Rom J Psychoanal 2020, 13(1):197-204
DOI: 10.2478/rjp-2020-0013

Abstract: The article focuses on psychic mechanisms at work in a life experience of maximum intensity: imprisonment awaiting the death penalty. “Dialogue with death”, the memories of Arthur Koestler on the most traumatic period of his life – his stay in the prison of Seville during the Spanish Civil War – was initially published in 1937, as an important part of the “Spanish Testament”, and was in itself one of the most significant testimonial works of the 20th century on the subject of death. The perspective to which we have subjected it draws on psychoanalysis and is based, more precisely, on the Freudian theory on defenses against traumatic affects.

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