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Hardcover | $35.95 Trade | £29.95 | 424 pp. | 7 x 10 in | 18 color illus., 41 b&w illus. | October 2010 | ISBN: 9780262014427
Paperback | $25.95 Trade | £20.95 | 424 pp. | 7 x 10 in | 18 color illus., 41 b&w illus. | August 2015 | ISBN: 9780262528443
eBook | $18.95 Trade | October 2010 | ISBN: 9780262290425
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Freud's Mexico

Into the Wilds of Psychoanalysis


Freud’s Mexico is a completely unexpected contribution to Freud studies. Here, Rubén Gallo reveals Freud’s previously undisclosed connections to a culture and a psychoanalytic tradition not often associated with him. This book bears detailed testimony to Freud’s relationship to a country he never set foot in, but inhabited imaginatively on many levels.

In the Mexico of the 1920s and 1930s, Freud made an impact not only among psychiatrists but also in literary, artistic, and political circles. Gallo writes about a “motley crew” of Freud’s readers who devised some of the most original, elaborate, and influential applications of psychoanalytic theory anywhere in the world. After describing Mexico’s Freud, Gallo offers an imaginative reconstruction of Freud’s Mexico: Freud owned a treatise on criminal law by a Mexican judge who put defendants—including Trotsky’s assassin—on the psychoanalyst’s couch; he acquired Mexican pieces as part of his celebrated collection of antiquities; he recorded dreams of a Mexico that was fraught with danger; and he belonged to a secret society that conducted its affairs in Spanish.

About the Author

Rubén Gallo is Director of the Program in Latin American Studies and Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures at Princeton University. He is the author of Mexican Modernity: The Avant-Garde and the Technological Revolution (MIT Press).


“Rigorously disciplined yet wildly exuberant.”—Eduardo Gonzalez, MLN
“In addition to being mind-stretching reading, this book is also visually rich and beautifully produced.”—John Dorfman, Art & Antiques


Freud's Mexico is a scintillating and enthralling contribution to the story of the dissemination of psychoanalysis across the globe that also reveals a hidden web of secret connections with the New at the heart of Freud's Old World invention of psychoanalysis. The cast of characters who populate this nest of stories include a gay aesthete admirer of Freud and of macho chauffeurs, a Mexican judge turned amateur psychoanalyst, and a Belgian monastery prior who conducted an experiment in the psychoanalysis of his monks in a Mexican town that became a hub of revolutionary invention in the 1960s. The scholarship is inevitably multilingual and virtuosic, the detective work brilliant and successful, the cultural criticism astute and generous. Gallo's discovery of the psychoanalytic Mexico reveals a place we never even dreamed existed.”
John Forrester, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge
“Inspired by Freud, the protagonists of this book get up to some crazy stuff in Mexico. A poet seduces scores of chauffeurs; an artist paints the god of Moses; a monk places his monastery in group therapy; a judge subjects an assassin to psychoanalysis. Even Freud speaks Spanish and sounds incredibly fresh in this rich, ironic, and revelatory book.”
Alexander Etkind, Cambridge University


2011 Gradiva Award, presented by the World Organization and Public Education Corporation of The National Association of the Advancement of Psychoanalysis

Winning entry, Scholarly Illustrated Category, 2011 AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show