Since the 1960s, psychoanalysis has had a deep impact on Argentine culture, particularly in Buenos Aires. Foreigners visiting the city are surprised by Porteños’ use of psychoanalytic terms in everyday conversation. From television programs to political speeches, psychoanalysis has become a way of seeing the world through which reality is analyzed and understood. Psychoanalytic concepts permeate even the discourse of such unexpected institutions as the army. In a recent speech delivered to apologize to society for the army’s role in the so-called Dirty War of the late 1970s, the army chief of staff found it natural to talk about the “collective unconscious” and referred to the need to “work through mourning.”1

Following Sherry Turkle, one can say that during the last 30 years a true “psychoanalytic culture” has emerged in Buenos Aires.2 By 1985, Argentina, with a population of only 30 million, was second only to the United States in the number of practicing Freudian analysts affiliated with the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA), most of them concentrated in the city of Buenos Aires.3 Similarly Argentina is the country with the largest number of groups affiliated with Champ Freudien, the international association of the followers of Jacques Lacan’s doctrines. Since the 1960s, moreover, a large number of university graduates in psychology, unaffiliated with either international association, have practiced psychoanalysis or psychoanalytically oriented therapies.

In spite of the impact of psychoanalysis on Argentine culture, there are very few studies of the country’s reception and development of the discipline. By striking contrast, in Brazil, the other Latin American country in which psychoanalysis has recently experienced a boom, different aspects of the history of psychoanalysis have been studied extensively, both by psychoanalysts and by historians.4 The production of scholarly work on the subject in Argentina is relatively recent and small.5

Most of these works, moreover—particularly those produced by members of the Asociación Psicoanalítica Argentina (APA)—present what can be called an “official version” of the history of psychoanalysis. Following a tradition initiated by Freud himself, most students of the evolution of psychoanalysis in Argentina (including Jacques Lacan’s followers) maintain that psychoanalysis began there with the establishment of an orthodoxy, either Freudian or Lacanian.6 According to this interpretation, preorthodox versions of psychoanalysis were only false starts, which, even if acknowledged, should be dismissed. Eclecticism in psychoanalysis was nothing but evidence of the “resistance” that, by definition, psychoanalysis generated in society, resistance that the establishment of the orthodoxy could at least partially overcome.7 “Real” psychoanalysis, according to this view, started only with the creation of the APA (affiliated with the IPA) in 1942, or the Lacanian “Escuela Freudiana” in 1974.

This article focuses on the reception of psychoanalysis in Argentina before its institutionalization in 1942. It argues that psychoanalysis had an important impact on medical and cultural circles long before the creation of the APA, and even before the arrival in 1938 of the APA’s founder and first president, Angel Garma.8 By the late 1930s, groups within the medical profession were well informed about the latest developments in the discipline.9 Although the reception of psychoanalysis is a complex process that took place at different levels of society and culture, this article focuses on that process as it proceeded in medical, and especially psychiatric, circles.

Psychoanalysis was introduced and gradually accepted in the context of a crisis of positivism and positivist psychiatry. Since the 1880s, in Argentina as elsewhere in Latin America, positivism had been the “official ideology” of intellectuals and had deeply influenced psychiatry.10 During the 1910s and 1920s, however, positivism suffered a sharp decline, caused partly by the greater acceptance of European idealist philosophy in Latin American intellectual circles. This, in turn, was partly a reaction against what was seen as the threat—both cultural and political—posed by the “materialistic empire of the North.” The decline coincided with the constitution of a more autonomous intellectual field linked to the professionalization of different intellectual activities, such as philosophy and literature.

Another contributing factor was the decline of authoritarian political and university practices, which the positivist views of society had legitimated. In 190.6, Hipólito Yrigoyen, himself a Krausist, took power, becoming Argentina’s first popularly elected president. Two years later, a student movement that would have continental repercussions began at the University of Córdoba. Finally, the cultural impact of immigration also contributed to the downfall of positivism. Confronted with waves of newcomers who introduced new social problems, members of the Argentine elite started looking for the “real” roots of Argentine nationality, roots that were sometimes found in the Spanish spiritual heritage.11 The crisis of positivism was felt in the medical profession as well, and it opened the door for the reception of alternative therapeutic theories.

A second aim of this article is to explore the connections between the particular institutionalization of psychoanalysis in Argentina and the country’s political conditions in the late 1930s and early 1940s. According to Pierre Bourdieu, the scientific field—and for the purposes of this article, psychoanalysis will be considered a subfield—is a social microcosm that is simultaneously homologous to and autonomous from the social macrocosm into which it is integrated. The scientific field is regulated by its own internal logic, which is similar to the internal logics that regulate other fields (economic, political, literary, sociological, historical) yet is specific, and irreducible to them.12

In a society such as Argentina, however, where cultural and scientific institutions are relatively weak, the constitution of some fields from the beginning has been “marked” or contaminated by political developments. Silvia Sigal points out that in the case of “scientific” sociology, and to some extent of history, “a certain notion of profession and of professional legitimacy was ideologically marked” by the political conditions under which they emerged as separate fields.13 The argument of this essay is that a similar case can be made for institutional psychoanalysis. This does not mean that psychoanalysis in Argentina was directly linked to politics, but that the political conditions existing at the time psychoanalysis was constituted as a field had a deep impact on its early development. The last part of this article analyzes this phenomenon.

Psychiatry in Argentina

Modern psychiatry emerged in Argentina in the last decades of the nineteenth century. Until the 1920s, psychiatrists, under the influence of positivism, followed what Nathan G. Hale calls the “somatic style.” It was generally believed that the origin of all mental disorders could be discovered in the morphology of the brain or of the nervous system, and that the disorders had to be treated accordingly.14

The Argentine elite looked to Europe, particularly France, as a beacon of civilization, and medical doctors were no exception. French and Italian psychiatry were very influential among Argentine doctors. Only those professionals who could show some degree of success in Europe received recognition in the Argentine medical establishment. “From the intellectual point of view, we are French,” declared Horacio Piñero, professor of psychology of the University of Buenos Aires, in a speech at the Sorbonne in 1903.15 French and Italian were considered mandatory languages for Argentine physicians, and Argentine journals routinely published articles in those languages.16

The theory of degeneration, created by French physician Benedict Augustin Morel in the nineteenth century, remained a major current of thought in Argentine psychiatry as late as the 1940s. This theory was based on the idea that mental and physical diseases were inherited from generation to generation, each time in a heavier and more destructive dose.17 In Argentina, degeneration theory became associated with the problem of immigration. During the last decades of the nineteenth and the first decades of the twentieth century, Argentina received large waves of immigrants, mostly from southern Europe. The demographic boom created by massive immigration was accompanied by social problems that posed new challenges to the local elites. The immigrant, once perceived as a coveted seed for the civilization of the country, was now seen as the origin of class conflict. Uncontrolled immigration would degrade the national “race” by incorporating “degenerates” into society.18

Meanwhile, during the 1920s, as a result of the decline of positivism, psychiatrists gradually abandoned a purely somatic approach to mental diseases and started to combine degeneracy theory with Ernst Kretschmer’s theory of constitutional psychiatry, Nicola Pende’s biotypology, Adolf Meyer’s psychobiology, and psychoanalysis. Pende’s ideas became particularly influential, and in 1932 the Asociación Argentina de Biotipología, Eugenesia, y Medicina Social was created. Pende, an active supporter of fascism, claimed that the human population could be divided into distinct types, each with its own characteristic illnesses and psychological profile.19 The Asociación had its own hospital and a training institute, which was formally dedicated in 1933 with President Agustín Justo, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, and other authorities in attendance.

Another focus of interest that emerged among Argentine psychiatrists in the 1920s was mental hygiene. This current of thought had originated in the United States in 1908 with the publication of A Mind that Found Itself, written by former mental patient Clifford Beers with the encouragement of psychiatrist Adolf Meyer.20 Mental hygienists promoted the use of psychotherapy, and the Liga Argentina de Higiene Mental, created in 1929, became in the late 1930s one of the centers for the diffusion of psychoanalysis.

Although the introduction of mental hygiene and biotypology represented an innovation in psychiatric thinking, the two theories, closely related to eugenics, also had a strong component of social and biological engineering. The underlying idea was that Argentina’s human stock could be improved and that the problems resulting from the presence of “inferior” people could be avoided. One of the proposals the Liga Argentina de Higiene Mental submitted to the government was the establishment of strict controls over immigration. According to Gonzalo Bosch, a prominent psychiatrist and a Liga founder, “[Juan Batista] Alberdi would say: To Govern is to Populate, a concept typical of his era; we, today, would say: To Govern is to Select.”21

Psychiatrists were thus highly visible, and they attracted the interest of the state; but those who were really active in the profession were still a tiny minority. Psychiatry as a specialty was not yet well established within the medical profession. When the APA was created in 1942, the field was still consolidating; that year the School of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires first offered psychiatry as an area of specialization. Until then, psychiatrists had been mostly self-taught professionals whose formal education in the field consisted only of the few courses the medical school offered.

A figure of paramount importance in Argentine psychiatry—and criminology, a science that developed concurrently—was José Ingenieros, a positivist physician with broad interests in sociology, psychology, and philosophy, who was appointed director of the Institute of Criminology in 1907.22 In the area of general psychiatry, Ingenieros, although a declared “somatist,” introduced the use of hypnosis and psychotherapy as early as the turn of the century. As Hugo Vezzetti has shown, Ingenieros was instrumental in legitimating the use of psychotherapy, even though he opposed psychoanalysis.23 Some doctors who became early practitioners of psychoanalysis did so as a result of Ingenieros’ influence. One was Jorge Thénon, who became prominent in the 1930s; another was Celes Cárcamo, one of the founders of the APA.24

Most psychiatrists during this period remained loyal to an organic conception of the etiology of mental diseases despite the prevalence of other psychiatric theories, including psychoanalysis. By sticking to a somatic approach, psychiatrists sought recognition for their discipline within the medical and scientific field. As Roy Porter points out, “unless sickness is translatable into the lingo of lesions and laws, why should not anyone—priests, philosophers, charlatans, sufferers—treat it as well as a doctor?”25 Yet somatic approaches, as Andrew Scull points out, generally failed to produce adequate solutions to mental problems. Even when they provided a cure, they could not provide a sound theoretical anchor for their therapeutic methods. This problem was widely recognized by Argentine doctors.26

Nonsomatic approaches, such as psychoanalysis, on the other hand, could offer a theoretical foundation for some “somatic” therapies. In the late 1930s, for instance, while psychiatrists admitted their common ignorance of why shock therapy worked, psychiatrist-psychoanalyst Enrique Pichon Rivière, one of the pioneers in the use of electroshock in Argentina, came up with a psychoanalytic explanation. Shock therapy worked in cases of melancholy (which Pichon later would consider the origin of all mental diseases) because it fulfilled the patient’s wish for punishment, thereby reducing psychological tensions and anxieties.27

The Evolution of Psychoanalysis in Argentina

The assimilation of psychoanalysis in Argentina took place over three distinct periods. In the 1910s and 1920s, under the hegemony of the “somatic style” in psychiatry, psychoanalysis was known and discussed, but as a “foreign” theory. Knowledge of it was derivative and came mostly from French sources. Following the usual French criticism, psychoanalysis, therefore, was accused of being a pansexual, “metaphysical” theory of dubious morality, lacking a scientific foundation.

