Child Abuse in Freud's Vienna: Postcards from the End of the World

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NYU Press, 1995 - History - 275 pages

On the cusp of the twentieth century, in the most cosmopolitan city in the world, there a sensation that entranced the city's populace as nothing had before—a sensation that cast a great and disturbing shadow over the city, and then vanished, leaving no more trace than a shadow would. Child Abuse in Freud's Vienna is the story of that forgotten sensation in this fabled city.
In the autumn of 1899, Vienna's attention was focused not on its extraordinary cultural life, but on child abuse—specifically, two cases of child murder and two of abuse. While Sigmund Freud was anxiously awaiting the publication of The Interpretation of Dreams, in which he first theorized about the Oedipal hostilities between parents and children, every day's headlines proclaimed the ugly reality of child abuse. Focusing on the four cases that dominated the pages of the newspapers, Larry Wolff's riveting narrative paints a picture of a great city enthralled by a spectacle it desperately wished to ignore.


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About the author (1995)

Larry Wolff is Silver Professor of History at New York University, director of the NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, and executive director of the NYU Remarque Institute. His most recent book is The Singing Turk: Ottoman Power and Operatic Emotions on the European Stage from the Siege of Vienna to the Age of Napoleon.

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