Memory’s Eyes: A New York Oedipus Novel is a new book by a BPSI Member, Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau, PhD. It is written for readers who enjoy playing with concepts and storylines, here namely the classical Oedipus myth, Sophocles’ three Theban plays, the psychoanalytical concept of the Oedipus complex, and its pop-cultural adaptations in cartoons and jokes. Consequently, this novel is meant to be tragic and funny, playful, but also uncomfortable. Even though the Prologue reminds readers of the myth’s characters and destinies, they will find themselves simultaneously knowing and not knowing, anticipating and still being surprised about how the truth slowly unfolds.

“In Memory’s Eyes Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau renews the emotional richness of psychoanalysis and ancient myth. Even more strikingly, she illuminates the combination of those two realms in the lives of contemporary characters, culpable yet sympathetic in their sometimes outrageous, heart-rending, or silly behavior. Ann, a candidate at a psychoanalytic institute, tells the story of her Oedipal clan and its flawed family members. Along with its antic comedy, Ann’s tale maintains a profound love for her discipline and the redeeming power of insight.”

~ Ellen Pinsky, PsyD, author of Death and Fallibility in the Psychoanalytic Encounter: Mortal Gifts.

“In America’s Thebes, Antigone and Oedipus are alive again in an array of compelling characters. Ann, the novel’s narrator, driven by intense curiosity and the capacity to remember and dream her parents’ lives, uncovers complex family secrets–ones that reveal her origins and free her from the shackles of her past. Schmidt-Hellerau gives us a tale of vivid imagination and psychological depth.”

~ Daniel Jacobs, MD, author of The Distance from Home

About the Author: Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau, PhD, studied literature, philosophy and psychology in Heidelberg and Zürich, where she worked as a university professor for clinical psychology. She is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Swiss Psychoanalytic Society and at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Her areas of expertise are metapsychology, in particular drive theory, its clinical application, and applied psychoanalysis of creative processes. She is the author of Life Drive & Death Drive, Libido & Lethe (2001), Driven to Survive: Selected Papers on Psychoanalysis (2018), and Rousseaus Traum: Roman (2019) and over 40 articles, published in many languages, and the editor of a Freud Reader and two collections of short stories. Since 2017 she is the Chair of the IPA in Culture Committee. She works in private practice in Chestnut Hill, MA.

Members can borrow this and other books by Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau from the BPSI library. Meet the Author program was held on Jan 10, 2022 – click here to watch the recording.