Three curiosities about Sigmund Freud and the world around him

Three curiosities about Sigmund Freud and the world around him

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Much has been written and we know about curiosities about Sigmund Freud: he was a collector, he loved dogs, he was a chain smoker, he psychoanalyzed his own daughter, he had three suits ... But, there are certain aspects of his life that we sometimes overlook although they are fundamental to know more in depth both the psychoanalyst and the world around him.

Today we will tell you three curious stories surrounding the life and work of FreudThe first one directly related to him, and the other two that would integrate what we could consider “Freudian universe”, which allow us to know a little more to what extent his theories influenced. In these cases, in politics and art.

1. Freud starred in the first documented case of terminal sedation

Freud died on September 23, 1939, but few know or remember how his death was. Freud was a chain smoker, especially addicted to cigars, which led him to be detected in 1923 with cancer of the palate.

From that moment until his death, Freud was operated on up to 33 times, many of them to implant uncomfortable palatal prostheses that made it difficult for him to speak. Remember that in his later years, not only could he barely speak, but he had also lost hearing in his right ear.

The cancer that he suffered led him to suffer enormous suffering over the last few years (in which he never stopped working), until September 23, 1939, no longer able to bear the pain, reminded him of Max Schur, his personal physician and also Austrian psychoanalyst, the promise that he had made to sedate him terminally to avoid agonizing suffering.

That day, Schur, with the agreement of Freud's daughter, Anna, administered three doses of morphine in succession, which caused the death of the famous psychoanalyst, being the first documented case of terminal sedation.

2. A new political theory thanks to psychoanalysis: Freud-Marxism

Freud-Marxism is an attempt to intermingle Freudian psychoanalysis and Marxism. This idea arose in the 1920s in Germany and the USSR, when the Soviet philosopher V. Yurinets and the Freudian analyst Siegfried Bernfeld discussed the issue, although it was Wilhelm Reich its maximum exponent from 1929 and during these first years.

Why? For being the one who founded the germ of neurosis in the rejection of sexual drives, arguing it from the repression.

This is, that neurosis was caused by the capitalist system and for that reason, the only way to cure it was by ending capitalism.

A person close to Reich from the Berlin group of Marxist psychoanalysts was the one who introduced this idea at the Frankfurt School: neither more nor less than Erich fromm.

This idea was separated from philosophical circles for many years, until after May 1968 it was refloated by who would eventually be, the greatest exponent of Freud-Marxism, Herbert Marcuse, when his book published in 1955 is valued "Eros and civilization”, Where he makes a synthesis of Marx and Freud.

3. Freud, the "teacher" of Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí was a great admirer of Sigmund Freud. He was fully acquainted with all the theories of the psychoanalyst, especially those related to the dream cycle and the unconscious from there he got the surrealist inspiration that characterizes his work.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Dalí went to Vienna several times in order to meet him, but he could not do so.

This is something that Dalí himself narrates in his autobiography:

I remember with a bit of melancholy the afternoons I spent wandering aimlessly through the streets of the old Austrian capital. The chocolate cakes, which he drank quickly in the short breaks between visiting one antique dealer and another, had a slightly bitter taste (…) At night he had long and exhaustive imaginary conversations with Freud; once he came to visit me and stayed with me all night hanging from the curtains in my room at the Hotel Sacher.

But nevertheless, he got it when on July 19, 1938, Stefan Zweig and Edward James visited Freud in London, taking with them the painter who at that time already stood out.

Dalí took advantage of the moment to draw a sketch of Freud, which would later become his work "Portrait of Sigmund Freud”, Which can now be seen in the Freud Museum in Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, the last house where the psychoanalyst lived.

Dalí felt admiration and inspiration for Freud until his death, but the psychoanalyst was also shocked when he met the painter, something that we know from a letter he wrote to Stefan Zweig after the visit:

I tended to look down on the surrealists, who seemed to have chosen me as their patron saint, and considered them totally eccentric. However, this young Spaniard, with his wonderful candid eyes and undeniable technical mastery, made me change my mind.

Perhaps Freud was not the patron saint of surrealismBut his theories are closely related to the intelligentsia that encompasses one of the most important artistic movements of the 20th century.

Cover image: Stock Photos - By bilha golan on Shutterstock
Schur and Herbert images: Wikimedia Commons
Sketch of Freud by Dalí:

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Video: Sigmund Freuds Life