The Spectral Mother

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Cornell University Press, 1992
264 pages

A ghostlike object of simultaneous fascination and dread, the mother plays a marginal role in Freud’s theoretical writings. Madelon Sprengnether finds Freud’s attitudes toward the preoedipal mother to be a key to his theorizing on femininity. Sprengnether both looks at how Freud avoided issues involving the mother and undertakes a daring reinterpretation of the preoedipal mother from the perspective of feminist psychoanalytic theory.

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