Freud’s Conquest and the Balkans’ Orientalist Phantasmagoria

  • Dušan I. Bjelić


The Balkans was the only colonial space visited by Freud in 1898 and in 1904. Much like the Parisian phantasmagoria, the Balkans for Freud’s Orientalist fantasies about the sexual life of the “Bosnian Turk” had intoxicating qualities. Regarding the unconscious of Europe, Freud entered the Balkan geography at the peak of his self-analysis and his sexual neuroses. As many of his sexual issues were related to his sister in-law Minna Bernays, Freud had to confront them by relating to his unconscious as a colonial space in need of colonization by psychoanalysis. Upon his return to Vienna, his relation to colonial subjects and to colonial history radically changed. He declared himself “conquistador” of the unconscious and psychoanalysis as colonial conquest. His visit to the Acropolis in 1904 would confirm once again his colonial reversal from empathy with colonial subjects to their imaginary conquest.


Jewish Identity Sexual Fantasy Oedipal Complex Coca Leave Colonial Subject 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dušan I. Bjelić
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CriminologyUniversity of Southern MainePortlandUSA

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