“Dostoevsky and Parricide” (German: Dostojewski und die Vatertötung) is an introductory article contributed by Sigmund Freud to a scholarly collection on The . Int J Psychoanal. ; Dostoevsky and parricide. FREUD S. PMID: ; [Indexed for MEDLINE]. Publication Types: Biography; Historical Article. Freud’s essay “Dostoevsky and Parricide” was published in as an introduction to a German collection of materials on The Brothers Karamazov. (1) This.

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The moralist in Dostoevsky is the most readily assailable. Apart parricids questioning by some medical experts and by E. There is a grey borderland area between hysteria and organic epilepsy that is worth examining. Harcourt, Brace,pp. Freud psychoanalyzing Dostoevsky through his works and more specifically “The Karamazov Brothers”.

Dostoevsky and parricide.

Later we shall see how, according to Freud, Dostoevsky’s seizures expressed exactly his feelings about his father’s death. Thus if Nelly in The Insulted and Injured has an epileptic seizure this is stated just when her hated father comes to visit her, it must be regarded as meaningless, designed merely to awaken pity for her. The Johns Hopkins Press,pp. The effect of his convulsion was that his whole body stretched out and he foamed at the mouth.

But if it is at all possible, I wish to rescue his basic insight into the symbolic character of Dostoevsky’s epilepsy; I wish to reestablish the crucial connection between epilepsy and parricide.

Freud and his critics are both right. There was something positively condescending in his expression. On the other hand, each of his novels could be regarded as a rebellion or a need to rebel against an authority figures, whether that figure is the personal father, the state, or God. My mind, my whole being was pervaded by a feeling of delight. If Freud’s detractors are right and Dostoevsky’s disease is of organic origin, then the epileptic seizures are purely physical and have no psychological meaning; Dostoevsky could just as well have suffered from pneumonia or smallpox.


Aware of the limitations of his source material he took pains to qualify his arguments: Cambridge University Press,pp.

Gastaut was especially irate with Freud and Sartre who had analyzed Flaubert’s epilepsy as of hysterical origin because both writers mistakenly assumed that “hysteria can be responsible alone for epilepsy by psychogenic mechanisms. He was saying something lofty and joyous; when I encouraged his idea with some comment or other he turned to me with an exalted look, showing that his emotion was at its height. Hedda rated it did not like it Dec 07, The Brothers Karamazovp. Beatrice Stillman New York: To save a shortcut to an article to your desktop… PEP-Web Tip of the Day The way you save a shortcut to an article on your desktop depends on what internet browser and device you are using.

InFreud was appointed Professor of Fostoevsky at the University of Vienna, a post he held until But the similarities go further. And there is another echo: In a letter to Stefan Zweig dated October 19, seven or eight years before the writing of “Dostoevsky and Parricide” Freud offered two other reasons for a diagnosis of hysterical epilepsy. By virtue of its repression, the idea becomes the cause of morbid symptoms, that is, pathogenic. There is also the vexing question parricidw Dostoevsky’s ecstatic aura.


That’s what you are. Persons severely afflicted with epilepsy, according to the experience ;arricide the greatest psychiatrists, are always [my italics] prone to continual and, needless to say, morbid self-accusation.

Grigory taught [Smerdyakov] how to read and write, and when he was twelve years old, began teaching him the Scriptures. Unable to direct his rage at anyone, Smerdyakov chooses to express his pent-up violence in hanging cats, celebrating violence in a dosteovsky religious ceremony.

At the second or third lesson the boy suddenly grinned. A moral man is one who reacts to temptation as soon as he feels it in his prricide, without yielding to it.

Dostoevsky and parricide. – PubMed – NCBI

The only two lengthy descriptions of epilepsy in the novels occur in The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov. To ask other readers questions about Dostoevsky and Parricideplease sign up. I propose to offer such a theory and test it in the following pages. Although the medical establishment disagreed with many of his theories, a group of pupils and followers began to gather around Freud.

Freud’s achievement is all the more remarkable since his knowledge of Dostoevsky’s life was based on whatever facts he could pick up in German in the ‘s. He prefaced the footnote with a noncommittal remark: