I didn’t like this book at all.
The first thing that struck me as odd was Freud talking about how had published a case study without the patient knowing. I thought that possibly, this was considered acceptable back when he was writing Dora, but now I’ve found that apparently not. Either way, I thought it was strange from the beginning.
Normally in blog posts I quote my notes, but the truth is, most of my notes this time chronicle how bewildered/disbelieving I was concerning most of the things Freud was saying. There’s the part on page 23 when he talks about what how he thinks Herr. K kissing Dora translated from reality into her memory. There’s the part on page 33 when he suggests that maybe Dora’s aphonia was due to the fact that the one person she wanted to speak to wasn’t around. And, of course, there’s the part on page 91 where he provides a sexual reading of Dora’s dream. My note for that last one is a very calm “you could apply this to any locale if you tried”. Honestly. Maybe I’ve gone about reading this book all the wrong way, but I (well, a reader in general) have no idea what Freud has not told about Dora, or even what Dora has not told.
This book is just so full of conjecture and interpretation that I can’t take it seriously. It read to me overall as proof that you can make anything look like anything else if only you try hard enough. This is my new least favourite book on the reading list.
I’m aware that Freud quotes Charcot to those who have expressed a “personal dislike or disbelief”: “Ca n’empêche pas d’exister” (105). I don’t believe Freud’s made a strong enough case, and maybe that’s my problem. Very well.