THE STORY OF DORA

A NOVEL

IDA BAUER 'DORA'
 

by

 

 

FRANCES RAVAL

 

 

ISBN:

 2019

 

 

In this incandescent novel Frances Raval gives superbly vivid, powerful and at times wickedly funny portrayals of the foundations of Freudian psychoanalysis as it emerged in the 1890s and thus by implication of the inner life of the whole epoch influenced by Freud. The Story of Dora is a richly ironic and imaginative reconstruction of the famous Freudian case-history, Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria. The novel shows Freud’s handling of the case to be one of his most scandalous impositions of theory onto a reality that protests it. Frances Raval’s narrative vividly captures the heady sense of Freud’s convictions in the 1890s when he was in the process of formulating his basic mythos—in the years before the Clark Lectures—under the influence of his mentor Fliess that he later tried to conceal and deny. Its treatments of Fliess and Freud are devastatingly funny, and it portrays with great clarity and force Dora’s independence of thought and ferocious integrity despite all the constraints placed upon her by her society, family and medical practitioners. Though caught in the bizarre web of their power, control and theories, Dora emerges as a remarkably strong and vibrant modern woman. The novel’s treatment of turn-of-the century Vienna and its rampant familial corruption, which is also at the heart of Freud’s own theory, is strikingly realistic. With elegance, subtlety and ironic undertone, the novel shows that a great deal of the material in Freud’s own original text came from his mind and not Dora’s, that it was he who was “free associating” on her behalf.

 

SIGMUND FREUD IDA BAUER 'DORA'

 

Frances Raval grew up in a Polish American Catholic family in the Pacific Northwest. She studied at the University of Washington and in 1974 moved to Tucson, Arizona with her husband, Suresh. She had an incredible ability to listen to others and recall perfectly the details of their conversations. She mesmerized her siblings and friends with her talent in telling stories. She meticulously researched and developed her novel while raising their daughter and dealing with health challenges. She passed in September 2016.

 

  

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