DOI link for Ordinary miseries
Ordinary miseries book
An odd event commented on by the late Bruno Bettelheim is that much of the meaning of Freud’s work has become lost in translation. Psychoanalysis, according to a German reading of Freud, was a compassionate therapy which in American hands became a dispassionate (medically dominated) system of abstractions or, as Bettelheim (1983:6) put it, ‘a way of looking only at others, from a safe distance’. Freud had assumed a cultured audience for his work and he thought that Americans lacked the kind of classical learning-stories of the Gods and their naughty offspring-possessed by educated Europeans. The assumption is that psychoanalysis springs from a deep well, that it comes from a long and thickly planted European culture and that it is about coming to know oneself in a profound and self-analytical way.