During the following period, the 1920s to the mid-1930s, Argentine psychiatrists “internalized” psychoanalytic theory, making it part of their therapeutic arsenal in the context of the crisis of positivism and of the “somatic model.” The result was a broader acceptance of alternative psychiatric theories. This period also saw different readings and “appropriations” of psychoanalysis, made possible by the existence of what Thomas Glick calls “civil discourse,” defined as “the possibility of open discussion of scientific concepts without requiring that they fit into a pre-existing ideological struggle.”28

Finally, from the mid-1930s to the 1940s, the polarization of society and the weakening of “civil discourse,” together with the progressive professionalization of both psychiatry and psychoanalysis, formed a clear definition of fields. Psychoanalysis then became a self-contained specialty.

Psychoanalysis as Foreign Knowledge: 1910s to 1920s

The first public discussion of psychoanalysis in a scientific forum in Argentina was probably Germán Greve’s paper “Sobre psicología y psicoterapia de ciertos estados angustiosos,” read at the Congreso Internacional Americano de Medicina e Higiene held in Buenos Aires in 1910. Freud mentioned this contribution in On the History of the Psychoanalytic Movement. Greve, a Chilean physician, praised Freud’s theories of the sexual etiology of neuroses and recommended the application of the psychoanalytic method, although he recognized that his own use of psychoanalysis was not exactly the same as what Freud recommended. Conscious that he was breaking a paradigm by introducing a “new” and necessarily controversial vision of psychological phenomena, Greve tried to fit his approach into an already accepted tradition. That tradition was the French school.

Let us set face to face the opinion Freud holds about the primary etiology of neuroses and that which [Pierre] Janet has stated on the same question, because we would like to note the concordances of both in order to reconcile [Freud’s] with such a distinguished opinion [as Janet’s].29

By doing this, Greve started a tradition that would shape the reception of psychoanalysis in Argentina. Freud would be read in French, by both sympathizers and detractors, and mostly through commentators. Alejandro Raitzin, for instance, a well-known forensic psychiatrist who had collaborated in the creation of the Open Door psychiatric colony and who developed an interest in psychoanalysis, in 1919 published an article on “La locura y los sueños.” After making an extensive critique of Freud’s theories, Raitzin recognized that his own knowledge of psychoanalysis was based on, and reduced to, his reading of Emanuel Regis and Angelo Hesnard’s Psychanalyse des névroses et des psychoses, a book highly critical of Freud published in France in 1914.30 Similarly, in the 1919 edition of his influential 1904 work Histeria y sugestión, José Ingenieros criticized Freud’s theories as they had been presented by the French psychologist and neurologist Pierre Janet. This reliance on French sources continued even after the adequate Spanish translation of Freud’s Complete Works by Antonio López Ballesteros (approved by Freud himself) became available in 1922.31

According to Hugo Vezzetti, Greve’s early discussion of psychoanalysis did not have far-reaching consequences.

Only toward the middle of the decade of the 1920s and, above all, in the 1930s do we find references to psychoanalysis, although it cannot be said that the theme stands out very distinctly, either in the psychiatric lexicon or in the intellectual and literary field; and its acceptance, in general, is extremely slow.32

If we broaden the concept of reception, however, to include nonorthodox uses of scientific ideas and even critical references to them, then things were quite different.33 Indeed, psychoanalysis, even if distorted, was discussed in medical circles as early as the 1910s, and by the 1930s it had made a deep impact in psychiatric discourse and practice.

In 1917, Christofredo Jackob, an influential German neurologist and a fanatic somatist, writing in an Argentine medical journal, rejected psycho-analysis in the name of somaticism. Yet he devoted four full pages to discussing psychoanalysis before dismissing it.34 If Jackob represented the mainstream of psychiatric thought, more favorable articles were published at the same time in other journals. Most of these articles, however, were written by foreign physicians. In 1918, Antonio Austregesilo, a distinguished Brazilian psychiatrist and unorthodox practitioner of psychoanalysis, visited Buenos Aires, where he lectured on psychoanalysis at the Academy of Medicine and published articles in La Semana Médica, the most prestigious Argentine medical journal.35 During the 1910s and 1920s, the Peruvian heterodox psychoanalyst Honorio Delgado published combative articles in defense of psychoanalysis in major Argentine medical and cultural journals.36 In 1918 the Revista de Criminología published two articles by Delgado in the same issue.37 Delgado’s books on psychoanalysis received admiring reviews, and at one point Alejandro Raitzin proposed to invite him to Argentina to lecture.38

The Revista de Filosofía, under the direction of its founder, José Ingenieros, and later of his disciple, Aníbal Ponce, both fierce opponents of psychoanalysis, also published many of Delgado’s articles.39 Ingenieros and Ponce both rejected psychoanalysis in the name of positivism and biological monism.40 Ponce referred to psychoanalysis as “el monstruoso aparato del clínico de Viena,” but he had no problem allowing supporters of psychoanalysis to publish their divergent viewpoints in his journal.41

Another foreigner who helped introduce psychoanalysis in Argentina was the Spanish physician Gonzalo Rodríguez Lafora, a noted psychiatrist and neurologist and a disciple of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (the only Spanish Nobel winner in medicine). In 1923, Rodríguez’ lectures at the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine on a variety of topics, ranging from physiology to psychoanalysis, drew a large audience of students, faculty, lawyers, and criminologists.42 The texts of some of his lectures were published in various journals.43 Lafora was by no means an orthodox psychoanalyst. He began one of his lectures by asserting that he was a psychoanalyst but not a Freudian. Indeed, he criticized what he called Freud’s excesses and dogmatism. Lafora’s lectures inspired many attendees to an interest in psychoanalysis nevertheless, and at least one of them, Juan Ramón Beltrán, became an enthusiastic, if eclectic, practitioner.

Internalization of the Discipline, 1920s to mid-1930s

By the late 1920s, some Argentine psychiatrists had started to “internalize” psychoanalysis and incorporate it into their theoretical artillery. In 1926, psychologist Augusto Bunge chastised Alberto Palcos for not mentioning Freud in his book, La vida emotiva, even though Bunge was not particularly fond of psychoanalysis.44 Even those whose vision of psychoanalysis was not positive recognized that at least some of Freud’s ideas were worth taking seriously. Nerio Rojas, a prominent psychiatrist who had described psychoanalysis as a “doctrina entre científica y pornográfica,” admitted the usefulness of Freud’s dynamic conception of the unconscious, along with some aspects of his dream theory.45

A similar position was taken by Enrique Mouchet, a socialist professor of psychology and well-known psychiatrist who, since 1922, had included discussions of psychoanalysis in his course in psychology at the University of Buenos Aires.46 In 1930, the Sociedad de Psicología de Buenos Aires, of which Mouchet was president, appointed Freud an honorary member.47 In most cases, however, Argentine doctors’ knowledge of the discipline was still simplistic. Crucial methodological differences, such as those that distinguished Freud’s psychoanalysis, Jung’s analytical psychology, and Adler’s individual psychology, were still being overlooked.48

The specialty attracted some prominent physicians. One was Paraguayan-born Fernando Gorriti, who served as deputy director of the Open Door Colony in Lujan and was a founding member of the Liga Argentina de Higiene Mental and the Sociedad Argentina de Medicina Social. In 1926 Gorriti delivered a paper at the Sociedad de Neurología y Psiquiatría titled “Reparos al complejo de Edipo,” in which he criticized Freud’s ideas about the Oedipus complex, denying the existence of infant sexuality but recognizing the value of the psychoanalytic method. The paper expresses respect for Freud and his theories. A few years later, Gorriti started using psychoanalytically oriented methods, and in 1930 published a book, Psicoanálisis de los sueños en un síndrome de depresión, a copy of which he sent to Freud, who was pleased by it.49 Gorriti also tried to make use of psychoanalytic concepts in his literary criticism.50 Other prominent doctors sympathetic to psychoanalysis included Jorge Balbey, a well-known forensic psychiatrist; and Gonzalo Bosch, director of the Hospicio de las Mercedes, who, in the late 1930s, allowed Enrique Pichon Rivière to introduce psychoanalysis there.

While psychiatrists’ attention to psychoanalysis increased, society at large also took notice. By the early 1930s, psychoanalysis had piqued real interest, not only in intellectual circles but also at the level of popular culture. As Beatriz Sarlo points out, during the 1920s and 1930s, popular curiosity about science and technology, on the one hand, and parapsychology, healing, and miracles, on the other, emerged in Argentine society. At the crossroads of science and healing stood heterodox medicine; and psychoanalysis was sometimes understood in this fashion.51 Another theme that intersected with psychoanalysis also gained popular appeal during the 1920s: sexology. The sex manual El matrimonio perfecto, by Th. Van de Velde, for example, was published in large, cheap editions and reprinted twice a year until the 1960s.52 Similarly, El Hogar, a popular magazine of the period, published articles on psychoanalysis.53

In 1931 the newspaper Jornada (formerly titled Crítica, until it was closed by the military authorities who took power in the coup of 1930), began publishing a section on psychoanalysis, together with other sections on spiritism, occultism, and theosophy.54 In the 1920s, Crítica had been the most popular newspaper in Buenos Aires, selling well over two hundred thousand copies a day; and since the early 1920s, Crítica had published extensively on heterodox medicine and biological experimentation. Jornada, after briefly explaining the basic concepts of psychoanalysis, urged readers to send in descriptions of their dreams to be analyzed by an “expert psychoanalyst,” signed “Freudiano,” who would perform, the paper promised, an “autopsy of the soul.”55

According to Jornada, psychoanalysis was a product of modern tendencies that, although fashionable in Europe and North America, were “still confined to the scientists’ cabinets” in Argentina. The paper presented Freud as a child of the age of the machine, comparing him with Henry Ford and Gustav Stresemann.56

The kind of “analysis” that “Freudiano” carried out was a combination of common-sense advice and elementary psychological theory that had more to do with Janet’s and Adler’s ideas than with Freud’s. Freudiano’s was a totally desexualized version of psychoanalysis. The recommended cures ranged from analysis of original traumas following the old cathartic method to camphor bromide and cold showers.

During this period, psychoanalysis also entered popular literature. In Los siete locos (1929) and Los lanzallamas (1931), Roberto Arlt, a popular writer belonging to the so-called Group of Boedo, made explicit and implicit references to a popular version of psychoanalysis. The same can be said about such works as Radiografía de las Pampas (1933), by Ezequiel Martinez Estrada, a widely read essay that presented in a pessimistic tone what the author believed were the deep causes of the crisis affecting Argentina. In 1946, popular playwright Arturo Capdevila published Consumación de Sigmund Freud, which received excellent reviews from senior psychiatrist Osvaldo Loudet in the Revista de Psiquiatría y Criminología and psychoanalyst Marie Langer in the Revista de Psicoanálisis, the APA’s official journal. The plot consists of a journey of the Soul through the realm of dreams and the unconscious. No evidence could be found that the play was ever staged.57

The Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, who visited Argentina several times, was also instrumental in the diffusion of psychoanalysis. In addition to articles in his journal Revista de Occidente, he wrote the foreword to López Ballesteros’ translation of Freud’s Complete Works. Until 1925 the Revista de Occidente held a generally favorable view of Freudian psychoanalysis.58

Many other prominent foreign visitors, such as the French psychologists Georges Dumas and Pierre Janet, lectured on topics related to psychoanalysis or psychology.59 During the 1930s, moreover, popular publishers began producing books on psychoanalysis in cheap editions that quickly sold out. Stefan Zweigs biography of Freud was also extremely successful and was republished in many cheap editions.60

By the mid-1930s, therefore, psychoanalysis had been integrated into popular culture. This trend was matched by a growing demand for psychoanalysis as a therapy, as is suggested by the number of doctors who began practicing psychoanalytically oriented therapies and presenting cases in conferences and articles. In the Jornadas Neuro-Psiquiátricas Río Platenses of 1935, for instance, papers on psychoanalysis were delivered by Gregorio Bermann, Juan Ramón Beltrán, C. Lambruschini, Gonzalo Bosch, and Federico Aberastury. Psychoanalysis was chosen as the official theme for the following Jornadas.

By late in the decade, psychoanalytic concepts had also permeated the field of criminology and forensic psychiatry, albeit without displacing older concepts. While some experts still used Lombrosian classifications or referred to the soplo delirante de los degenerados, others cited Freud and Jung and claimed that their forensic reports were based on psychoanalytic theory.61 In 1935 the Brazilian psychoanalyst J. P. Porto Carrero lectured at the law school on psychoanalysis and criminology, invited by the Patronato de Recluídas y Liberadas, an association of women dealing with the welfare of jailed women.62 Similarly, in the area of general psychiatry, some specialists still recommended bloodletting as a therapy, while others were incorporating psychoanalytic concepts into their diagnoses. In the late 1930s, Enrique Pichon Rivière organized a psychoanalytically oriented child psychiatric service at the Liga Argentina de Higiene Mental.63

At the treatment level, psychiatrists began to take a greater interest in the personal history of their patients. Psychotherapy in general, and psycho-analysis in particular, became accepted in mainstream psychiatry. High levels of eclecticism were possible because psychiatry was still in the process of achieving legitimacy and identity as a medical specialty. Eclecticism was possible, moreover, because of the existence of “civil discourse.” The “internalization” of psychoanalysis in the context of “civil discourse” allowed for different interpretations and appropriations of Freud’s ideas.

Psychoanalysis from the Right

Juan Ramón Beltrán was one of the native-born Argentines who were highly influential in disseminating psychoanalysis in their own country. Beltrán also remained a right-wing nationalist, and the use he made of psychoanalysis was related to a discipline traditionally concerned with social order: criminology.64

Less prominent than Fernando Gorriti, Beltrán nevertheless held a number of teaching positions in different institutions, including the Military Academy, the Colegio Nacional, and the Schools of Medicine and Philosophy of the University of Buenos Aires. Although ideologically close to right-wing Catholic and military groups, he participated, together with left-wing psychiatrists, in the creation of many organizations related to mental health.65 Beltrán defined himself as a psychoanalyst, and in 1939 he created and became the first president of the Sociedad de Psicología Médica y Psicoanálisis, a branch of the Argentine Medical Association.66

Beltrán published profusely on psychoanalysis, mostly on its uses in criminology. His point of view, however, was extremely eclectic. He was a convinced Lombrosian, and he combined psychoanalysis with criminal anthropology and degeneracy theory.67 In a 1927 article, for instance, Beltrán, after citing an eclectic list of theorists (Freud, Janet, Morel, Jean-Martin Charcot, and Valentin Magnan, among others), concluded that a particular criminal he was analyzing was a degenerate, abounding in physical stigmas. Beltrán continued, however,

what makes this observation all the more interesting is the patient’s sexual history. . . . This constitutes a serious argument in favor of the much-attacked Freudian thesis, which in this case we accept completely.68

Deeply influenced by current thought in French psychoanalysis, Beltran gave psychoanalysis a biological reading: Freud’s theory of the libido confirmed the “biological thesis of the foundations of our personality.”69

Beltrán did not replace his previous ideas with those of psychoanalysis but rather, following the French tradition, added psychoanalysis to them. Influenced also by the writings of Pastor Oskar Pfister (“the apostle of psychoanalysis,” according to Beltrán), he gave Freud’s ideas an idiosyncratic reading.70 In an article in 1936, Beltrán claimed that one of the most important findings of psychoanalytic theory was that

the child, far from being something chaste, pure, morally spotless, is immoral, impure. Education, society, custom, the family, and so on will purify the child, will give it, with time, the necessary morality, will elevate its temperament and its natural tendencies.71

Far from being “neurogenic” elements, the agents of social order had for Beltrán a “purifying” effect. Beltrán considered psychoanalysis a tool of social order with an educative purpose.

In spite of his eclecticism, Beltrán had credibility as a psychoanalyst because in 1931 he had been elected an associate member of the Société Psychanalytique de Paris.72 Beltrán was instrumental in (glossing Foucault) “putting psychoanalysis into discourse.”

Psychoanalysis from the Left

If Beltrán represented what could be called “psychoanalysis from the right,” there was also a trend in “psychoanalysis from the left.” Gregorio Bermann from Córdoba, Emilio Pizarro Crespo from Rosario, and later Jorge Thénon from Buenos Aires gave a broader reading to psychoanalysis than Beltrán did. They considered it not only a medical tool but also a method for social criticism, as well as an instrument for innovation in psychiatry.

Gregorio Bermann, who taught legal medicine and toxicology at the University of Córdoba, developed an interest in psychoanalysis and published on the topic.73 He lectured on psychoanalysis as early as 1922. Reversing the usual pattern, Bermann criticized Pierre Janet’s theories in light of Freudian psychoanalysis.74 Although, like Beltrán, Bermann was interested in the application of psychoanalysis to criminology, he thought psychoanalysis should play a broader role in the general modernization of psychiatric methods, which was overdue in Argentina. In 1936 he founded the journal Psicoterapia. (It published only four issues before Bermann left for Spain in 1937 to fight for the Republic.) The journal openly advocated a dynamic conception of psychiatry and the use of psychotherapeutic methods. Its editors eulogized Freud, “whose name cannot be remembered here without admiration and gratitude,” but also Jung, Adler, Wilhelm Stekel, Kretschmer, Karl Jaspers, Janet, Pavlov, and “hundreds of others,” indicating a high level of theoretical eclecticism.75

The journal’s third issue was dedicated to Freud in honor of his 80th birthday. The board of editors included people with ideas about mental health as different as French psychoanalyst R. Allendy, U.S. psychoanalyst A. A. Brill, Honorio Delgado (who by that time had become an opponent of psychoanalysis and a fascist sympathizer), Paulina H. de Rabinovich (who tried to combine psychoanalysis with Pavlov’s reflexology), Pizarro Crespo, and Aníbal Ponce. Juan Ramón Beltrán (who obviously did not share Bermann’s political orientation) had already joined the board for the second issue.

Gregorio Bermann, like other left-wing thinkers, was influenced partly by French psychologist Georges Politzer, who had publicly rejected psychoanalysis in 1939. Bermann ultimately found psychoanalysis incompatible with his political convictions.76 He denounced psychoanalysis as a bourgeois, idealistic science, although he participated in the preliminary meetings of 1940 that led to the creation of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association in 1942.77

Emilio Pizarro Crespo occupied a more marginal position than Bermann in the medical establishment. He graduated from the University of Córdoba and later moved to Rosario, where he practiced psychotherapy. Like Bermann, Pizarro Crespo was active in politics. He sympathized with Communism and visited the Soviet Union in 1935. Also like Bermann, he went to Spain in 1937, but soon became disappointed with the republicans. He died in 1944 after having made a 180-degree turn in his political ideology. His last book, Afirmación gaucha, was an ultranationalist pamphlet.78

Pizarro Crespo shared with Beltrán a strong francophilia. He delivered a paper on psychosomatic medicine at the Société Psychanalytique de Paris, where he was also elected an associate member.79 Lacanian analysts credit him as the first to introduce Lacan in Argentina. In an article published in Psicoterapia on the uses of psychotherapy in France, Pizarro Crespo praised Lacan’s 1932 doctoral thesis on paranoia.80 In 1934, Pizarro Crespo wrote to Freud and to Ernest Jones (president of the IPA), probably seeking some kind of affiliation with the international association.81 He continued to publish articles on psychoanalysis until the late 1930s, and in 1939 he organized a tribute to Freud. He also published in El Hogar.82

Before his conversion to right-wing nationalism, Pizarro Crespo tried, like other leftist doctors acquainted with psychoanalysis, to use the discipline as a tool for the modernization of psychiatry and as a methodology for social criticism. He tried to mix Freud and Marx in a way that resembled the attempts of early French “Freudo-Marxists.” In an article on narcissism published in 1934, Pizarro Crespo explained the Freudian concept of narcissism as a bourgeois disease that would be overcome with the establishment of a new socialist society.83 In his later articles, he defended a monismo materialista y dialéctico, although he also recognized the primacy of the unconscious.84 Pizarro Crespos ideas were eclectic, and for some time, before becoming a right-winger, he tried to make Freudian psychoanalysis compatible with Pavlov’s theory of conditioned reflexes, the official theory in the Soviet Union.

Jorge Thénon’s interest in psychoanalysis grew out of his experiments with hypnosis after reading Ingenieros’ works. In 1930 he published his psychoanalytically informed doctoral dissertation, Psicoterapia comparada y psicogénesis, which was awarded a prestigious prize—an indication that psychoanalysis had achieved some degree of acceptance in the medical profession. Thénon sent a copy of the book to Freud, who suggested that he summarize it for publication in the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis.85

In 1931 Thénon became director of the Revista Argentina de Neurología, Psiquiatría y Medicina Legal, which subsequently grew more psychoanalytically oriented. In 1935 he published La neurosis obsesiva86 Gregorio Bermann gave it a very favorable review, praising Thénon’s efforts in becoming a psychoanalyst.

It is, without doubt, a great effort that he has successfully completed, especially when we realize how hard the road is for anyone among us who desires to become a psychoanalyst, not only for the lack of a propitious environment, but principally for the want of teachers and the impossibility, therefore, of [undergoing] a training analysis.87

Thénon was also a Communist sympathizer, and as a result of his political activities, he lost his position at the Hospicio de las Mercedes. He remained interested in psychoanalysis, writing and practicing until the early 1940s. Banned from the university, also for political reasons, he lectured on psychoanalysis at the Colegio Libre de Estudios Superiores, a kind of parallel university created by his friend (and arch-opponent of psychoanalysis) Aníbal Ponce, among others. Thénon’s political sympathies eventually proved incompatible with psychoanalysis, however, and he, too, came to oppose it, in the name of Pavlovian psychiatry. In a lecture given at the Colegio in 1952, Thénon denounced psychoanalysis as an antiscientific and bourgeois method.

Within the abstraction “private property” that they [psychoanalysts] associate with the oral and anal libido ... hides the process that marches from the hut of Fabrizio [Everyman] to the Rockefeller Trust, that dramatic process that commences with the primitive community, . . . feudalism, and the bourgeosie.88

Even in the late 1930s, while he still supported psychoanalysis, Thénon started to put forward what would later become the basis for his critical attitude toward the discipline: psychoanalysis did not take into account the social factor.89 Before becoming an opponent, however, Thénon took pains to defend the biological character of original psychoanalytic ideas. His later criticism was based partly on his belief that Freud, in his later works, had abandoned the initial biological foundation of his theories.

Professionalization in a Polarized Society: 1930s and 1940s

Pizarro Crespo died young in 1944, after changing completely his political sympathies; Thénon and Bermann ended up rejecting psychoanalysis because they found it incompatible with their political ideology. During the 1920s and early 1930s, however, an interest in psychoanalysis — and in other issues, such as mental hygiene and eugenics—had constituted a common ground that they could share with someone like Beltrán. Later in the 1930s, this peaceful coexistence would become more difficult.

Admittedly, their readings of psychoanalysis were very different. Whereas for Beltrán, psychoanalysis was one of the instruments available for his work on criminology and an aid in maintaining social order, and therefore had a normalizing and educative role to play, Thénon and Pizarro Crespo tried to give it a social basis,” mixing Freud and Marx. Although there was no real debate between them, they could express their contradictory and sometimes incompatible visions in the same journals, sometimes even in the same issue. Similarly, they could participate in the same organizations. None of them could claim to represent the “true” psychoanalysis because the field was not yet defined in Argentina. Instead, they were approaching a still-open field that could contain all of their antagonistic perspectives.

The lack of an official psychoanalytic association enhanced this openness. Coexistence was possible, moreover, because of the political conditions of the time, particularly the prevalence of “civil discourse.”

An illustrative case is the already mentioned Asociación de Biotipología, Eugenesia y Medicina Social and its official publication, Anales, created in 1931. Its board of directors included prestigious psychiatrists, such as Gonzalo Bosch, Osvaldo Loudet, and Juan Obarrio; progressive educators, such as Víctor Mercante, Ernesto Nelson, and Rosario Vera Peñaloza; and conservative ones, such as F. Julio Picarel.90 The association’s first president was Dr. Mariano Castex, early mentor of Arnaldo Rascovsky, a future founding member of the APA at the Hospital de Niños.

The Asociación de Biotipología followed the doctrines of Nicola Pende, who visited Buenos Aires in 1930. From the ideological point of view, its sympathies for Nazi Germany, and especially for fascist Italy, were clear from the beginning. In a 1933 issue, a note read,

We have, then, reasons for thinking that with the resurgence of Germany, under the disciplined regimen that characterizes its current political organization, the social security system will be for that nation what the statesmen of the Empire foresaw, and consequently cannot but favor the productive classes.91

Nevertheless, many of the journal’s contributors (including Socialist politician Alfredo Palacios) and even a few of its directors could hardly be considered fascist sympathizers.92 To make things even more confusing, together with a division of Latin culture unofficially sponsored by profascist groups, the association created a Spanish section in 1935, of which the honorary president was the Spanish ambassador.93

Although Pende theorized that mental diseases were determined by biotype, many contributors to Anales thought otherwise. In the first issue, Federico Aberastury acknowledged the existence of mental diseases without somatic foundation; he referred to Freud as the “genius of the century.”94 In a series of articles published between 1934 and 1936, on the other hand, Arturo Rossi, director of the Institute of Biotypology, approached the issue from a radically different perspective. Rossi also contrasted psychoanalysis to somatic medicine, but for different reasons. Whereas for Aberastury, Freud’s main merit was to have returned sexuality to the realm of science, for Rossi the merit of psychoanalysis (and not of Freud, whom he dismissed) was to provide an alternative to materialistic psychiatry that, according to Rossi, denied the existence of God. Whereas Freud was unacceptable because of his “pansexualism,” Adler—who rejected “pansexualism” and who was, as Rossi presented him, a personal friend of Pende and an admirer of biotypology—represented a more palatable version of psychoanalysis.95 Despite the diversity of opinions in its pages, when Freud died in 1939, Anales published an obituary, lamenting the loss of the great scientist.96

The case of the Asociación is paradigmatic but hardly unique. Archivos Argentinos de Psicología Normal y Patológica, the same journal that published Pizarro Crespo’s article on narcissism in 1933, also printed an editorial praising Nazi Germany’s new eugenics law.97 Two years later, it offered an article by Dr. Carlos Jesinghaus (official representative of the School of Philosophy and Literature, University of Buenos Aires, to a psychology conference in Germany) openly praising Nazism.98 Later the same year, however, the journal issued, in French, a note of salute to “Freud, Addier [sic], and Dubois,” soliciting articles from “the three masters,” and shortly after that a highly positive commentary on Bermann’s journal, Psicoterapia.

Even La Semana Médica, which included many liberals on its board of directors, in 1935 published an article by Héctor Stocker describing the benefits of the German law of forced sterilization. Among the sources cited was Mein Kampf.99Psicoterapia, as noted, published articles by Beltran (who also served as one of its editors), whose ideology was totally antithetical to its own openly stated political commitments.100

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, however, the situation changed dramatically. During these years, Argentine society suffered a deep political transformation, which was particularly evident in the intellectual milieu. Confusion and polarization became key words in the context of a worldwide ideological crisis, stemming from a combination of international and local developments. The liberal consensus among the Argentine elites, which had emerged during the second half of the nineteenth century and had gone undisputed until the late 1920s, now suffered a general breakdown. One result was the widely supported coup led by fascist-sympathizing General José Uriburu, who overthrew Yrigoyen in 1930, ending 50 years of democracy.101

Events such as the Spanish Civil War, the emergence of Nazism, the radicalization of fascism, World War II, and particularly the military coup of 1943 and the subsequent rise of Peronism contributed to the deepening confusion and polarization.102 This process also permeated scientific discourse.

The radicalization of international politics forced Argentine intellectuals to take sides. Ideological differences became irreconcilable. This was explicitly recognized by nationalist historian Julio Irazusta, who, referring to the usual meetings of intellectuals at writer Victoria Ocampo’s home, later recalled,

Eduardo Mallea, Pedro Henríquez Ureña, María de Maetzu, Cármen Gándara... and innumerable others who do not come to mind associated with us in an environment of civilized conviviality. ... If this experiment ceased, it was partly due to the European war, which confounded their spirits and divided them into international factions.103

Another example was the Colegio Libre de Estudios Superiores, which would be instrumental in the diffusion of psychoanalysis in the 1940s. It counted among its founders the Marxist Aníbal Ponce and the right-wing historian Carlos Ibarguren. In this case, the peaceful coexistence was very short. One year after the school’s founding, Ibarguren resigned from the faculty to protest the appointment of German physician George Nicolai, “a Communist professor,” as a lecturer.104 Later, Jorge Thénon and other faculty members would also abandon the Colegio for ideological reasons.105 During the Peronist regime (1946-55), the Colegio was harassed by state authorities.

In this context, scientific discourse started to become tainted with ideological content, and sometimes with personal enmity. The Asociación de Biotipología, for instance, which had embraced directors, members, and contributors to its journal whose political ideas were as divergent as their scientific orientation, grew more homogeneous in both aspects by the late 1930s. All the progressive authors who had previously contributed to Andes now disappeared from the journal’s pages. The journal’s favorable references to psychoanalysis also disappeared, with the exception of Freud’s obituary in 1939. Politics permeated science, from the university to the medical profession.106

Gonzalo Bosch, Pichon Rivière’s mentor at the Hospicio de las Mercedes, and Juan Ramón Beltrán had, during the 1920s and 1930s, belonged to the same psychiatric institutions (in some cases as founding members). Both were sympathetic to psychoanalysis, and both held teaching positions at the School of Medicine. This coexistence, too, ended in 1945, when the military authorities removed Bosch as dean and appointed Beltrán interventor.

After the emergence of Peronism, society’s political polarization continued to deepen. Society now was defined in terms of the Peronist-anti-Peronist antinomy, while each faction tried to deprive the other of legitimate participation in the public sphere.107 This is the context in which psychoanalysis was institutionalized in Argentina. While the crisis of positivist and somatic psychiatry of the 1920s had opened a space for coexistence, the ideological and political crisis of the 1930s and 1940s eliminated that space.

In 1942, Angel Garma and a small group of medical doctors founded the APA.108 None of the psychiatrists who had previously shown an interest in psychoanalysis (with the exception of Pichon Rivière) were among the early members. Similarly, no members of the already existing Sociedad Argentina de Psicología Médica y Psicoanálisis participated in the creation of the official institution. Their absence is a unique feature of the development of Argentine psychoanalysis. Elsewhere, early practitioners of psychoanalysis usually joined the official association when it was created. A typical case is that of Durval Marcondes, pioneer of psychoanalysis in Brazil. After practicing “wild psychoanalysis” (that is, without proper training) for decades (he even created the first, and short-lived, Brazilian Psychoanalytic Association in 1927), Marcondes brought German psychoanalyst Adelaide Koch to Brazil to become the nation’s first training analyst. Koch analyzed Marcondes (in Marcondes’ own office), and Marcondes became a leader of Brazilian “official” psychoanalysis.109

The “official history” of Argentine psychoanalysis explains the psychiatrists’ nonparticipation as the result of the natural “resistance” of the Argentine medical establishment.110 Angel Garma, moreover, said in a 1979 interview that in light of his previous experience in Spain, where he claimed to have been on bad terms with the medical establishment, he avoided any involvement with the psychiatric establishment on arriving in Argentina.111 What actually occurred, however, was more complex than that.

