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Peter Gay

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November 3, 1985 | Peter Loewenberg, Loewenberg is author of "Decoding the Past: The Psychohistorical Approach" (Knopf / University California Press). and
Peter Gay is a distinguished cultural historian of the Enlightenment and the 19th Century who vigorously proposes that historians turn to and use Freud and psychoanalysis to inform their history. He is committed to the classical Freud. He does not play with varied psychoanalytic schools and modifications of clinical theory. Rather, he finds the versatility and the awareness of social context that historians require in the original works of the master.
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November 14, 2007 | Tim Rutten, Times Staff Writer
A great medievalist once remarked that, in the end, Byzantine civilization failed because it was merely ingenious rather than original. Thanks to what we now call modernism, that can't be said of the Euro-American culture that has dominated the world for the last two centuries. Peter Gay is perhaps our leading historian of culture and ideas, and in "Modernism: The Lure of Heresy: From Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond," he sets himself an interesting -- personally felt -- task.
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BOOKS
February 21, 1999 | FREDERIC MORTON, Frederic Morton is the author of "A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889" and "The Rothschilds: A Family Portrait."
The cover of the review copy of this book reads: "My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin." On the title page, however, the book's title is different: "A Season in Hell: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin." A publishing glitch, but also an inadvertently profound comment. A season in hell is an absolute experience. Yet Peter Gay has undertaken to investigate its categorical quality by exploring its finer shadings.
BOOKS
August 18, 2002 | FREDERIC MORTON, Frederic Morton is the author of "The Rothschilds: A Family Portrait" and "A Nervous Splendor: Vienna, 1888-1889," both National Book Award finalists.
In his very personal "My German Question," Peter Gay showed how his family, German middle-class Jews, thrived in the 1930s; how, between occasional tremors, they kept on thriving for a while even after Hitler took power; and how, barely in time, a Cuban visa saved them from perdition. The book is so resonant because its protagonists are not sequestered in some ghetto of hallowed prey. The author shares their humanity with ours, a poignant mix of heart and hope and fallibility.
NEWS
November 2, 1995 | ANTHONY DAY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Reading Peter Gay on the 19th Century is like being shown around a city, say Paris or Berlin, by a charming guide who is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and slightly eccentric. At every turn in the tour, he presents a new vista, a new juxtaposition of scenes, a fresh illumination of a view you had been acquainted with but had never seen quite this way. Gay's eccentricity is that he sees history, and writes it, as a confirmed disciple of Sigmund Freud.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 14, 2007 | Tim Rutten, Times Staff Writer
A great medievalist once remarked that, in the end, Byzantine civilization failed because it was merely ingenious rather than original. Thanks to what we now call modernism, that can't be said of the Euro-American culture that has dominated the world for the last two centuries. Peter Gay is perhaps our leading historian of culture and ideas, and in "Modernism: The Lure of Heresy: From Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond," he sets himself an interesting -- personally felt -- task.
BOOKS
November 7, 1993 | Richard SennettBD Richard Sennett is professor of humanities and history at New York University.
During the last decade Peter Gay has given us an entirely new picture of our great-grandparents. While we may have envisioned them as living in the soft-focus gentility of a Merchant-Ivory film, the Yale historian has shown them to have been far more open to erotic and violent experience. Gay has done so in three volumes which began, in 1984, with a study of Victorian sensuality; two years later Gay published a book on the ways of love in the 19th Century.
NEWS
May 4, 1998 | JOCELYN McCLURG, HARTFORD COURANT
Thanks to five books by historian Peter Gay, the Victorians don't have many secrets left. The retired Yale professor has just published the fifth and final volume of his series "The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud," a massive reclamation project that has shed new light on the old view of the Victorian middle class as repressed, closed-minded philistines.
BOOKS
May 29, 1988
Peter J. Swales' review of Peter Gay's book, "Freud: A Life for Our Time" is unusual in that, despite his reservations about the book, Swales has the grace to recommend it highly. SHERRY TERZIAN LOS ANGELES
NEWS
July 8, 2002 | MERLE RUBIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
SAVAGE REPRISALS Bleak House, Madame Bovary, Buddenbrooks by Peter Gay W.W. Norton 192 pages, $24.95 Hefty, solid, vividly detailed, large as--indeed, larger than--life, the great novels of the 19th century are crammed with riches of all kinds. Who can forget the dark, fog-shrouded London of "Bleak House" and the hapless characters caught in the coils of that tangled legal case Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce? Or the tragic story of the vapid yet poignant middle-class adulteress Emma Bovary?
NEWS
July 8, 2002 | MERLE RUBIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
SAVAGE REPRISALS Bleak House, Madame Bovary, Buddenbrooks by Peter Gay W.W. Norton 192 pages, $24.95 Hefty, solid, vividly detailed, large as--indeed, larger than--life, the great novels of the 19th century are crammed with riches of all kinds. Who can forget the dark, fog-shrouded London of "Bleak House" and the hapless characters caught in the coils of that tangled legal case Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce? Or the tragic story of the vapid yet poignant middle-class adulteress Emma Bovary?
