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There is no cure

Michael Wood: Freud’s Guesswork, 6 July 2006

The Penguin Freud Reader 
edited by Adam Phillips.
Penguin, 570 pp., £14.99, January 2006, 0 14 118743 3
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... In 1936 Freud wrote a letter to Romain Rolland, offering him a speculation about a particular memory as a 70th birthday gift. The memory concerned a trip Freud took to Athens with his brother, and his own ‘curious thought’ at the sight of the Acropolis: ‘So this all really does exist, just as we learned in school!’ Freud describes himself as two people, one making the comment and the other perceiving it: and both were amazed, although not by the same thing ...

Keeping the show on the road

John Kerrigan, 6 November 1986

Tribute to Freud 
by H. D.
Carcanet, 194 pp., £5.95, August 1985, 0 85635 599 2
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In Dora’s Case: Freud, Hysteria, Feminism 
edited by Charles Bernheimer and Claire Kahane.
Virago, 291 pp., £11.95, October 1985, 0 86068 712 0
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The Essentials of Psychoanalysis 
by Sigmund Freud, edited by Anna Freud.
Hogarth/Institute of Psychoanalysis, 595 pp., £20, March 1986, 0 7012 0720 5
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Freud and the Humanities 
edited by Peregrine Horden.
Duckworth, 186 pp., £18, October 1985, 0 7156 1983 7
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Freud for Historians 
by Peter Gay.
Oxford, 252 pp., £16.50, January 1986, 0 19 503586 0
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The Psychoanalytic Movement 
by Ernest Gellner.
Paladin, 241 pp., £3.50, May 1985, 0 586 08436 3
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The Freudian Body: Psychoanalysis and Art 
by Leo Bersani.
Columbia, 126 pp., $17.50, April 1986, 0 231 06218 4
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... H.D. after analysis in Vienna. Her judgment seems rather generous. Reading her Tribute to Freud, one can’t ignore the emotional and interpretative coercion that went on at 19 Berggasse under the name of science. To an alarming degree, theory preempted argument. H.D. had been abandoned by her husband, Richard Aldington, for another woman, during ...

Bananas

Claude Rawson, 18 November 1982

God’s Grace 
by Bernard Malamud.
Chatto, 223 pp., £6.95, October 1982, 0 7011 2647 7
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... not even of the phallic sort. It is food and drink to most monkeys, though Calvin Cohn and Sigmund Freud have other ideas. When Cohn holds a little tutorial on the subject of metaphor, ‘Like when a banana is conceived to symbolise a man’s phallus’, Buz (who was taught to speak by a German-born scientist) replies: ‘I don’t believe it. I ...

Shall we tell the children?

Paul Seabright, 3 July 1986

Melanie Klein: Her World and her Work 
by Phyllis Grosskurth.
Hodder, 516 pp., £19.95, June 1986, 0 340 25751 2
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Bloomsbury/FreudThe Letters of James and Alix Strachey 1924-1925 
edited by Perry Meisel and Walter Kendrick.
Chatto, 360 pp., £14.95, February 1986, 0 7011 3051 2
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... When Alix Strachey, translator of Freud, went to Berlin in 1924 to seek psychoanalysis with Freud’s colleague, Karl Abraham, her most momentous acquisition, in an accumulation consisting inter alia of books, antique knick-knacks and (to a compulsive extent, on the evidence of her letters) of Apfeltorte under lashings of cream, was a then little-known child-analyst of Polish-Slovakian extraction named Melanie Klein ...

Is Michael Neve paranoid?

Michael Neve, 2 June 1983

... Havelock Ellis has sent me the sixth volume of his studies, Sex in Relation to Society,’ Freud wrote to Jung, in late April 1910. ‘Unfortunately my receptivity is consumed by my nine analyses. But I shall set it aside for the holidays along with the wonderful Schreber.’ Freud is here referring to the famous case of Daniel Paul Schreber, whose Memoirs of his nervous illness had appeared in 1903, and constitute one of the most celebrated case-studies of paranoia in the literature ...

The Game of Death

A.D. Nuttall, 11 June 1992

... tragedy? It may be thought that our best hope of answering this question lies in the psychology of Freud, who disclosed the dark side of the psyche. Behind this darkening of the mind, however, there lies another darkening, of our picture of the ancient sources of European literature. Antiquity, formerly given over to the Ego, becomes the province of the ...

Madnesses

John Kerr, 23 March 1995

The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement 
by Richard Noll.
Princeton, 387 pp., £19.95, January 1995, 0 691 03724 8
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... It has taken the entire century to bring Freud to the judgment of history. Whatever shall we do about Jung? His beginnings were not promising and his father frankly worried about him. Dominated by a mother at once unreliable and eerily intimate, the child was an asocial miscreant, rejected by his peers. Home was no better – the atmosphere was ‘unbreathable’ – and when he could not escape to the countryside the boy began to explore his own interior ...

Shaviana

Brigid Brophy, 2 December 1982

Bernard Shaw: The Darker Side 
by Arnold Silver.
Stanford, 353 pp., $25, January 1982, 0 8047 1091 0
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Bernard Shaw and Alfred Douglas: A Correspondence 
edited by Mary Hyde.
Murray, 237 pp., £15, November 1982, 0 7195 3947 1
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... The most charming fact I have stumbled on in intellectual history is that Freud and Shaw were shocked by one another. Freud’s wounded romanticism speaks in his reference (in Group Psychology, 1921) to ‘Bernard Shaw’s malicious aphorism to the effect that being in love means greatly exaggerating the difference between one woman and another ...