The moment he arrived in Buenos Aires, Garma received a warm welcome from the psychiatric establishment. His books, including his seminal work, Psicoanálisis de los sueños, were published there, and they received excellent reviews in the most prestigious medical journals, including the Revista de la Asociación Médica Argentina.112 Garma soon started publishing articles on psychoanalysis in Buenos Aires journals, participating in conferences, and delivering papers to various medical and criminological societies.113 In 1941 the Revista de Psiquiatría y Criminología introduced a permanent section on psychoanalysis in its book reviews, with Garma as the sole reviewer. Over the next few years, the section grew to become the largest among the book reviews. The same thing happened in Index, an important bibliographic journal, of which Pichon Rivière was one of the editors. Garma had appeared on the list of contributors since 1939; he started contributing reviews of books on psychoanalysis in 1941. Index also published his monograph Psicoanálisis: presente y perspectivas.114

Garma’s presence, and that of Celes Cárcamo, in the context of a highly polarized society turned psychoanalysis into a “closed field.” Both were practitioners who could claim recognition as legitimate psychoanalysts; both, before founding the APA, were members of the International Psychoanalytic Association, which had become more rigid in its requirements for analytic training. Until the late 1930s, there had been no real scientific debate on psychoanalysis because it was not necessary. By the early 1940s, there was no debate because it was impossible; no space was left for antagonistic views.

After the creation of the Argentine association and, in 1943, its official journal, Revista de Psicoanálisis, Garma and the other psychoanalysts gradually withdrew into their own official group, virtually disappearing from psychiatric circles except for the Sociedad de Psicología Médica y Psicoanálisis, in which they participated actively.115 By 1944 the section on psychoanalysis in the Revista de Psiquiatría y Criminología had started to shrink, and ultimately it disappeared. In 1943, Index removed Garma’s name from its list of contributors, although Pichon Rivière remained as editor. Both journals took a more somatist, nonpsychoanalytic tack until they themselves disappeared soon afterward, probably because of the emergence of Peronism.116

Indeed, this withdrawal of the psychoanalysts seems linked more to political issues than to any “resistance” from the psychiatric community, as the “official” historiography asserts. As late as 1945, at a conference held by the Sociedad de Neurología y Psiquiatría de Buenos Aires, APA representatives were warmly welcomed by the society’s president, Dr. Roque Orlando, and Pichon Rivière reaffirmed the psychoanalytic community’s commitment to keeping its ties with the psychiatric community, within the framework of the medical profession.117 Yet this would be one of the last times (until the late 1950s) that psychoanalysts as a group participated in a nonpsychoanalytic conference at the national level. Similarly, during the short democratic interlude at the University of Buenos Aires in early 1945, APA psychoanalysts published reviews and articles in the Revista de la Universidad de Buenos Aires. But when Perón took over the university soon afterward and appointed Juan Ramón Beltrán director of the Revista, APA members (and psychoanalysis altogether) disappeared from the journal’s pages.

Thus, in its first decade, the APA became a totally apolitical and self-contained organization. When it was created, there was no more room for the kind of eclecticism and “peaceful coexistence” of earlier decades. Internationally, psychoanalysis had become a very well defined specialty, controlled by a highly bureaucratic organization (the IPA). Locally, psychoanalysts withdrew from public spaces when the opportunity for open participation disappeared. During the Peronist regime, the APA developed in a kind of cocoon. It grew slowly, totally isolated from public activity. Psychoanalysts even devised an ideology to legitimate their exclusivity: to work at any official institution, including hospitals and the university, was considered masochistic.118 This early reaction would have an impact on the future evolution of the APA.

Concluding Remarks

Although the “psychoanalytic boom” and the emergence of a “psychoanalytic culture” took place in the 1960s, psychoanalysis has a long history in Argentina, going back to the 1910s. From that decade on, psychoanalysis was discussed in medical and cultural circles; but because of the prestige of French culture in Argentina, Freud was read mostly in French and understood usually through the filter of French psychiatry and psychology. Until the creation of the official association, the APA, moreover, psychoanalysis did not replace other techniques and theories but was added to them, combined with eugenics and Lombrosian criminal anthropology, among others. An “official” approach to the history of psychoanalysis would consider this eclecticism to be evidence of the “resistance” that society and traditional psychiatry put up against the discipline.

This eclecticism, however, would seem a natural development for any new discipline that challenges the accepted canon. As Richard Whitley points out, the process of popularization of a scientific discipline — and popularization is a crucial component in the development of scientific knowledge—implies a redescription and a change in the body of knowledge.119 The combination of psychoanalysis with already accepted scientific theories, moreover, contributed to its legitimation. Similar processes can be seen in other countries, such as Brazil, the United States, and France.

This scientific eclecticism had its limits, however, and they came from two sides. One limiting factor was the introduction of an orthodoxy with the creation of the APA in 1942. Following IPA-imposed principles, the APA introduced rigid standards of training and practice, standards that were difficult to accept for already established Argentine psychiatrists who were themselves still working to achieve recognition for their field within the medical profession. In this sense, the founding of the APA represented a break in the development of psychoanalysis in Argentina. The APA was created at a moment when psychoanalysis was, at the international level, an already well defined field following rigid rules set by an international organization. This adherence to a greater overall standard waylaid the development of individual approaches in the local context of Argentine society and culture.

The second limiting factor was the political polarization of Argentine society in the 1930s and early 1940s, a process that permeated all levels of public discourse. Science, and psychoanalysis in particular, was no exception. As a result of both these factors, psychoanalysis became a self-contained specialty. Its early development, including its relationship with medicine, was indelibly influenced.

The author expresses his gratitude to Lila Camari, Piroska Csúri, Tulio Halperín Donghi, Joel Horowitz, Kristin Ruggiero, Hugo Vezzetti, and two anonymous HAHR reviewers for their comments on the manuscript, and to Maria Isabel Fontao for her collaboration in obtaining sources. The research for this article, part of a larger project, had the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Joint Committee on Latin American Studies of the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies, with funds provided by the NEH.


General Martín Balza, speech delivered Apr. 25,1995. For the complete text, see Clarín (Buenos Aires), Apr. 26, 1995, 3.


Sherry Turkle, Psychoanalytic Politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud’s French Revolution, 2d ed. (London: Free Association Press, 1992). See also Sérvulo Augusto Figueira, Nos bastidores dapsicanálise (Rio de Janeiro: Imago Editora, 1991), 220; idem, “Common (Under)ground in Psychoanalysis: The Question of a Weltanschauung Revisited” (Mimeograph, n.d.), 27 pp. See also P. Berger, “Towards a Sociological Understanding of Psychoanalysis,” Social Research 32 (1965), 26-41.


Elisabeth Roudinesco, La bataille de cent ans: histoire de la psychanalyse en France, vol. 2, 2925-1985 (Paris: Seuil, 1986), appendix. For 1992 figures, see idem, Lacan, esbozo de una vida: historia de un sistema de pensamiento (Buenos Aires: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1993), 768-69. For the growth of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association (APA) until 1982, see Jorge Mom, Gilda Foks, and Juan Carlos Suárez, Asociación Psicoanalítica Argentina, 1942-1982 (Buenos Aires: APA, 1982), 149-51. In the 1970s, the APA suffered an internal split, which resulted in a new official organization, the Asociación Psicoanalítica de Buenos Aires (APDEBA).


See, among others, Sérvulo A. Figueira, Cultura da psicanálise (São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1985): idem, ed., Eféito PSI: a influência de psicanálise (Rio de Janeiro: Campos, 1988); Joel Birman, ed., Precursos na história da psicanálise (Rio de Janeiro: Taurus, 1988); Cyro Martins, “Contribução ao estudo da história da psicanálise no Brasil,” Revista Brasileira da Psicanálise 10:289 (1976). 289-300; Luciano Martins, “A Geração AI-5,” Ensaios de Opinião (Rio de Janeiro) 11 (1979), 72-102; Luis Almeida Prado Galvão, “Notas para a história da psicanálise em São Paulo,” Revista Brasileira de Psicanálise 1 (1967), 46-66; Gilberto Santos de Rocha, Introdução ao nascimento da psicanálise no Brasil (Rio de Janeiro: Forense Universitaria, 1989).


The two “official histories” of psychoanalysis by APA members are Arminda Aberastury, Marcelo Aberastury, and Fidias R. Cesio, Historia, enseñanza, y ejercicio legal del psicoanálisis (Buenos Aires: Omega, 1967); and Mom, Foks, and Suárez, Asociación Psicoanalítica. Other major works on the topic are limited to Jorge Balán, Cuéntame tu vida: una biografía colectiva del psicoanálisis argentino (Buenos Aires: Planeta, 1991); Hugo Vezzetti, ed., Freud en Buenos Aires, 1910-1939 (Buenos Aires: Puntosur, 1989); idem, Aventuras de Freud en el país de los argentinos. De José Ingenieros a Enrique Pichon Rivière (Buenos Aires: Paídos, 1996). From the Lacanian perspective, Germán L. García, La entrada del psicoanálisis en la Argentina: obstáculos y perspectivas (Buenos Aires: Altazar, 1978). A shorter version of this book has been published under the title Oscar Masotta y el psicoanálisis en castellano (Buenos Aires: Puntosur, 1991). Vezzetti has also written a variety of articles on different aspects of the evolution of psychoanalysis, most of them published in the cultural review Punto de vista (Buenos Aires).


Sigmund Freud, On The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement, vol. 14 of The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, ed. James Strachey (London: Hogarth Press, 1981 [1953]) (hereafter SE); idem, An Autobiographical Study, SE, vol. 20; Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud, 3 vols. (New York: Basic Books, 1953).


Although Vezzetti focuses on the reception of psychoanalysis until 1939, he still emphasizes the divergence between the preorthodox versions and the “real” one. See the introduction to Freud in Buenos Aires. He also distinguishes between a history of Freudianism and a history of psychoanalysis. Aventuras de Freud, 7-13. The same can be said about García in La entrada del psicoanálisis.


Angel Garma (1904-1993) was a Spanish physician who emigrated to Argentina. He had received psychoanalytic training in Berlin under Theodore Reik.


A good example is the bibliographical journal Index (Buenos Aires), where Jacques Lacans thesis of 1932 was being widely discussed by the late 1930s.


On Argentine positivism, see Hugo Biagini, ed., El movimiento positivista argentino (Buenos Aires: Belgrano, 1985); Ricaurte Soler, El positivismo argentino (Buenos Aires: Paidós, 1968); Oscar Terán, Positivismo y nación en la Argentina (Buenos Aires: Puntosur, 1987).


