Prufrock's Page

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Freud, Rilke, Salome

Non-fiction accounts of incidents from the lives of cultural icons seem to be all the rage. There was the entertaining Wittgenstein's Poker, the disappointing Proust At The Majestic -- and now, there's Freud's Requiem, a meditation on a country ramble that Freud was supposed to have undertaken with Rilke and Lou Andreas Salome. "Intellectual history made personal and dramatic," is what Hanif Kureishi says of this book: "At a time when Freud's irrelevance is gleefully celebrated, von Unwerth [the auuthor] illustrates the truth of Trilling's remark that Freud is 'a quarry not an edifice' - that, far from having been dismissed, his work continues to generate new work, like a burst of fresh associations. There are few, if any, brain scientists or behavioural therapists of whom this can be said."


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