On Freud's Jewish Body: Mitigating Circumcisions by Jay GellerOn Freud's Jewish Body: Mitigating Circumcisions by Jay Geller

On Freud's Jewish Body: Mitigating Circumcisions

byJay Geller

Paperback | December 15, 2007

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Through a symptomatic reading of Freud's corpus, from his letters to Fliess through the case of Little Hans to Moses and Montheism, this book demonstrates how "circumcision"-the fetishized signifier of Jewish difference and source of knowledge about Jewish identity-is central to Freud's construction of psychoanalysis.Jay Geller depicts Freud as an ordinary Viennese Jew making extraordinary attempts to mitigate the trauma of everyday antisemitism. He situates Freud at the nexus of antisemitic, misogynistic, colonialist, and homophobic discourses, both scientific and popular. These held in place the double bind of post-Emancipation and pre-Shoah Viennese Jewish life: the demand for complete assimilation into the dominant culture, accompanied by the assumption that Jews were constitutionally incapable of eliminating their difference. Incarnate in the figure of the circumcised (male) Jew, this difference haunted the Central European cultural imaginationand helped create, maintain, and confirm Central European identities and hierarchies.Exploring overlapping layers of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and race in identity construction, theories of trauma, fetishism, and writing, Geller looks at Freud's representations of the Jewish body-especially circumcised penises and their displacements onto noses. He shows how Freud reinscribed the virile masculine norm and the at once hypervirile and effeminate Jewish other into the discourse of psychoanalysis.
Jay Geller is Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Culture at the Vanderbilt Divinity School.
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Title:On Freud's Jewish Body: Mitigating CircumcisionsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.08 inPublished:December 15, 2007Publisher:Fordham University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0823227820

ISBN - 13:9780823227822

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Editorial Reviews

"Geller has written a compelling study of the meaning of Jewishness and the Jewish body in the context of the Freudian psychoanalytic tradition."