Charles A. Hale, “Political and Social Ideas,” in Latin America: Economy and Society, 1870-1930, ed. Leslie Bethell (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1989), 274-75. For the crisis of positivism in the context of philosophy, see Jorge Dotti, La letra gótica: recepctión de Kant en Argentina desde el romanticismo hasta el treinta (Buenos Aires: Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Univ. de Buenos Aires, 1992), 72-73, 150. For the constitution of a “literary field,” see Carlos Altamirano and Beatriz Sarlo, “La Argentina del centenario: campo intelectual, vida literaria, y temas ideológicos,” in Ensayos argentinos: de Sarmiento a la vanguardia (Buenos Aires: Centro Editor de América Latina, 1983). For a general discussion of the constitution of intellectual fields, see Pierre Bourdieu, “Le champ intellectuel: un monde à part,” in Choses dites (Paris: Minuit, 1987). On the impact of immigration, see Tulio Halperín Donghi, “Para qué la inmigración? Ideología y política inmigratoria en la Argentina (1810-1914),” in El espejo de la historia: problemas argentinos y perspectivas hispanoamericanas (Buenos Aires: Sudamericana, 1987).


Pierre Bourdieu, “The Purposes of Reflexive Sociology (The Chicago Workshop),” in An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology, ed. Bourdieu and Loic J. D. Wacquant (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1992), 94-115; idem, “La cause de la science: comment l’histoire sociale des sciences sociales peut servir le progrès de ces sciences,” Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales 106-7 (Mar. 1995), 3-10; idem, “The Peculiar History of Scientific Reason,” Sociological Forum 6:1 (Mar. 1991), 3-26.


Silvia Sigal, Intelectuales y poder en la década del sesenta (Buenos Aires: Puntosur, 1991), 33. See also Federico Neiburg, “Ciencias sociales y mitologias nacionales. La constitución de la sociología en la Argentina y la invención del peronismo,” Desarrollo Económica (Buenos Aires) 34:136 (Jan.-Mar. 1995), 533-55.


Nathan G. Hale, Jr., Freud and the Americans, vol. 1, The Beginnings of Psychoanalysis in the United States, 1876-1917 (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1995), 47. On the development of psychiatry in Argentina, see Hugo Vezzetti, La locura en la Argentina (Buenos Aires: Folios, 1983); Osvaldo Loudet and Osvaldo Elías Loudet, Historia de la psiquiatría argentina (Buenos Aires: Troquel, 1971); Antonio Guerrino, La psiquiatría argentina (Buenos Aires: Cuatro, 1982); Eduardo Balbo, “Argentinian Alienism from 1852 to 1918,” History of Psychiatry (London) 2:6 (June 1991), 181-92.


Horacio Piñero, “La psicología experimental en la República Argentina,” reprinted in El nacimiento de la psicología en la Argentina: pensamiento psicológico y positivismo, by Carlos O. Bunge et al, ed. Hugo Vezzetti (Buenos Aires: Puntosur, 1988), 43-54.


The French cultural influence in Argentina surprised more than one French visitor. See, e.g., Pierre Janet, “Les progrès scientifiques,” Journal des Nations Américaines: Argentine (Paris), nouvelle série, 1:7 (June 18, 1933). During the 1930s, English gradually substituted for French and Italian.


See Eric Carlson, “Medicine and Degeneration: Theory and Practice,” in De generation: The Dark Side of Progress, ed. Edward J. Chamberlain and Sander L. Gilman (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1985), 122.


The image of the immigrant as a degenerate can also be seen in such late nineteenth-century novels as Eugenio Cambaceres, En la sangre (Buenos Aires, 1887); and Julian Martel, La bolsa (estudio social) (Buenos Aires: La Nación, 1891).


Nancy Leys Stepan, The Hour of Eugenics: Race, Gender, and Nation in Latin America (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1991), 60.


Clifford Whittingham Beers, A Mind that Found Itself: An Autobiography (New York: Longmans, Green, 1921; 5th ed., Pittsburgh: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 1981).


Gonzalo Bosch, “Organización de la profilaxis de las enfermedades mentales en la Argentine” (Relato oficial del 40 Congreso Nacional de Medicina, Sección Neurología y Psyquiatría, Oct. 1931), reprinted in Revista de la Liga Argentina de Higiene Mental 2:4 (1931), n.p.


See Eduardo A. Zimmermann, “Racial Ideas and Social Reform: Argentina, 1890-1916,” HAHR 72:1 (Feb. 1992), 23-46.


José Ingenieros, Histeria y sugestión: ensayos de psicología clínica, 5th ed. (Buenos Aires, L. J. Russo, 1919). The syllabi of his psychology courses at the University of Buenos Aires included such topics as “subconscious actions,” the interpretation of dreams, and the theory and practice of psychotherapy. See “Programa del segundo curso de psicología, 1909,” in Vezzetti, El nacimiento.


Born in La Plata, Celes Cárcamo (1903-1990) received neuropsychiatrie training from Henri Claude in Paris, returning to Argentina in 1939. See Balán, Cuéntame tu vida, 95-97.


Roy Porter, “The Body and the Mind, The Doctor and the Patient: Negotiating Hysteria,” in Hysteria Beyond Freud, by Sander L. Gilman et al. (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1993), 239.


See Andrew Scull, “Somatic Treatments and the Historiography of Psychiatry,” History of Psychiatry 5:18 (1994), 1-12; and the critical comments by H. Merskey, “Somatic Treatments, Ignorance, and the Historiography of Psychiatry,” ibid. 5:19 (1994), 387-91. See also Andrew Abbott, The System of Professions: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1988), 300-307. For Argentina, see Luis Ortega, “El tratamiento de la psicosis por el shock insulínico,” Revista de Psiquiatría y Criminología 3:13 (Jan.-Feb. 1938), 20-38, in which Ortega recognizes the effectiveness of insulin shock but also acknowledges lo resbaladizo de sus bases teóricas. In the same vein, see Luis Martínez Dalke, “La terapéutica convulsivante en las enfermedades mentales,” ibid. 4:20 (Mar.-Apr. 1939), 40-62; César Castedo, “Electroshock en el pabellón Charcot del Hospital Melchor Romero,” ibid. 7:39 (Sept.-Oct. 1942); Eduardo E. Krapf, “Doctrina y tratamiento de la alienatión a través de los siglos,” Anales de la Sociedad Científica Argentina 128:5 (Nov. 1939). Krapf, a future short-term APA member, opposed Freud’s “truths” in favor of the empiricism of the biologists.


Enrique Pichon Rivière, “Contribución a la teoría psicoanalítica de la esquizofrenia,” Revista de Psicoanálisis 4:1 (July 1946), reprinted in Del psicoanálisis a la psicología social, 2 vols. (Buenos Aires: Galerna, 1970-71), 1:63. On Pichon’s conception of “single disease,” see his “Grupos operativos y enfermedad única,” in ibid., 2:279.


Thomas F. Glick, “La transferencia de las revoluciones científicas a través de las fronteras culturales,” Ciencia y Desarrollo (Mexico City) 12:72 (Jan.-Feb. 1987), 82.


Germán Greve, “Sobre psicología y psicoterapia de ciertos estados angustiosos,” reprinted in Vezzetti, Freud en Buenos Aires, 89-105.


Alejandro Raitzin, “La locura y los sueños,” Revista de Criminología, Psiquiatría y Medicina Legal (Buenos Aires) 6 (1919); Emmanuel Regis and Angelo L. M. Hesnard, La psychanalyse des névroses et des psychoses, ses applications médicales et extra-médicales (Paris: F. Alcan, 1914). Regis and Hesnard’s book became the standard version of psychoanalysis for Argentine doctors. Hesnard later became a psychoanalyst and a founding member of the French association. The other source for psychoanalytic thought, also highly critical of Freud, was the book by the Italian positivist psychiatrist Enrico Morselli, a follower of Cesare Lombroso. Morselli, La psicanalisi: studii ed appunti critici, 2 vols. (Turin: Bocca, 1926). See also Michel David, La psicanalisi nella cultura italiana (Turin: Boringhieri, 1966), 175-79.


Ingenieros, Histeria y sugestión, 30-32. Cf. Pierre Janet, “El psico-análisis,” Archivo de Ciencias de la Educación (La Plata: Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación, Univ. de La Plata), época 2, 1:2 (Jan. 1915), 175-224. See also Sigmund Freud, Obras completas, 17 vols., trans. Antonio López Ballesteros (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, 1922-34).


Vezzetti, Freud en Buenos Aires, 11.


For a general discussion of reception, see Thomas F. Click, “Cultural Issues in the Reception of Relativity,” in The Comparative Reception of Relativity, ed. Glick (Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1987).


Christofredo Jackob, “Problemas actuales de psiquiatría general y sus relaciones con las ciencias sociales y jurídicas,” Revista de Criminología, Psiquiatría y Medicina Legal 4 (1917), 7.


See A. Austregesilo, “Los errores del pan y los errores del amor,” La Semana Médica (Buenos Aires) 25:7 (Feb. 14, 1918); idem, “Sexualidad y psiconeurosis,” ibid. 25:48 (Nov. 28, 1918). For Austregesilo’s ideas on psychoanalysis, see Silvia Alexim Nunes, “Da medicina social a psicanálise,” in Birman, Percursos na história da psicanálise, 61-122.


Freud credits Delgado with the introduction of psychoanalysis in Latin America in On the History of the Psychoanalytic Movement, SE 14:34, and in A Short Account of Psychoanalysis, SE 19:202. After 1927 Delgado distanced himself from psychoanalysis, and by the 1930s he had become a fierce opponent of it. See Alvaro Rey Castro, “Freud y Honorio Delgado: crónica de un desencuentro,” Hueso Húmero (Lima) 15-16 (Jan.-Mar. 1983), 5-76; idem, “El psicoanálisis en el Perú: notas marginales,” Debates en Sociología (Lima) 11 (1986), 229-40. The correspondence between Freud and Delgado is reproduced in “Lettres de Sigmund Freud à Honorio Delgado, présentées par Alvaro Rey Castro,” Revue Internationale d’Histoire de la Psychanalyse (Paris) 6 (1993), 401-28.


Honorio Delgado, “La ontogenia del instinto sexual y la subconciencia según el psicoanálisis,” Revista de Criminología, Psiquiatría y Medicina Legal 5 (Jan.-Feb. 1918), 166-79; idem, “La rehabilitación de la interpretación de los sueños,” ibid., 425-33. See also idem, “Interpretación psicoanalítica del mecanismo de las neurosis y de las psicosis funcionales,” ibid. 6 (Jan.-Feb. 1919), 57-65.


