming encompasses mere beings. This superiority is marked by compassion (a sort of identity with all things) and by joy, which not only attends but is constihlent of the overman's superior self-knowledge and activity. And if the overman enjoys any event, he recognizes its dependence on the entire pre-history of that moment and so wills the 'eternal return of the whole.' Nietzsche called his association with Wagner the one joyful experience of his life. Although Mcintyre does not discuss that brief friendship, he does argue that Nietzsche remained preoccupied with the theoretical importance of joy. Mcintyre tries to capture this joy by adopting a style of lyrical repetition in his final chapter, in striking contrast to the lucid analyses and the sound summaries of Plato, Rousseau, Kant, Goethe, Schopenhauer , and Heidegger which he offers in earlier chapters. Nietzsche is too impatient a thinker to be a great philosopher; he is nonetheless a brilliant polemidst, full of philosophical insights. Mcintyre does a monumental job of presenting him as a systematic thinker whose political views, while anti-Enlightenment, are neither fascist nor utopian, but forward-looking and humane. In this era of sloppy publishing, the press deserves special praise for excellent productionstandards; I found only one English typographical slip (and three missing umlauts). (sTEVEN BURNs) Patrick]. Mahony. Freud's Dora: A Psycl!omwlytic, Historical, and Texlllul St11dy Yale University Press 19ยข. xx, 170.$29.95 Freud's Dora, the person who lost first her name and then her body to a text but who still faintly waves to us from within its gaps, has now, in the book HUMANITIES 499 under review, become Dora's Freud, the authoritative mirror of Freud's sickness, the effective resistance to her doctor's trauma-inducing attempt to cure her. Mahony's book sets out to free Dora from the clutches of the psychoanalytic establishment by systematically turning most of the major diagnostic moments in the text into a criticism of Freud's character and analytic procedure, and making Freud's own self-criticisms into portraits of a sexually unstable, if theoretically ambitious, writer. As a famous example, Freud failed to master Dora's transference onto him, and could not bring himself to reveal to her that her most powerful erotic drive involved her fascination with the sexuality of Frau K., her father's lover. Mahony relates these two errors through what he calls a 'double split in [Freud's] countertransference to bisexuality': because of the 'tumultuous' nature of Freud's friendship with Fliess, then on the point of breaking up, Dora's own bisexuality, which mirrored Freud's, did not con1e up in the course of her analysis, while, on the other hand, Freud was blind to the nature of Dora's transference onto him, because of Freud's own compensatory countertransference onto the virile Herr K. It is for this reason. that these two famous errors are not integrated in the analysis, producing a scramb1ed text as a result. Thus, far from being a model for other would-be analysts, the Dora case study is...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 498-500
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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