The Freud Reader

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 1995 - Psychology - 832 pages
24 Reviews

What to read from the vast output of Sigmund Freud has long been a puzzle. Freudian thought permeates virtually every aspect of twentieth-century life; to understand Freud is to explore not only his scientific papers—on the psycho-sexual theory of human development, his theory of the mind, and the basic techniques of psychoanalysis—but also his vivid writings on art, literature, religion, politics, and culture.

The fifty-one texts in this volume range from Freud's dreams, to essays on sexuality, and on to his late writings, including Civilization and Its Discontents. Peter Gay, a leading scholar of Freud and his work, has carefully chosen these selections to provide a full portrait of Freud's thought. His clear introductions to the selections help guide the reader's journey through each work.

Most of the selections are reproduced in full. All have been selected from the Standard Edition, the only English translation for which Freud gave approval both to the editorial plan and to specific renderings of key words and phrases.

The Freud Reader contains a full array of explanatory material:

  • a substantial general introduction
  • a full chronology
  • introductions to each selection
  • a selected bibliography

  

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Great introduction to Freud. - Goodreads
An excellent compendium of Freud's writings. - Goodreads
This is a great introduction to Freud's life work. - Goodreads

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LisaMaria_C - LibraryThing

This book was a required purchase not for a psychology or even a philosophy course, but a political science course. But I think that's a testament to just how wide ranging is Freud's influence. For ... Read full review

Review: The Freud Reader

User Review  - Dan Ruprecht - Goodreads

Notable for locating human motivation and drives in the subconscious. Dream interpretation and literary analysis seem like extreme mental gymnastics without too much grounding. On Mourning and ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
xi
A Chronology
xxxi
A Note on Symbols and Abbreviations
xlix
Preface to the Translation of Bernheims Suggestion
45
Josef Breuer Anna O
60
Katharina
78
The Aetiology of Hysteria
96
Letters to Fliess
111
Creative Writers and DayDreaming
436
Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood
443
Totem and Taboo
481
The Theme of the Three Caskets
514
The Moses of Michelangelo
522
Contribution to a Questionnaire on Reading
539
An Introduction
545
Instincts and Their Vicissitudes
562

The Interpretation of Dreams
129
On Dreams
142
Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria Dora
172
Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality
239
Character and Anal Erotism
293
Formulations on the Two Principles of Mental
301
Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis
309
Wild PsychoAnalysis
351
On Beginning the Treatment
363
Observations on TransferenceLove
378
A Special Type of Choice of Object Made
387
On the Universal Tendency to Debasement in
394
From the History of an Infantile Neurosis Wolf Man
400
PSYCHOANALYSIS IN CULTURE
429
Repression
568
Mourning and Melancholia
584
Beyond the Pleasure Principle
594
Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego Introduction
626
The Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex
661
Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical
670
The Question of Lay Analysis Postscript
678
The Future of an Illusion
685
Civilization and Its Discontents
722
Letter to the Burgomaster of Pribor
772
The Question of a Weltanschauung
783
Postscript
796
Index
803
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis, simultaneously a theory of personality, a therapy, and an intellectual movement. He was born into a middle-class Jewish family in Freiburg, Moravia, now part of Czechoslovakia, but then a city in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At the age of 4, he moved to Vienna, where he spent nearly his entire life. In 1873 he entered the medical school at the University of Vienna and spent the following eight years pursuing a wide range of studies, including philosophy, in addition to the medical curriculum. After graduating, he worked in several clinics and went to Paris to study under Jean-Martin Charcot, a neurologist who used hypnosis to treat the symptoms of hysteria. When Freud returned to Vienna and set up practice as a clinical neurologist, he found orthodox therapies for nervous disorders ineffective for most of his patients, so he began to use a modified version of the hypnosis he had learned under Charcot. Gradually, however, he discovered that it was not necessary to put patients into a deep trance; rather, he would merely encourage them to talk freely, saying whatever came to mind without self-censorship, in order to bring unconscious material to the surface, where it could be analyzed. He found that this method of free association very often evoked memories of traumatic events in childhood, usually having to do with sex. This discovery led him, at first, to assume that most of his patients had actually been seduced as children by adult relatives and that this was the cause of their neuroses; later, however, he changed his mind and concluded that his patients' memories of childhood seduction were fantasies born of their childhood sexual desires for adults. (This reversal is a matter of some controversy today.) Out of this clinical material he constructed a theory of psychosexual development through oral, anal, phallic and genital stages. Freud considered his patients' dreams and his own to be "the royal road to the unconscious." In The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), perhaps his most brilliant book, he theorized that dreams are heavily disguised expressions of deep-seated wishes and fears and can give great insight into personality. These investigations led him to his theory of a three-part structure of personality: the id (unconscious biological drives, especially for sex), the superego (the conscience, guided by moral principles), and the ego (the mediator between the id and superego, guided by reality). Freud's last years were plagued by severe illness and the rise of Nazism, which regarded psychoanalysis as a "Jewish pollution." Through the intervention of the British and U.S. governments, he was allowed to emigrate in 1938 to England, where he died 15 months later, widely honored for his original thinking. His theories have had a profound impact on psychology, anthropology, art, and literature, as well as on the thinking of millions of ordinary people about their own lives. Freud's daughter Anna Freud was the founder of the Hampstead Child Therapy Clinic in London, where her specialty was applying psychoanalysis to children. Her major work was The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense (1936).

Peter Gay lives in New York City and Connecticut.

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