The fraternal complex between psychoanalysis and myth A literary example: Strange Shores

Marco Liotta, Carmela Mento, Salvatore Settineri


The field of siblings relationship, initially considered in psychoanalysis mostly in its interaction with the oedipal dynamics, knows today important developments so that the "fraternal complex" has achieved its own independence.
The paper aims to investigate the “fraternal complex” both in psychoanalytic area , from the Freudian perspective to contemporary authors, and in myth and literature. It is traced the birth and development of this concept showing how its different facets had been largely anticipated by the myth, especially Jewish myth. The second part of the article focuses on a literary example, “Strange Shores" by A. Indriðason, that offers many ideas to explore some of the dynamics of the fraternal complex in its intersection with fundamental issues in the field of psychoanalysis as the symbol, the double, the shadow, the guilt and the mourning.  


Fraternal Complex; Psychoanalysis; Myth

Full Text:

Fraternal Complex


Adler A. (1930) The Problem Child: The Life Style of the Difficult Child as Analyzed in Specific Cases, New York: Capricorn, 1963.

Dante Alighieri (1304-21). The Divine Comedy, translated by Henry F. Cary. Vol. XX. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909–14.

Freud S. (1908). Analysis of a phobia in a five-year-old boy. The Standard Edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. X. London: Hogarth Press, 1955.

Freud S. (1912-13). Totem and taboo. Standard Edition, Vol. XIII.

Freud S. (1918). From the history of an infantile neurosis (“Wolf man”). Standard Edition, Vol. XVII.

Freud S. (1919). The uncanny. Standard Edition, Vol. XVII.

Freud S. (1920). The psychogenesis of a case of homosexuality in a woman. Standard Edition, Vol. XVIII.

Freud S. (1920). A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. London: Forgotten Books, 2013.

Indriðason A. (2010) Furðustrandir (Strange Shores), Harvill Secker, 2013.

Jung C. G. (1916), The structure of the unconscious in “Two Essays on Analytical Psychology”, , Collected Works of C. G. Jung Volume 7, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1967.

Jung, C.G. (1921). Psychological Types, Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 6, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1971.

Jung C.G. (1928) “On Psychical Energy” in Contributions to Analytical Psychology London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Kaës R. (2008a) Le complexe fraternel, Dunod, Paris.

Kaës R. (2008b) Le complexe fraternel archaïque, Revue française de psychanalyse 2/2008 (Vol. 72).

Kancyper L. (2004) El complejo fraterno, Buenos Aires: Lumen.

Lacan J. (1938) Family complexes in the formation of the individual. Unpubblished. Trans. Cormac Gallangher, School of Psychoterapy, St. Vincent’s Hospital, 1982.

Lacan J. (1948) Aggressiveness in psychoanalysis. In: Ecrits: The first Complete Edition in English. Trans. B. Fink. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006.

M. Ter. Varronis de Lingua Latina Libri Qui Supersunt: Cum Fragmentis Ejusdem volumen secundum fragmentis ejusdem volumen secundum. Notae in Varronem. Biponti, Ex Typographia Societatis, 1788.

Modell A.H. (1971): The origin of certain forms of pre-oedipal guilt and the implications for a psychoanalytic theory of affects. International Journal of Psychoanalysis.

Neiderland W.G. (1961): The problem of the survivor. Journal of Hillside Hospital.

Siracusano F. (1993), Riflessioni psicoanalitiche sulla genesi della lotta tra i fratelli in La contesa tra fratelli. Miti, simboli e politica / a cura di Giulio M. Chiodi. Torino.



  • There are currently no refbacks.