Sigmund Freud - References

Michel Foucault - The entire psychiatry of the 19-th century definitely converges on Freud, the first who has been really interested in the relationship doctor - patient (…) Freud demystified all the other structures: he abolished silence and annihilated watch fullness and excluded the recognition of insanity through itself in the reflection of its own performance, and he annihilated the instances of condemnation. Instead, he analyzed the structure that envelops the medical character; he intensified his virtues of medicine-man, creating him, in his almightiness, a quasi-divine status.

Thomas Mann. - I am fully convinced that, some day, we shall consider the work to which Freud dedicated all his life as having one of the most valuable part to the development of a new anthropology that is elaborated from different points of view today, and thus, to the development of the future' foundations of a more sapient and freer human race.

The psychoanalytical doctrine can change the world. It brought about a sense of plain suspicion which influences the intrigues and the hidden parts of the human soul and which totally reveals them. Once become conscious, this sense will never disappear. It will pervade life itself, will submit its rude innocence and will set free this pathos characteristic to ignorance.

Jean-Bertrand Pontalis. - There is no one nowadays to write anymore that freudism means a delirium - like interpretation deficiently systematized, and in case the method is worth being taken into account, the whole theory has to be rejected (Dalbiez); there is neither an opponent proud enough to assert, like Alain, that psychoanalysis is but a primate psychology, nor a fool who might fear that releasing our demons leads to anarchy; there is not even a supporter annoying enough to explain the contradictions of capitalism by referring to an obsession of the sadic-anal type…

It is obvious that the heroic era is completely gone; everyone, even the cautious Jesuits, is ready to openly accept Freud's work. From delirium, fashion, research, psychoanalysis has changed into…In fact, what has it become?

Wilhelm Reich. - When I met Freud, in 1919, he was a very lively person. He just exulted. He was an expansive person. He was breathing optimism; he seemed to burst with enthusiasm and passion (…) He used to have very graceful gestures. His eyes very sharp (…)

I perfectly recall that Congress in Berlin, in September 1992. Freud had spoken about Das ich und das Es (the Ego and the Self) (…) Something extremely wonderful (…)

The Ego is as unconscious as the Self (…) Only a genius could have conceived such an idea (…) Freud always succeeded to get the essence. He was endowed with a genuine talent. An absolutely formidable flair. He was very good at theory (…)

Essentially, Freud was an intellectual (…) I imagined that in order to control his own vivacity, his own biological vitality, Freud had to resort to restrictions, to a kind of sublimation, to have a different way of living that he disliked, to resign himself.

Theodor Reik. - The last and the most intense memory that Freud has left us is that of his plain sincerity (…) He coped with all those psychic processes discovered within himself and in the others; he had to do this without any fear or discrimination. He seemed to be more courageous than his times. These qualities - his talent, his plain sincerity, his capacity to take the whole responsibility for his own ideas - I consider them to be the special characteristics of those rare individuals called geniuses.

Jean-Paul Sartre. - I simply cannot deny the fact that in my youth I completely disregarded psychoanalysis, a thing which must have an explanation as well as my blinded ignorance as regards classes struggle. The explanation is that I was a bourgeois who denied the class struggle; one could say that I rejected Freud because I was a French.

Ludwig Wittgenstein. - I have read "The interpretation of dreams" together with H… This reading has made me realize how resolutely we have to reject this way of thinking. In his analyses, Freud often alludes to different ancient myths and he claims that his researches has shown how man could imagine them.
In fact, Freud has done something else. He has not scientifically explained the ancient myths. He has created a new myth. The attraction of his ideas resembles that of a real mythology, for instance, like in the situation when he asserts that every anguish represents just the reiteration of the originary anguish. "Everything has its origins in an older event." We would almost believe that he addresses to a totem (…) This kind of mythology is powerful.

Abstracts from the book Freud, by Roland Jaccard, published by
AROPA (2000).

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