It seems, however, that the invitation never materialized. Another medical doctor who showed early interest in psychoanalysis was Luis Merzbacher, a German resident in Argentina. See his “Psicoanálisis, su importancia para el diagnóstico y el tratamiento de las psiconeurosis” (Paper delivered at the Sociedad Médica Argentina, June 1, 1914), reprinted in Revista de la Asociación Médica Argentina (Buenos Aires) 22 (1914), 399-406. Merzbacher recommended the use of hypnosis as a tool for “overcoming resistances.”


See, e.g., Honorio Delgado, “La nueva faz de la psicología normal y clínica,” Revista de Filosofía (Buenos Aires) 6:4 (July 1920), 31-37.


See José Ingenieros, “Para una filosofía argentina,” Revista de Filosofía 1:1 (1914), 5. Elsewhere, however, psychoanalysis was read as a “biological” theory. For Spain, see Thomas F. Glick, “El impacto del psicoanálisis en la psiquiatría española de entreguerras,” in Ciencia y sociedad en España: de la Ilustración a la Guerra Civil, ed. José Manuel Sánchez Ron (Madrid: El Arquero, 1988), 212. For a general discussion of Freud’s “biologism,” see Frank Sulloway, Freud, Biologist of the Mind: Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1992).


See, e.g., Revista de Filosofía 10:2 (May, 1924). This issue contains an article by José Crespo, “Psicoanálisis,” asserting that only psychoanalysis has meaningful conceptions of consciousness and the unconscious; and a concluding article by Aníbal Ponce, “Psicología y clínica,” which starts with a dismissive remark on psychoanalysis.


La Prensa (Buenos Aires), June 6,1923, p. 13. Other Spanish medical doctors who were influential in promoting unorthodox psychoanalytic techniques in Argentina were Gregorio Marañón, a reputed endocrinologist; César Juarros, José M. Sacristán, José Sanchis Banus, and later Emilio Mira y López. Their works were regularly published in Argentine psychiatric journals.


See, e.g., Gonzalo Rodríguez Lafora, “La teoría y los métodos del psicoanálisis (primera conferencia de vulgarización del psicoanálisis dada en la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas de Buenos Aires en junio, 1923),” Revista de Criminología, Psiquiatría y Medicina Legal 10 (1923), 385-408.


Augusto Bunge, Review notice, Nosotros (Buenos Aires) 20:203 (Apr. 1926), 436-37; Alberto Palcos, La vida emotiva (Buenos Aires: M. Gleizer, 1925).


Nerio Rojas, “La histeria después de Charcot,” Revista de Criminología, Psiquiatría y Medicina Legal 12 (1925), 458. In 1930 Rojas visited and interviewed Freud in Vienna and published his critical, though respectful, impressions in the cultural supplement of La Natión (Buenos Aires), Mar. 17,1930, sec. 2.


See, e.g., Enrique Mouchet, “Significación del psicoanálisis,” La Semana Médica 33:25 (June 24, 1926), 1415-17. See also Mariano B. Plotkin, “Freud en la Universidad de Buenos Aires: la primera etapa hasta la creación de la carrera de psicología,” Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe 7:1 (1996), 23-40.


The list of honorary members included George Dumas, Santé de Sanctis, Sigmund Freud, Henri Pieron, John Dewey, Pierre Janet, E. Claparede, Paul Sollier, Hans Driesch, and Felix Krueger.


For the differences between the three theories, see Henri Ellenberger, The Discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry (New York: Basic Books, 1970), chaps. 7, 8, 9.


Fernando Gorriti, Psicoanálisis de los sueños en un síndrome de desposesión: estudio psicosexual freudiano de setenta y cuatro sueños de un alienado que terminó por curarse de este modo (Buenos Aires: L. S. Rosso, 1932). Freud’s reaction noted by Vezzetti, Freud en Buenos Aires, 36.


See, e.g., Fernando Gorriti, “La fuerza ciega del Doctor Vicente Martínez Cuitiño desde el punto de vista freudiano,” La Semana Médica 36:31 (Aug. 1,1929), 320-23. For another example of early uses of psychoanalysis in criticism, see José Oria, “El teatro de Lenormand, antes y después de la influencia de Freud” (Paper presented at the Sociedad de Psicología de Buenos Aires, sesión del 26 de octubre de 1934), published in Revista de Criminología, Psiquiatría y Medicina Legal 22 (1935), 554-72.


Beatriz S. Sarlo, La imaginación técnica: sueños modernos de la cultura argentina (Buenos Aires: Nueva Visión, 1992), 66, 135.


Vezzetti, Freud en Buenos Aires, 47. During the 1920s, Buenos Aires saw a proliferation of weekly popular novels of semierotic content. See Beatriz S. Sarlo, El imperio de los sentimientos: narraciones de circulación periódica en la Argentina (1917-1927) (Buenos Aires: Catálogos Editora, 1985).


See, e.g., Romulo Cabrera, “Los precursores de Freud,” El Hogar (Buenos Aires) 709 (May 15, 1923); idem, “El desarrollo de la psicología,” ibid. 815 (May 29, 1925).


The material on Jornada was collected by Valeria Torre. I want to express my gratitude to her and to her adviser, Hugo Vezzetti, for granting me access to the material. On the whereabouts of Crítica, see Helvio I. Botana, Memorias tras los dientes del perro (Buenos Aires: A. Peña Lillo, 1985). See also Sylvia Saitta, “Historia institucional de Crítica (1913-1931)” (Mimeograph, n.d.), 28 pp.


Jornada, Aug. 20, 1931.


Ibid., Aug. 22, 1931.


Roberto Arlt, Los siete locos (Buenos Aires: Latina, 1929); idem, Los lanzallamas (Buenos Aires: Claridad, 1931); Ezequiel Martínez Estrada, Radiografía de las Pampas (Buenos Aires: Babel, 1933); Arturo Capdevila, Consumación de Sigmund Freud (Buenos Aires: Sudamericana, 1946). Langer’s review appeared in Revista de Psicoanálisis 5:1 (July 1947), 128.


On Ortega y Gasset’s impact in Argentina, see Tzvi Medin, Ortega y Gasset en la cultura hispanoamericana (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1994). On the Revista de Occidente, see Evelyne López Campillo, La Revista de Occidente y la formación de minorías (1923-1936) (Madrid: Taurus, 1972).


Jornada, Aug. 25, 1931, includes a long interview with Dumas on psychoanalysis.


An example is J. Gómez Narea’s multivolume Freud al alcance de todos, 10 vols. (Buenos Aires: Tor, 1935-46). Hugo Vezzetti was able to establish that Gómez Narea was really Peruvian poet Alberto Hidalgo. The “cases” presented were, of course, invented. In 1938, Socialist writer Elías Castelnuovo published, also in a cheap edition, his Psicoanálisis sexual y psicoanálisis social (Buenos Aires: Claridad, 1938). Stefan Zweig, Mental Healers: Franz Anton Mesmer, Mary Baker Eddy, Sigmund Freud (New York: Viking, 1932) was reprinted as La curación por el espírito (Buenos Aires: Anaconca, 1941). The section on Freud had already been published as Freud (Buenos Aires: Tor, 1933).


See Roberto Ciafardo, “Homicidio cometido por un epiléptico-imputabilidad,” Revista de Psiquiatría y Criminología 5:28 (July-Aug. 1940), 122-35; J. Delpiano and E. López Bancalari, “El estado mental del homicida Rafael Ladrón de Guevara,” ibid. 6:32 (May-June 1941), 243-52. While Ciafardo still used Lombrosian concepts, Delpiano and López Bancalari cited Freud, Jung, and Adler.


“Memoria y balance del 5 to ejercicio (May 1935-Nov. 1935),” Boletín del Patronato de Recluídas y Liberadas 2:6 (Jan. 1936). I want to express my gratitude to Lila Caimari for granting me access to her research on the Patronato. See also Luis Jiménez de Asúa, Psicoanálisis criminal (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1940), fragment published in ibid. 12:36 (Apr. 1946), 10-15.


Noted in a speech given by Pichon Rivière at the Primer Congreso de la Sociedad de Neurología y Psiquiatría de Buenos Aires, Nov. 12-20,1944, reprinted in Revista de Psicoanálisis 2:3 (1945), 563-65.


On the right-wing ideology of some early French psychoanalysts who sympathized with Action Française, see Roudinesco, La bataille de cent ans, vol. 1, 1885-1939. In Spain, from the beginning, as Thomas Glick points out, sympathizers with psychoanalysis tended to be people of progressive political and social convictions. See Glick, “The Naked Science: Psychoanalysis in Spain, 1914-1948,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 24 (1982), 533-74.


For Beltrán’s biographical data, see Alfredo Kohn Loncarica, “Juan Ramón Beltrán (1894-1947): datos biográficos y bibliografía histórica,” Actas de las Segundas Jomadas de Historia del Pensamiento Científico Argentino (Buenos Aires, July 5, 6, and 7, 1984), 211-23.


The Sociedad de Psicología Médica was not the seed for “professionalized” psychoanalysis in Argentina. The APA would take it over in the 1960s when Angel Garma and other APA members became its presidents and members.


See Juan Ramón Beltrán, “La tumba de Lombroso,” La Semana Médica 36:44 (Oct. 31, 1929).


Idem, “Psicopatología de la duda,” La Semana Médica 39:3 (Jan. 20,1927), 160-62. See also idem, “La psicoanálisis al servicio de la criminología,” Revista de Criminología, Psiquiatría y Medicina Legal 10 (1923), 442.


Idem, “Contribución a la psicopatología de la personalidad: la despersonalización,” Anales del Instituto de Psicología de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad de Buenos Aires 1 (1935), 129-52. Beltrán included psychoanalysis among the methods of experimental psychology. See “Freud” (Speech delivered at the homage to Ramos Mejía, Freud, and Ribot, organized by the School of Philosophy of the University of Buenos Aires and the Sociedad de Psicología de Buenos Aires, Nov. 3,1939), published in Anales del Instituto de Psicología 3 (1941), 594-98.


Oskar Robert Pfister (1876-1956) was a Protestant pastor from Zurich. An early follower of Freud, he used psychoanalysis for pedagogical and moral purposes, promoting a quasi-religious reading of Freud’s theory.


Juan Ramón Beltrán, “La psiconanálisis y el médico práctico,” Psicoterapia. Revista de Psicoterapia, Psicología Médica, Psicopatología, Psiquiatría Caracterología, e Higiene Mental (hereafter Psicoterapia) 3 (Sept. 1936), 75-79. Among other serious misconceptions, Beltrán claimed that Jung had invented the method of free association.


