In The Freud Archives

Janet Malcolm

Published: 4 January 2018
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 192 pages
ISBN: 9781783784554

Other Editions


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Published: 7 June 2012
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 192 pages
ISBN: 9781847085337

Ebook Available


Who will inherit the secrets of Sigmund Freud? Who will protect his reputation? Who may destroy it? Janet Malcolm's investigation into the personalities who clash over Freud's legacy has become a celebrated story of seduction and betrayal, love and hatred, fantasy and reality. It is both a comedy and a tragedy. Malcolm's cast of characters includes K. R. Eissler, a venerable psychoanalyst and keeper of the Freud flame; Jeffrey Mason, a flamboyant Sanskrit scholar and virulent anti-Freudian; and Peter Swales, a former assistant to the Rolling Stones and indefatigable researcher. Each of them thinks they know the truth about Freud, and each needs the help of the other. Malcolm endeavours to untangle the causes of their rivalry and soured friendships, while the flaws and mysteries of Freud's early work tower in the background.

About the author

Image of Janet Malcolm

Janet Malcolm's books include Reading Chekhov, In the Freud Archives, The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, The Journalist and the Murderer and Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession. Born in Prague, she grew up in New York, where she now lives. More about the author


In the Freud Archives dramatizes with almost Jamesian elegance a falling out between certain members of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and a couple of young scholars...Janet Malcolm unfolds the entire story with shrewdness, a sharp eye and admirable wisdom’



‘A superbly skilled portrait of a bizarre, cloistered world and the obsessed men who guard it or try to break it open. From beginning to end it has the coolly accomplished excitement of a thriller’

‘In this brilliant and enjoyable book, a major crisis within one of the most important systems of ideas of our century is presented in the style of a movie vehicle for Jack Nicholson’

‘One of the most consistent non-fiction writers of our time. Certainly, she is one of the most brilliant... The effect of this book, Malcolm's masterpiece, is electrifying’

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