'I very soon had an opportunity to interpret Dora's nervous coughing as the outcome of a fantasized sexual situation.' A Case of Hysteria, popularly known as the Dora Case, affords a rare insight into how Freud dealt with patients and interpreted what they told him. The 18-year-old 'Dora' was sent for psychoanalysis by her father after threatening suicide; as Freud's enquiries deepened, he uncovered a remarkably unhappy and conflict-ridden family, with several competing versions of their story. The narrative became a crucial text in the evolution of his theories, combining his studies on hysteria and his new theory of dream-interpretation with early insights into the development of sexuality. The unwitting preconceptions and prejudices with which Freud approached his patient reveal his blindness and the broader attitudes of turn-of-the-century Viennese society, while his account of 'Dora's' emotional travails is as gripping as a modern novel. This new translation is accompanied by a substantial introduction which sets the work in its biographical, historical, and intellectual context, and offers a close and critical analysis of the text itself.
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Anthea Bell is a freelance translator from French and German, and the winner of many translation awards. She has translated the entire Asterix series, with Derek Hockridge, and many adult novels, including W. G. Sebold's Austerlitz and a large selection of novellas and stories by Stefan Zweig. She has translated Kafka's The Castle for Oxford World's Classics. Ritchie Robertson is the author and editor of many works of German and Austrian literature. For Oxford World's Classics he has written the introduction and notes to Freud'sInterpretation of Dreams (tr. Joyce Crick) and to Kafka's The Trial (tr. Mike Mitchell), The Metamorphosis and Other Stories (tr. Joyce Crick), The Castle (tr. Anthea Bell), and A Hunger Artist and Other Stories (tr. Joyce Crick). He has translated Kafka's The Man who Disappeared and E. T. A. Hoffmann's The Golden Pot. He is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Mann and the author of Mock-Epic Poetry from Pope to Heine (OUP, 2009).