SIGMUND FREUD: His Life in Pictures and Words by Ernst; Lucie Freud & Ilse Grubrich-Simitis--Eds. Freud

SIGMUND FREUD: His Life in Pictures and Words

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An overblown family-album biography of Freud, conceived by son Ernst (who died in 1970), completed by Ernst's widow Lucie. K. R. Eissler provides a biographical essay, which attempts to place Freud's life in a cultural/historical context (The Interpretation of Dreams was written in 1899, as Mann was writing Buddenbrooks and Max Planck was lecturing on quantum theory) and give him credit for personal strengths beyond his large professional accomplishments: for persistence early in his career, for undertaking his own analysis and risking ridicule from self-exposure, for continuing to work despite the pain from cancer in the jaw. But Eissler fudges on the intensity of disputes within the Viennese circle, and insists the psychoanalytic process has become ""watered down"" as it has spread--disregarding the enormous contributions of other analysts (except for daughter Anna) since Freud's death. And the nearly 300 pages of photographs, many captioned from Freud's writings, range from standard and interesting (love-letter passages to Martha, the 1933 bookburning) to quite marginal (the windows on his nurse's church, early report cards--""exemplary"" in Deportment). A magnanimous tribute, certainly, not adulatory but unevenly diverting.

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1978
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich