Subject to Biography: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Writing Women's Lives

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Harvard University Press, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 282 pages

In this provocative new book, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl illuminates the psychological and intellectual demands writing biography makes on the biographer and explores the complex and frequently conflicted relationship between feminism and psychoanalysis.

A practicing psychoanalyst, a distinguished scholar, and the widely praised biographer of Anna Freud and Hannah Arendt, Young-Bruehl here reflects on the relations between self-knowledge, autobiography, biography, and cultural history. She considers what remains valuable in Sigmund Freud's work, and what areas--theory of character, for instance--must be rethought to be useful for current psychoanalytic work, for feminist studies, and for social theory.

Psychoanalytic theory used for biography, she argues, can yield insights for psychoanalysis itself, particularly in the understanding of creativity. Subject to Biography offers not simply the products of an astute mind, but an entrée into the thinking process; it welcomes the reader into the writer's workshop.

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The Practice of Psychobiography
Feminism and Psychoanalysis

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About the author (1998)

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl was born in Elkton, Maryland on March 3, 1946. She received bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in philosophy from the New School for Social Research in New York. She later trained as a psychoanalyst. She taught for many years at Wesleyan University and Haverford College. She wrote numerous books including Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World, Anna Freud: A Biography, Mind and the Body Politic, Why Arendt Matters, The Anatomy of Prejudices, and Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children. She died of pulmonary embolism on December 1, 2011 at the age of 65.

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