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The Cut Vol. II

About the Book

The Cut and the Building of Psychoanalysis Volume II explores how the unformulated trauma associated with surgery performed on Emma Eckstein’s genitalia, and the hallucinations that Eckstein experienced, influenced Freud’s self-analysis, oriented his biological speculations, and significantly influenced one of his closest followers, Sándor Ferenczi. This thought-provoking and incisive work shows how Ferenczi filled the gaps left open in Freud’s system and proved to be a useful example for examining how such gaps are transmitted from one mind to another.

The first of three parts explores how the mind of the child was viewed prior to Freud, what events led Freud to formulate and later abandon his theory of actual trauma, and why Freud turned to the phylogenetic past. Bonomi delves deeper into Freud’s self-analysis in part two and reexamines the possible reasons that led Freud to discard the impact and effects of trauma. The final part explores the interpersonal effects of Freud’s self-dissection dream, arguing that Ferenczi managed to dream aspects of Freud’s self-dissection dream on various occasions, which helped him to incorporate a part of Freud’s psyche that Freud had himself failed to integrate.

This book questions the subject of a woman’s body, using discourse between Freud and Ferenczi to build a more integrated and accurate narrative of the origins and theories of psychoanalysis. It will therefore be of interest to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, psychologists and social scientists, as well as historians of medicine, science and human rights. Bonomi’s work introduces new arguments to the contemporary debate surrounding Female Genital Mutilation.

The Cut and the Building of Psychoanalysis: Volume II
Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi
2018 Routledge - pub: 2017-06-07
312 pages | 7 B/W Illus.


Carlo Bonomi is a master detective. In the two volumes of The Cut he attempts to decipher Freud's emotional world and its impact on his theories. Uncovering many new facts, and boldly connecting and re-interpreting known facts, he outlines the place of male and female circumcision, seen at that time as a measure preventing dangerous masturbation, in Freud's life and work. In the second volume he suggests that Freud's close disciple and friend Ferenczi absorbed Freud's preoccupation with symbolic castration, but transformed it into his innovative theory of trauma, which aroused Freud's ambivalence.
Emanuel Berman, Ph.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, Israel Psychoanalytic Society

With a deep knowledge of Freud’s life and work, particularly as it is revealed through autobiographical notes and correspondences, Bonomi attempts to formulate a new narrative of Master Sigmund’s evolution. The proposed hypothesis is fascinating, well documented and very innovative and enlightening. This second volume completes the oeuvre convincingly. A pleasure to read.
André E. Haynal M.D., Psychoanalyst (IPA) and Professor, University of Geneva, Switzerland

By shedding a new light into the traumatic origins of psychoanalysis, Carlo Bonomi provides a meaningful and extremely rich context for the Freud-Ferenczi conflict.  In his articulated narrative the author leans on the most founding dreams of the two men, their personal story, their deafnesses (in particular on Freud’s neglect of the feminine), their most impressing cases as well as on mythologies and religions. Using all these elements, he shows how the theories of Freud and Ferenczi took their origin in all these sources, developed, intertwining, confronting or completing each other and finally resulting in a cut between their two conceptions of psychoanalysis which had lasting consequences on the evolution of the psychoanalytic community, its ways of thinking and practising.
Dr Judith Dupont, Psychoanalyst, Member of Association Psychanalytique de France, Paris, France

Carlo Bonomi is indeed an original interpreter of the complex and complicated various steps of Freud in founding psychoanalysis. In the pages of the second volume of The Cut and the Building of Psychoanalysis he continues his journey into the origins of psychoanalysis, extending his exploration from Freud’s mind to the minds of other classic authors, principally Sándor Ferenczi, who, though not in open opposition with the Master, created a new language for trauma, offering many elements of a metapsychology much more respectful of patients and closer to their suffering. I can only recommend this alternative narrative of the building of psychoanalysis to all the people interested and curious in the still partially secret history of psychoana¬lysis, because I am sure that any reader will gain a lot independently from agreeing or not with its principal theses.
Franco Borgogno. Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst of the Italian Psychoanalytical Society (IPA), Professor of Clinical Psychology at Turin University, Turin, Italy

Introduction to Volume II


In the chronicles of psychoanalysis – its historical emergence, its taking root in social discourse, and its transmission – 1910 was a glorious year, the year when the International Psychoanalytic Association was established. In this alternative narrative of the foundation of psychoanalysis, 1910 was a crucial year because Freud’s second analysis of Emma Eckstein was shipwrecked and, shortly after, Sándor Ferenczi became the “uncanny double” of Freud, the heir of what Freud was unable to integrate  in his mind.

Emma Eckstein, born in 1865, was the most important female patient Freud treated between 1894 and 1897. In Volume I we learned that she underwent circumcision in a period when female genital mutilations were not categorized as a trauma. This event, unformulated as trauma, became inscribed in the founding dream of psychoanalysis, the dream of Irma’s injection, Freud’s dream on the night of July 23-24 of 1895. In this second volume we excavate further how this unformulated trauma determined essential aspects of Freud’s self-analysis, oriented his biological speculations, and was transmitted to his closest followers, Ferenczi in particular.  READ MORE

Il taglio e l’edificio della psicoanalisi, Volume II, esplora come il trauma non-formulato associato all’intervento chirurgico sui genitali di Emma Eckstein, e le allucinazioni vissute dalla Eckstein, hanno influenzato l’auto-analisi di Freud, orientato le sue speculazioni biologiche, e influenzato in modo significativo uno dei suoi seguaci più prossimi, Sándor Ferenczi. Questo lavoro, stimolante e che dà da pensare, mostra come Ferenczi riempì le lacune rimaste aperte nel sistema Freudiano, fornendo un utile esempio di come queste lacune vengono trasmesse da una mente all’altra.

La prima delle tre parti esplora come la mente del bambino era vista prima di Freud, quali eventi portarono Freud a formulare e poi abbandonare la sua teoria del trauma reale, e perché Freud rivolse il suo interesse verso il passato filogenetico. Nella seconda parte Bonomi tratta più a fondo l’auto-analisi di Freud e riesamina le possibili ragioni che portarono Freud a scartare l’impatto e gli effetti del trauma. La parte finale esplora gli effetti interpersonali del sogno dell’auto-dissezione di Freud. Aspetti di questo sogno vennero più volte risognati da Ferenczi in varie occasioni, segnalando l’incorporazione di una parte della psiche di Freud che Fred stesso non era riuscito ad integrare.

Questo libro interroga il soggetto del corpo della donna, usando il discorso tra Freud e Ferenczi per costruire una narrativa più integrata e accurata dell’origine delle teorie della psicoanalisi. È perciò di interesse per gli psicoanalisti. Psicoterapeuti, psicologi e scienziati sociali, come pure per gli storici della medicina, della scienza e dei diritti umani. Il lavoro di Bonomi porta argomenti nuovi nel dibattito contemporaneo attorno alla Mutilazione Genitale Femminile.

Introduzione al Volume II


Nelle corniche della psicoanalisi – la sua emersione storica, il suo radicarsi nel discorso pubblico e la sua trasmissione – il 1910 è stato un anno glorioso, l’anno in cui è stata creata l’Associazione Psicoanalitica Internazionale (IPA). In questa storia alternativa della fondazione della psicoanalisi, il 1910 è stato cruciale perché è l’anno in cui è naufragata la seconda analisi di Freud di Emma Eckstein e perché, subito dopo, Sándor Ferenczi divenne il ricettacolo di ciò che Freud non era stato capace di integrare nella sua mente, il suo “inquietante doppio”.

Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
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