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“Pleasures Impossible to Interpret”: Freud and Cocaine

  • Lawrence Driscoll

Abstract

This chapter moves us into the discourses that claim to offer us the truth about drugs: medicine and psychology. By focusing on Sigmund Freud’s early writings on cocaine I aim to explore how Freud held positions on cocaine that do not fit with our current positions. What we see in Freud is an attempt, like Collins and Stevenson, to keep the meaning of drugs open, even when all of the signs asked him to narrow his range of meanings. In the face of professional opposition, Freud adamantly maintained his position that cocaine need not be dangerous. Given that the rest of Freud’s work has been used to cure drug users, I will suggest that his troublesome writings on cocaine have gone unheeded because Freud continues to seriously undermine and question our discourses about the meaning of drugs.

Keywords

Cocaine Poisoning Morphine Addiction Opium Addiction Vienna Medical School Opium Habit 
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Notes

  1. 2.
    Sigmund Freud, Cocaine Papers, ed. Robert Byck (New York: Stonehill, 1974), p. 41 [hereafter CP].Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    E. M. Thornton, The Freudian Fallacy (Garden City, NY: Dial Press, 1983), p. 2.Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    Sigmund Freud, Three Essays on The Theory of Sexuality trans. James Strachey (New York: Basic Books, 1975), p. 16.Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    Kaja Silverman, Male Subjectivity at the Margins (New York and London: Routledge, 1992), p. 31.Google Scholar
  5. 20.
    Peter Gay, The Bourgeois Experience, Victoria to Freud. Vol. 1, Education of the Senses (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 741 [hereafter The Bourgeois Experience].Google Scholar
  6. 103.
    Avital Ronell, Crack Wars: Literature Addiction Mania (Lincoln, NE and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1992), pp. 52–53.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lawrence Driscoll 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Driscoll

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