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Situating the Anal Freud in Nineteenth-Century Imaginaries of Excrement and Colonial Primitivity

  • Alison M. Moore
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)

Abstract

Sigmund Freud’s theories of the anus in psychological development appear so idiosyncratic that few have thought to wonder what cultural and intellectual pressures contributed to such ideas. Freud viewed excretory function as the first of the pleasures that “civilised Man” must sublimate towards the development of pecuniary interest in modern capitalist society. Considering Freud’s cited works of anthropology and ethnography, it appears that much of his inspiration came from European and American accounts of “primitive” cultures and their uses of excrement, published around the turn of the twentieth century. This chapter looks at the ideas of late nineteenth-century anthropologists and ethnographers whose discussions of primitive excrement appear most relevant towards the construction of an intellectual genealogy of the anal Freud.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison M. Moore
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

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