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After Freud LeftA Century of Psychoanalysis in America$
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John C. Burnham

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226081373

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226081397.001.0001

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Freud and the Vicissitudes of Modernism in the United States, 1940–1980

Freud and the Vicissitudes of Modernism in the United States, 1940–1980

(p.163) Six Freud and the Vicissitudes of Modernism in the United States, 1940–1980
After Freud Left

Dorothy Ross

University of Chicago Press

This chapter argues that the rise and fall of Sigmund Freud's influence among intellectuals can be understood best by following the changes that occurred in their ideas of modernism from 1940 to 1980. Psychoanalysis was a modernist invention, and the high point of modernism in the United States co-occurred with the high point of the impact of Freud's ideas. Modernism was the lens that determined changing political and cultural anxieties into changing estimates of Freudian ideas. The respect that Lionel Trilling imparted on Freud was widespread in intellectual and academic communities. Like Trilling's, Philip Rieff's Freud was an Apollonian voice of civilization and a defender of the modernist individual. In general, Freud was a significant marker of the dissolution of the modernist ascendancy at mid-century into the postmodern multiplicity and ideological polarization of the twentieth century's fin-de-siècle.

Keywords:   modernism, Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis, United States, Freudian ideas, Lionel Trilling, Philip Rieff

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