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Strachey before The Standard Edition: Origins and Progress of a British Psychoanalyst, 1916-1945

McQuillan, D; (2017) Strachey before The Standard Edition: Origins and Progress of a British Psychoanalyst, 1916-1945. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis is the first in-depth biographical study of James Strachey (1887-1967), an early British psychoanalyst who was analysed by Freud in Vienna from 1920-1922. It is based on the wealth of primary source material in the form of letters and documents that James Strachey had carefully conserved, much of which has not been used before. To date, discussions of Strachey have largely been limited to critiques of his translations of Freud. Little consideration has been given to who Strachey was, what role he played in British psychoanalysis before he took on the editorship of The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, and to the background factors which shaped his approach to Freud, and yet all these elements are relevant to his translation work and had an impact on how Freud was read and understood in the English-speaking world. The thesis begins with an account of how Strachey’s interest in psychology had developed before he went to Freud, and examines his First World War pacifism and his compulsory war work, and how these experiences may have related to his decision to become a psychoanalyst. It then reconstructs his specialization in psychoanalytic technique, his involvement in the 1941-1945 controversies within British psychoanalysis and his attitude to metapsychology. The account ends in 1945 when there were competing projects to produce the complete works of Freud, none of which had secured funding. This was a natural watershed in Strachey’s life, after which he passed from being a senior analyst with a busy practice in London to becoming an editor and translator.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Strachey before The Standard Edition: Origins and Progress of a British Psychoanalyst, 1916-1945
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1569556
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