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A Case of Hysteria reveals how Freud dealt with patients and interpreted their statements. A crucial text in the development of his theories, it is famous for its literary qualities, and the story of 'Dora' and her unhappy family is as dramatic as a modern novel. This new translation includes a fascinating introduction to the work.
'I very soon had an opportunity to interpret Dora's nervous coughing as the outcome of a fantasized sexual situation.'A Case of Hysteria, popularly known as the Dora Case, affords a rare insight into how Freud dealt with patients and interpreted what they told him. The 18-year-old 'Dora' was sent for psychoanalysis by her father after threatening suicide; as Freud's enquiries deepened, he uncovered a remarkably unhappy and conflict-ridden family, with several competing versions of their story. The narrative became a crucial text in the evolution of his theories, combining his studies on hysteria and
his new theory of dream-interpretation with early insights into the development of sexuality. The unwitting preconceptions and prejudices with which Freud approached his patient reveal his blindness and the broader attitudes of turn-of-the-century Viennese society, while his account of 'Dora's' emotional
travails is as gripping as a modern novel.
This new translation is accompanied by a substantial introduction which sets the work in its biographical, historical, and intellectual context, and offers a close and critical analysis of the text itself.
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Dora remains shocking, infuriating, enthralling, and inspiring. It is an indispensable text for anyone wanting to get to grips with psychiatry. The Lancet, Niall Boyce