Octave Mannoni worked in France, Madagascar and Africa throughout the twentieth century to extend Lacanian psychoanalytical methods into the field of ethnology. He is best known for his research into the psychic repercussions of colonialism’s constitutive elements: the domination of a mass by a minority, economic exploitation, paternalism and racialism.
Freud: The Theory of the Unconscious is a well-crafted and concise introduction to the life, work and theories of psychoanalysis’ founder. Mannoni draws on the perspective provided by his Lacanian work on colonialism to provide a unique intellectual biography of Freud, tracing the genesis and development of various key psychoanalytical concepts. Mannoni provides a critical account of the various shortcomings in Freud’s work, as well as its strengths.