BOOKS
August 1, 1999 | EDITH KURZWEIL, Edith Kurzweil is a professor at Adelphi University and the editor of Partisan Review. Her books include "The Age of Structuralism: Levi-Strauss to Foucault," "The Freudians: A Comparative Perspective" and "Freudians and Feminists."
No one reading this last of Peter Gay's five volumes on the 19th century middle classes (just now making its appearance in bookstores in paperback) will be inclined to bash the bourgeoisie any longer, at least not much. This superb and exhaustive tableau of the tortured highways and byways that gradually led to modernism--in painting, sculpture, music, architecture and literature--documents the ambiguities and ambivalences of Victorian culture all over Europe.
NEWS
July 5, 1999 | MICHAEL FRANK, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Peter Gay's "Mozart," a new installment in the Penguin Lives series of short biographies, incarnates both the virtues and the shortcomings of these generally likable abbreviated books. Summaries can be useful: They can introduce a reader to an unfamiliar subject or reacquaint him with a familiar one; they can lay out the biographical issues and debates and set down a foundation for further inquiry. What they seem unable to do as often is present a fresh or startling take on their subject.
BOOKS
February 21, 1999 | FREDERIC MORTON, Frederic Morton is the author of "A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889" and "The Rothschilds: A Family Portrait."
The cover of the review copy of this book reads: "My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin." On the title page, however, the book's title is different: "A Season in Hell: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin." A publishing glitch, but also an inadvertently profound comment. A season in hell is an absolute experience. Yet Peter Gay has undertaken to investigate its categorical quality by exploring its finer shadings.
BOOKS
December 20, 1998 | THOMAS CURWEN and SUSAN CHEEVER and HERBERT GOLD and FREDERIC MORTON and JACK NELSON and SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS and CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY and MIMI AVINS and MICHAEL FRANK and BRYCE MILLIGAN
OUTSIDE PASSAGE: A Memoir of an Alaskan Childhood; By Julia Scully; (Random House: 224 pp., $23) Beautifully written, wisely understated, "Outside Passage" is important for how little it tells, for trusting the image and knowing the eloquence of the picture that lives beyond the frame. More than a story of an Alaskan childhood, "Outside Passage" is about something far more difficult to describe--memory and the delicate skein it weaves within us and across the separations of life.
NEWS
May 4, 1998 | JOCELYN McCLURG, HARTFORD COURANT
Thanks to five books by historian Peter Gay, the Victorians don't have many secrets left. The retired Yale professor has just published the fifth and final volume of his series "The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud," a massive reclamation project that has shed new light on the old view of the Victorian middle class as repressed, closed-minded philistines.
BOOKS
December 20, 1998 | THOMAS CURWEN and SUSAN CHEEVER and HERBERT GOLD and FREDERIC MORTON and JACK NELSON and SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS and CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY and MIMI AVINS and MICHAEL FRANK and BRYCE MILLIGAN
OUTSIDE PASSAGE: A Memoir of an Alaskan Childhood; By Julia Scully; (Random House: 224 pp., $23) Beautifully written, wisely understated, "Outside Passage" is important for how little it tells, for trusting the image and knowing the eloquence of the picture that lives beyond the frame. More than a story of an Alaskan childhood, "Outside Passage" is about something far more difficult to describe--memory and the delicate skein it weaves within us and across the separations of life.
BOOKS
May 8, 1988 | Peter J. Swales, Swales is a well-known Freud historian and the author of a forthcoming biography of Wilhelm Fliess (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).
In the interest of promulgating his controversial theories, Sigmund Freud saw fit to report and interpret myriad events from his own life, mind and dreams. But he was exceedingly selective when doing so and, later in life, was sharply averse to submitting to a candid biography.
NEWS
November 2, 1995 | ANTHONY DAY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Reading Peter Gay on the 19th Century is like being shown around a city, say Paris or Berlin, by a charming guide who is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and slightly eccentric. At every turn in the tour, he presents a new vista, a new juxtaposition of scenes, a fresh illumination of a view you had been acquainted with but had never seen quite this way. Gay's eccentricity is that he sees history, and writes it, as a confirmed disciple of Sigmund Freud.
BOOKS
November 7, 1993 | Richard SennettBD Richard Sennett is professor of humanities and history at New York University.
During the last decade Peter Gay has given us an entirely new picture of our great-grandparents. While we may have envisioned them as living in the soft-focus gentility of a Merchant-Ivory film, the Yale historian has shown them to have been far more open to erotic and violent experience. Gay has done so in three volumes which began, in 1984, with a study of Victorian sensuality; two years later Gay published a book on the ways of love in the 19th Century.
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