November 22, 2009 |
A Dream of Undying Fame How Freud Betrayed His Mentor and Invented Psychoanalysis Louis Breger Basic Books: 148 pp., $22.95 Psychoanalysis has always been a mixed bag, Louis Breger notes. On the one hand, it has produced valuable insights into topics that were previously obscure or even off-limits. On the other, it has generated grand theories that aim to provide universal explanations of human behavior based on little evidence. Breger thinks that psychoanalysis still has something to offer but that it is plagued by an organizational culture that often sacrifices free discussion for personal loyalty.
October 17, 1993 |
The epic romance of psychoanalysis is made up of numerous smaller romances, each inviting a variety of interpretations, quite enough to nourish the literary imagination for a long time to come. John Kerr's, "A Most Dangerous Method," is an engaging, beautifully written, account of the ill-fated alliance between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung that began in 1906 when the 50-year-old Freud named Jung, a 31-year-old psychiatrist at the Burgholzli clinic in Zurich, as heir to his psychoanalytic program.
February 14, 1999 |
Trials and theater have always been siblings. Both produce heroes and villains and depend for their form on audience recognition. Both engage ideas of deception and honesty, attempting to create public, culturally resonant spectacle out of private, even illicit truth. Yet, while it contained all the elements of great drama, the trial of President Bill Clinton failed miserably as theater.
May 15, 2000 |
No scientific figure has permeated the American consciousness--and perhaps its unconscious--more than Sigmund Freud. From Freudian slips to defense mechanisms to the cigars he made more notorious than Monica Lewinsky ever could, Freud's ideas are everywhere. They've shaped the way we see the mind, altered the way we interpret literature and brought talk therapy to the world at large.
April 4, 2004 |
I believe it was in Los Angeles, just over 20 years ago, that I first heard the name of Sabina Spielrein. Film producer Howard Rosenman told me the fascinating story of the Russian doctor, one of the first female psychoanalysts, who, as a teenager, had been one of Carl Jung's patients, had stayed in Zurich to study psychology at the University of Zurich, and who might have had a love affair with Jung. She subsequently moved to Vienna, briefly became a patient of Sigmund Freud, married a Russian colleague and eventually returned to Russia.
April 6, 2000 |
Even Homer Simpson, America's animated everyman, has an appreciation for the theories of Sigmund Freud. He explains to daughter Lisa: "The important thing is for your mother to repress what happened, push it deep down inside her so she'll never annoy us again." Sitcoms, magazines and advertising routinely co-opt Freud's well-known theories: psychoanalysis, Oedipal complexes, Freudian slips, anal-retentiveness, defense mechanisms, the id, the ego and the superego.
February 28, 1999 |
At the very beginning of the 20th century, as at its close, mainstream psychiatry has embraced a resolutely reductionist account of mental disorders, seeming to suggest that their psychological, social and moral dimensions may be safely set aside as the purely epiphenomenal accompaniments of an essentially biological condition. Sigmund Freud advanced a very different perspective on mental illness, of course.
December 16, 2001 |
When he was a boy, Matthias Peschke's mother often told him stories about his grandfather, Ferdinand Schmutzer, a well-known and much sought-after artist in the early 20th century and a member of Viennese high society. Because he heard the stories so often, and because Schmutzer's etched portraits of Freud and Einstein hung on the walls of their house, Peschke saw nothing special in the photographs.
October 29, 1989 |
The founder of psychoanalysis surrounded himself with more than 2,000 objects of Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Chinese antiquity; as he worked at his desk, hundreds upon hundreds of human and animal figures "faced him like a huge audience." Freud began collecting in the year of his father's death, and continued doing so enthusiastically for more than 40 years. This book presents 67 pieces from Freud's personal collection, many included in the exhibit now touring in the United States.