Social Policy

Ralf Dahrendorf, 3 July 1980

Understanding Social Policy 
by Michael Hill.
Blackwell, 280 pp., £12, April 1980, 0 631 18170 9
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Poverty and Inequality in Common Market Countries 
edited by Vic George and Roger Lawson.
Routledge, 253 pp., £9.50, April 1980, 0 7100 0424 9
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Planning for Welfare: Social Policy and the Expenditure Process 
edited by Timothy Booth.
Blackwell, 208 pp., £12, November 1980, 0 631 19560 2
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The City and Social Theory 
by Michael Peter Smith.
Blackwell, 315 pp., £12, April 1980, 9780631121510
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The Good City: A Study of Urban Development and Policy in Britain 
by David Donnison.
Heinemann, 221 pp., £4.95, April 1980, 0 435 85217 5
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The Economics of Prosperity: Social Priorities in the Eighties 
by David Blake and Paul Ormerod.
Grant Mclntyre, 230 pp., £3.95, April 1980, 0 86216 013 8
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... Louis Wirth, Georg Simmel, Theodor Roszak and Richard Sennet. (For some strange reason, Smith adds Sigmund Freud to the list, but this merely shows that his book is in the nature of a dissertation, rather than a treatise.) Smith would like to harmonise all these theories in some imprecise dialectic (‘the dialectician may be disappointed but is never ...
... of frustrated sexuality as well, this region which gave birth to Puritanism and the doctrines of Sigmund Freud, has not been an area of relatively high childbirth outside marriage. Non-Western Europe, where marriage was early, and approved, habitual sexual expression therefore open to everyone over 20, had higher illegitimacy levels than Western ...

Tremble for Tomorrow

Jenny Diski: In the Vilna Ghetto, 22 May 2003

The Last Days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania: Chronicles from the Vilna Ghetto and the Camps 1939-44 
by Herman Kruk, edited by Benjamin Harshav, translated by Barbara Harshav.
Yale, 732 pp., £30, November 2002, 0 300 04494 1
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... sciences, an academy of language and centre of cultural policy whose governing board included Sigmund Freud, had been founded there in 1925. It moved to New York during the war, and was responsible for compiling, editing and translating Kruk’s diaries into Yiddish. Written in Vilna before the Ghetto came into being, then throughout its existence ...

The One We’d Like to Meet

Margaret Anne Doody: Myth, 6 July 2000

Splitting the Difference: Gender and Myth in Ancient Greece and India 
by Wendy Doniger.
Chicago, 376 pp., £43.95, June 1999, 0 226 15640 0
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The Implied Spider: Politics and Theology in Myth 
by Wendy Doniger.
Columbia, 212 pp., £11.50, October 1999, 0 231 11171 1
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... who invented their own ideologies of the splitting of good from evil – Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As quickly becomes clear, the solutions of splitting and multiplicity are by no means peculiar to the West: differences in slants and biases between cultures do not disguise the basic similarities of the narrative ...

Treated with Ping-Pong

Susan Eilenberg: The History of Mental Medicine, 23 July 2009

Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800 to the Present 
by Lisa Appignanesi.
Virago, 592 pp., £12.99, January 2009, 978 1 84408 234 6
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... makes things worse. Not that we have any choice. Jean-Martin Charcot, Pierre Janet, Josef Breuer, Sigmund Freud, Mary Lamb, Alice James, Anna O., Zelda Fitzgerald, Marilyn Monroe and Sylvia Plath are household names. Not everyone may be able instantly to identify Henriette Cornier (who in 1825 chopped off her 19-month-old charge’s head), or Augustine ...

If Goofy Could Talk

Frank Cioffi, 6 April 1995

When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals 
by Jeffrey Masson and Susan McCarthy.
Cape, 268 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 0 224 03554 1
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The Hidden Life of Dogs 
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.
Weidenfeld, 148 pp., £12.50, May 1994, 0 297 81461 3
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The Tribe of Tiger 
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £12.99, October 1994, 0 297 81508 3
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... by stating that I think it more likely that their index’s misidentification of ‘the adolescent Freud’ who, on page 156, climbs up a tree screaming, after being bitten by a sow, as ‘Freud, Sigmund’ rather than as ‘Freud, chimp’, is an ...

The Housekeeper of a World-Shattering Theory

Jenny Diski: Mrs Freud, 23 March 2006

Martha FreudA Biography 
by Katja Behling, translated by R.D.V. Glasgow.
Polity, 206 pp., £25, January 2006, 0 7456 3338 2
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... In the membership roll of the worshipful guild of enabling wives, the name of Martha Freud ranks with the greatest: Mrs Noah, Mrs Darwin, Mrs Marx, Mrs Joyce, Mrs Nabokov, Mrs Clinton, and their honorary fellows, Mr Woolf and Mr Cookson. Wives, of either sex, are what keep the universe orderly and quiet enough for the great to think their thoughts, complete their travels, write their books and change the world ...

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