Skeptical Engagements

Frederick Crews, Author Oxford University Press, USA $19.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-19-503950-4
Crews renounced Freudian theory some 11 years ago, and his lacerating attacks on psychoanalysis and its disciples, many of which are reprinted here, have earned this literary critic such epithets as ""neo-Freudophobe,'' ``murderous'' and ``irrational.'' To Crews, psychoanalysis is a pseudoscience, flawed as a theory, because it exists in an empirical vacuum, and weak as a therapy. One essay provocatively observes that Freud, while devising his grand system in the late 1890s, was beset by anxieties and taboos, having hallucinations, steeped in numerology and experimenting with cocaine. In this collection of essays and reviews, Crews also turns his critical fire on Marxism, a ``born-again yet anemic religion'' that has found a niche in academia. He tears into such fashionable movements as deconstructionism and structuralism, then brings to bear a skeptical intelligence on Norman Mailer, Henry Miller, Philip Roth, Leslie Fiedler, Philip Rahv and Joseph Conrad. (November)
Reviewed on: 10/28/1986
Release date: 11/01/1986
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