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Mozart’s Cross

Brigid Brophy, 7 August 1986

The Letters of Mozart and his Family 
translated by Emily Anderson.
Macmillan, 1038 pp., £38.50, November 1985, 0 333 39832 7
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... the speech of the Ghost in Hamlet were not so long, it would be far more effective.’ Sigmund Freud, the explicator of father-and-son stories, expressed his own sentiments of social rebellion by singing (‘possibly another person would not have recognised the tune’) Figaro’s Se vuol ballare, signor Contino to himself as he waited on a ...
On the Emotions 
by Richard Wollheim.
Yale, 269 pp., £19.95, November 1999, 0 300 07974 5
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... dismiss, psychoanalytic accounts of emotions and other mental phenomena provided by the likes of Freud and Melanie Klein. The net result of these directions, or misdirections, in philosophical thinking is to squeeze out – as either incoherent or, more charitably, as the proper study not of philosophers but of psychologists engaged in empirical science ...

To Die One’s Own Death

Jacqueline Rose, 19 November 2020

... us who we are? Barely six months after the outbreak of the First World War, on Christmas Day 1914, Freud wrote to Ernest Jones to lament that the psychoanalytic movement ‘is now perishing in the strife of nations’ (the two men were on opposite sides in the war). ‘I do not delude myself,’ he wrote. ‘The springtime of our science has abruptly broken ...

City of Blood

Peter Pulzer, 9 November 1989

The Jews of Vienna in the Age of Franz Joseph 
by Robert Wistrich.
Oxford, 696 pp., £45, June 1989, 0 19 710070 8
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Vienna and the Jews, 1867-1938: A Cultural History 
by Steven Beller.
Cambridge, 271 pp., £27.50, August 1989, 0 521 35180 4
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The German-Jewish Economic Elite 1820-1935: A Socio-Cultural Profile 
by W.E. Mosse.
Oxford, 369 pp., £35, October 1989, 0 19 822990 9
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Decadence and Innovation: Austro-Hungarian Life and Art at the Turn of the Century 
edited by Robert Pynsent.
Weidenfeld, 258 pp., £25, June 1989, 0 297 79559 7
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The Torch in My Ear 
by Elias Canetti, translated by Joachim Neugroschel.
Deutsch, 372 pp., £13.95, August 1989, 0 233 98434 8
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From Vienna to Managua: Journey of a Psychoanalyst 
by Marie Langer, translated by Margaret Hooks.
Free Association, 261 pp., £27.50, July 1989, 1 85343 057 9
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... Bismarck rather than Kant. The pan-German fraternities to which Victor Adler, Theodor Herzl and Sigmund Freud had belonged began excluding Jews and finally declared them to be ‘devoid of honour’ – i.e. unfit duelling partners. The Liberals lost power in 1879, at last facing the reality of a Slav majority in Austria. In the 1890s militant ...

Naughty Children

Christopher Turner: Freud’s Free Clinics, 6 October 2005

Freud’s Free Clinics: Psychoanalysis and Social Justice 1918-38 
by Elizabeth Ann Danto.
Columbia, 348 pp., £19.50, May 2005, 0 231 13180 1
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... In 1918, Sigmund Freud gave a speech at the Fifth International Congress of Psychoanalysis in Budapest. It was two months before the Armistice, but he looked to the future rather than dwelling on civilisation’s obvious discontents: ‘The conscience of society will awake,’ he promised his audience, ‘and remind it that the poorest man should have just as much right to assistance for his mind as he now has to life-saving help offered by surgery ...

Gentlemen’s Spleen

Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen: Hysterical Men, 27 August 2009

Hysterical Men: The Hidden History of Male Nervous Illness 
by Mark Micale.
Harvard, 366 pp., £19.95, December 2008, 978 0 674 03166 1
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... Mark Micale’s book opens with a scene from John Huston’s film Freud: The Secret Passion (1962), which re-creates one of Jean-Martin Charcot’s legendary demonstrations of hypnosis before an audience of doctors at the Salpêtrière. With magical ease, Charcot makes two patients’ hysterical symptoms disappear ...

Father, Son and Sewing-Machine

Patrick Parrinder, 21 February 1985

Garden, Ashes 
by Danilo Kis, translated by William Hannaher.
Faber, 170 pp., £8.95, January 1985, 9780571134533
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Star Turn 
by Nigel Williams.
Faber, 314 pp., £9.95, January 1985, 0 571 13296 0
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On Glory’s Course 
by James Purdy.
Peter Owen, 378 pp., £9.95, January 1985, 0 7206 0633 0
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... at St Saviour’s littered with torn-up bluebells? There are further guest appearances by Proust, Freud, Virginia Woolf, Ramsay Mac Donald, Winston Churchill and other ‘stars’, and it is not every pair of Cockney youngsters who travel to France, as Amos and Zak do, in a laundry-basket full of General Haig’s underpants. All this is good fun, but the ...

