From the Myth of the Primal Horde to the Test of the Family Romance

By Thomas Lepoutre

This essay attempts to highlight the striking points of agreement between two “originary accounts” to which Freud accorded a central place, by openly contrasting the “myth of the primal horde” with the neurotic “Family Romance”, according to the title of his 1908. This entails examining the secret inter-textuality that is at work in the Freudian myth of cultural genealogy and in the neurotic romance of individual genealogy – by asking the question: to what extent does the myth help us to read the family romance, and the romance help us to read the myth.


  • family romance
  • myth
  • parricide
  • Oedipus complex
  • filiation
  • retroaction
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