A reading of the Société’s minutes reveals that the appointment of associate members was an important source of funding for the group, which was then in a difficult financial situation. See “Séance du 17 mars 1931, comptes rendus,” Revue Française de Psychanalyse 4:1 (1930-31).


See, e.g., Gregorio Bermann, “Patogenia de las neurosis obsesivas” (Paper delivered as relato oficial in the Jornadas Neuropsiquiátricas de Córdoba, Dec. 1935), published in La Semana Médica 44:11 (Mar. 4, 1937).


See idem, “Una grave deficiencia en la medicina argentina” (Inaugural lecture for his course “Psicología clínica en la medicina contemporánea” at the Colegio Libre de Estudios Superiores, Sept. 1939), published in La Semana Médica 47:19 (May 9, 1940).


Psicoterapia 1:1 (Jan. 1936), 1.


Bermann wrote the foreword for Georges Politzers Principios elementales de filosofía (Buenos Aires: Problemas, 1948).


Balán, Cuéntame tu vida, 60.


Pablo Emilio Pizarro Crespo, Afirmación gaucha: resurrección nacional (Buenos Aires: “La Facultad,” Bernabe y Cía., 1943).


Idem, “Le ròle des facteurs psychiques dans le domaine de la clinique (Communication faite a la Société Psychanalytique de Paris, le 2 mai 1935),” Revue Française de Psychanalyse 8 (1935), 449-86.


Idem, “El movimiento psicoterápico en Francia,” Psicoterapia 1:1 (Jan. 1936), 56-62.


Emilio Pizarro Crespo to Ernest Jones, [Rosario?] Dec. 23, 1934. The original of the (rather confused) letter is in the archive of the British Psychoanalytic Association, London, document g07/bc/f05/0g. There is no record of the answer.


See, e.g., Emilio Pizarro Crespo, “Las razones de la elección amorosa,” El Hogar 1461 (Oct. 15, 1937).


Idem, “El narcicismo: de una actitud psíquica a una enfermedad social del erotismo,” Archivos Argentinos de Psicología Normal y Patológica, Terapia Neuro-Mental y Ciencias Afines (hereafter Archivos Argentinos) 1:3-4 (Nov. 1933-Feb. 1934), reprinted in Vezzetti, Freud en Buenos Aires, 240-44.


Idem, “Psicodiagnóstico y psicoanálisis: aportaciones clínicas y terapéuticas,” La Semana Médica 42:1 (Mar. 7, 1935), 782.


García, Oscar Masotta, 46. Freud’s response to Thénon was reproduced and translated in Revista de Criminología, Psiquiatría y Medicina Legal 17 (1930), 273-303, following an article by Jorge Thénon, “Contribuciones al estudio del sueño en las neurosis.” The article and Freuds letter are included in Vezzetti, Freud in Buenos Aires, 190-214.


Jorge Thénon, La neurosis obsesiva: el sadomasoquismo en el pensamiento obsesivo y en la evolución sexual (Buenos Aires: El Ateneo, 1935).


Psicoterapia 1:2 (May 1936), 55.


Jorge Thénon, “La psiquiatría en el año 50 del siglo XX,” Cursos y Conferencias 21:245-47 (Oct.-Dec. 1952), 337-66. It is interesting to compare this critical vision of psychoanalysis with the ideas Thénon presented in the same journal in earlier years. See, e.g., “Alfredo Adler (1870-1937): las proyecciones de su teoría en la psiquiatría moderna,” ibid. 7:11 (Apr. 1937), 69-83; “Sigmund Freud: su influencia en la psiquiatría moderna,” ibid. 9:1 (Apr. 1940), 65-73.


See Jorge Thénon, “Sigmund Freud,” Revista de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas y el Centro de Estudiantes de Medicina 3 (1939) 11-13, reprinted in Vezzetti, Freud en Buenos Aires, 280-93.


It is interesting to note that Enrique Pichon Rivière published his first article on psychotherapy (it was more about Jung and Adler than Freud) in Anales de Biotipología, Eugenesia y Medicina Social 1:18 (Jan. 15-30, 1934), 15-31.


Ibid. 1:7 (July 1, 1933), 20-25.


Some of the contributors, however, were indeed right-wingers. One was Gustavo Martínez Zuviría, who, under the pen name Hugo Wast, wrote very popular and openly anti-Semitic novels. He became minister of education after the revolution of 1943 and directed the introduction of mandatory Catholic education in schools.


Although in 1935 the Spanish Republic was still under the control of a center-right coalition, as Mark Falcoff suggests, people perceived the republic as a radical break with the past. See “Argentina,” in The Spanish Civil War, 1936-39: American Hemispheric Perspectives, ed. Falcoff and Fredrick Pike (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1982).


Federico Aberastury, “Medicina del espíritu,” Anales de Biotipología, Eugenesia y Medicina Social 1:3 (May 1, 1931), 15-25. See also idem, “Las teorías de Freud,” ibid. 1:7 (July 1, 1933).


Arturo Rossi, “Homenaje a Adler,” ibid. 4:71 (Apr. 1937). See also Mariano Barilari, “Viena, escuela de psicología individual de Adler,” ibid. 1:6 (June 15,1933).


Ibid. 3:88 (Oct. 1939), 2. It is interesting to note that other journals supposedly more ideologically open, such as the Revista de Psiquiatría y Criminología, did not publish obituaries when Freud died.


”Eugenesia ejecutiva,” Archivos Argentinos 1:3-4 (Nov.-Dec. 1933), 10.


Carlos Jesinghaus, “Notas sobre el XV Congreso de Psicología de Tuebingen,” ibid. 2:1 (Jan.-Mar. 1935). In 1929, Jesinghaus had made positive references to Freud and psychoanalysis. See “Las bases científicas de la orientación profesional,” Nosotros 23:236-37 (Jan.-Feb. 1929), 36-40.


Héctor Stocker, “La ley alemana de esterilización: comentarios para La Semana Médica,” La Semana Médica 42:32 (Aug. 8, 1935), 27-34.


See, e.g., Psicoterapia 4 (May 1934), the last issue, devoted to a homage to republican Spain.


Tulio Halperín Donghi, “El lugar del peronismo en la tradición política argentina,” in Perón: del exilio al poder, ed. Samuel Amaral and Mariano Plotkin (Buenos Aires: Cántaro, 1993); Cristián Buchrucker, Nacionalismo y peronismo: la Argentina en la crisis ideológica mundial (1927-1955) (Buenos Aires: Sudamericana, 1987).


On the impact of the Spanish Civil War on Argentine society, see Falcoff, “Argentina”; Raanan Rein, The Franco-Perón Alliance: Relations Between Spain and Argentina, 1946-1955 (Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Univ. Press, 1993), esp. chap. 5. On the impact of Nazism, see Ronald Newton, The “Nazi Menace” in Argentina, 1931-1947 (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1992). On fascism, see idem, “Ducini, Prominenti, Antifascisti: Italian Fascism and the Italo-Argentine Collectivity, 1922-1945,” The Americas 51:1 (July 1994), 41-66. For a general overview, see Buchrucker, Nacionalismo y peronismo.


Julio Irazusta, Memorias: historia de un historiador a la fuerza (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Culturales Argentinas, Ministry of Culture, 1975), 227.


Cursos y Conferencias 1:11 (May 1932), 557-58. For general aspects of the polarization of intellectuals, see Mariano Ben Plotkin, Mañana es San Perón: propaganda, rituales politicos, y educación en el régimen peronista (1946-2955) (Buenos Aires: Espasa-Calpe, 1994), chap. 1. On Nicolai, see Clara Alicia Jalif de Bertranou, “Jorge Federico Nicolai (1874-1964),” in Biagini, El movimiento positivista argentino, 500-518.


In Thénon’s case, the reason was his deep commitment to the Communist Party.


On the evolution of the university during those years, see Tulio Halperín Donghi, Historia de la Universidad de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires: Editorial Univ. de Buenos Aires, 1962). On the politicization of the medical profession, see Revista de la Asociación Médica Argentina throughout 1945.


For a fuller analysis, see Plotkin, Mañana es San Perón.


The founding members were Garma, Celes Cárcamo, Marie Langer, Enrique Pichon Rivière, Arnaldo Rascovsky, and Guillermo Ferrari Hardoy. For information on them, see Balán, Cuéntame tu vida.


See Roberto Yutaka Sagawa, “Durval Marcondes e o início do movimento psicanalítica brasileiro,” Cadernos Freud Lacanianos (São Paulo) 2 (1980), 99-118.


See, e.g., León Grinberg, “Reseña histórica de la Asociación Psicoanalítica Argentina: discurso pronunciado por el Doctor León Grinberg el dia 29 de junio de 1961,” Revista de Psicoanálisis 18:3 (1961), 259-303. See also the series of interviews with APA founders by members of the APA’s “Department of History”: “Entrevistas a los fundadores de la APA: los pioneros,” Angel Garma, ibid. 40:5-6 (1983), 899-914; Arnaldo Rascovsky, ibid. 41:2-3 (1984), 203-25; Celes Cárcamo, ibid. 41:6 (1984), 987-1000.


Angel Garma, interview by Thomas Glick, Buenos Aires, Nov. 11, 1979. I am grateful to Thomas Glick for permission to use this unpublished material.


Angel Garma, Psicoanálisis de los sueños (Buenos Aires: El Ateneo, 1940). The book included a foreword by Osvaldo Loudet.


See, e.g., Angel Garma, “Psicología del suicidio” (Paper delivered at the Sociedad Argentina de Criminología, Aug. 20, 1940), published in Revista de Psiquiatría y Criminología 10:28 (July-Aug. 1940), 279-96; idem, “La génesis del super yo y la angustia,” ibid. 7:36 (Jan.-Apr. 1942), 1-10; idem, “Psicoanálisis e interpretación de los sueños,” ibid. 7:38 (July-Aug. 1942), 225-40.


Idem, Psicoanálisis: presente y perspectivas (Buenos Aires: A. López, 1942).


The possible exception was again Pichon Rivière, who in 1947 was appointed chief of the Juvenile Psychiatric Service at the Hospicio de las Mercedes (in spite of his disagreements with the Peronist regime). Eduardo E. Krapf, another early contributor to the Revista de Psicoanálisis, the same year was appointed lecturer in medical psychology at the School of Medicine.


It is possible to perceive an anti-Peronist tendency in Revista de Psiquiatría y Criminología from 1945 on.


See transcripts of both speeches in Revista de Psicoanálisis 2:3 (1945), 562-65.


See Balán, Cuéntame tu vida, 116-17.


Richard Whitley, “Knowledge Producers and Knowledge Acquirers: Popularization as a Relation Between Scientific Fields and Their Publics,” in Expository Science: Forms and Functions of Popularization, ed. Terry Shinn and Whitley (Dodrecht: Reidel, 1985), 7.