All about Freud

J.P. Stern, 4 August 1988

FreudA Life for Our Time: A Life in Our Time 
by Peter Gay.
Dent, 810 pp., £16.95, May 1988, 0 460 04761 2
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... the American Psychoanalytical Association – you can’t, as a warmly sympathetic biographer of Freud, do-better than that. The sheer amount of biographical, historical and psychoanalytical detail that has gone into the making of this Life is, as far as I can see, unparalleled in the literature of its subject; and so are the care and informed intelligence ...

Cave’s Plato

A.D. Nuttall, 7 July 1988

In Defence of Rhetoric 
by Brian Vickers.
Oxford, 508 pp., £40, February 1988, 0 19 812837 1
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Recognitions: A Study in Poetics 
by Terence Cave.
Oxford, 530 pp., £40, March 1988, 0 19 815849 1
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... of murdering his father and marrying his mother (Oedipus), Cave in due course conducts us to Sigmund Freud (who thought, of course, that every male spectator feared exactly this, in a curious, retrospective manner) and comments brilliantly on the link between the ancient notion of recognition and kinship (implicated as they are in the ...

Turns of the Screw

Hugh Barnes, 7 August 1986

Mating Birds 
by Lewis Nkosi.
Constable, 184 pp., £8.95, July 1986, 0 00 946724 6
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Lost Time 
by Catharine Arnold.
Hodder, 220 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 340 38783 1
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The Bridge 
by Iain Banks.
Macmillan, 259 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 333 41285 0
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Incidents at the Shrine 
by Ben Okri.
Heinemann, 130 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 434 53230 4
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Things fall apart 
by Chinua Achebe.
Heinemann, 150 pp., £3.50, July 1986, 0 435 90526 0
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The Innocents 
by Carolyn Slaughter.
Viking, 219 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 670 81016 9
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... to avoid pain at all costs (according to a principle set down by that other doctor of melancholy, Sigmund Freud), precludes Miles’s infatuation with one of his students. Benjy wears a Barbour and an expression of aloof boyishness that makes Miles feel ‘like some East Anglian Aschenbach’. The opening locations, Cambridge, Covent Garden and Campden ...

Homage to Scaliger

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, 17 May 1984

Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship 
by Anthony Grafton.
Oxford, 359 pp., £27.50, June 1983, 9780198148500
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... medicine: in this connection, it is interesting to note that his niece Martha became the wife of Sigmund Freud. In Breslau Bernays became the first unconverted Jew in Germany to obtain a chair in Classical philology; when eminent scholars at the important university of Bonn decided that they must have him as their colleague, they could do so only by ...

Who’s that out there?

Ian Stewart, 14 May 1992

The Mind’s Sky 
by Timothy Ferris.
Bantam, 281 pp., £16.99, March 1992, 0 593 02644 6
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... evidence contradicts that of our own senses. Our minds do not speak with a single voice. As Sigmund Freud emphasised, most of what goes on in our minds is not accessible to our conscious experience. Let’s do an experiment. Look at your finger. Now, at some instant – which you should choose for yourself – decide to flex it, and do so. What do ...

Pretty Letters

Megan Marshall: The Death of Edgar Allan Poe, 21 February 2008

Poe: A Life Cut Short 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Chatto, 170 pp., £15.99, February 2008, 978 0 7011 6988 6
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... psychoanalytic biography of 1933 (English translation, 1949), with an introduction by Sigmund Freud, is a fascinating period piece. And now Ackroyd, too, has done a fine job. With all the unsolved mysteries, however, we can only expect, and hope, there will be ever more tellings of this richly suggestive ...

Loot, Looter, Looted

Peter Howarth: John Haynes, 3 January 2008

Letter to Patience 
by John Haynes.
Seren, 79 pp., £7.99, April 2006, 1 85411 412 3
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... colonial stereotypes: ‘Woman – is a Dark Continent,’ his hand guiding a golden nib, wrote Sigmund Freud, professor of the soul: that hinterland you have to penetrate and find your void to people with desire Freud’s nib is later echoed by Lugard’s ‘gold nib’, which he uses to write the Dual Mandate, not ...

The Myth of 1940

Angus Calder, 16 October 1980

Collar the lot! How Britain Interned and Expelled its Wartime Refugees 
by Peter Gillman and Leni Gillman.
Quartet, 334 pp., £8.95, May 1980, 0 7043 2244 7
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A Bespattered Page? The Internment of ‘His Majesty’s Most Loyal Enemy Aliens’ 
by Ronald Stent.
Deutsch, 282 pp., £7.95, July 1980, 0 233 97246 3
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... that many refugees were really Gestapo agents. One did not need the talents of the recently dead Sigmund Freud (whose son Martin, an FRS, was interned) to guess what psychological processes had made Beverley Nichols, erstwhile pacifist and member of the right-wing Anglo-German Fellowship, the most persistent of all journalists shrieking the slogan ...

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