Quotes about Sigmund Freud
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Here, kitty, kitty, Chico says. The cover of his cage is still on, making his tiny clown voice slightly muffled. I feel bad for him under there, just waiting to start his evil little day...Freud walks toward Chico in his slinky fashion, sits under his cage and just stares. We have satanic pets...our pets seem to have made a pact with the devil.
The poets of the last generation were extremely erudite, but their erudition was of the rather specialized type that passed as currency of the realm in a somewhat literary realm. About Darwin, Marx, Freud and Co., about all characteristically scientific or modern thinkers most of them concluded regretfully: If they had not existed, it would not have been necessary to ignore them. (Or deplore them.)
Freud very rightly brought his critical faculties to bear upon the dream. It is, in fact, inadmissible that this considerable portion of psychic activity (since, at least from man's birth until his death, thought offers no solution of continuity, the sum of the moments of the dream, from the point of view of time, and taking into consideration only the time of pure dreaming, that is the dreams of sleep, is not inferior to the sum of the moments of reality, or, to be more precisely limiting, the moments of waking) has still today been so grossly neglected.
Everything is biographical, Lucian Freud says. What we make, why it is made, how we draw a dog, who it is we are drawn to, why we cannot forget. Everything is collage, even genetics. There is the hidden presence of others in us, even those we have known briefly. We contain them for the rest of our lives, at every border we cross.
We tend to think of Freud as a great innovator, but the truth is that he himself rested, like a ship on an iceberg, on a huge body of theory and knowledge which had accumulated before his time. Even the famous Unconscious had made its appearance at least seven decades earlier. As for such supposedly modern phenomena as multiple personalities, the vogue for them began in the first half of the nineteenth century; and the first case in which the perpetrator of a murder pleaded amnesia, and got off, was in the eighteen eighties.
For as long as possible, the learned collegium has tried to defend its integrity against the close combat of ideologico-critical exposures. Do not unmask, lest you yourself be unmasked could be the unspoken rule. It is no accident that the great representatives of critique—the French moralists, the Encyclopedists, the socialists, and especially Heine, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud—remain outsiders to the scholarly domain. In all of them there is a satirical, polemical component that can scarcely be hidden under the mask of scholarly respectability. These signals of a holy nonseriousness, which remains one of the sure indexes of truth, can be employed as signposts to the critique of cynical reason.
The neo-conservative critics of leftist critics of mass culture ridicule the protest against Bach as background music in the kitchen, against Plato and Hegel, Shelley and Baudelaire, Marx and Freud in the drugstore. Instead, they insist on recognition of the fact that the classics have left the mausoleum and come to life again, that people are just so much more educated. True, but coming to life as classics, they come to life as other than themselves; they are deprived of their antagonistic force, of the estrangement which was the very dimension of their truth.
The ideas of Freud were popularized by people who only imperfectly understood them, who were incapable of the great effort required to grasp them in their relationship to larger truths, and who therefore assigned to them a prominence out of all proportion to their true importance.
Feminists had an astoundingly naive view of the mutual exclusiveness of sex and aggression, which, Freud demonstrates, are fused in the amoral unconscious, as revealed to us through dreams. That rape is simply what used to be called unbridled lust, like gluttony a sin of insufficient self-restraint, seems to be beyond the feminist ken.
What new meaning might Freud's concept of 'penis envy' take on, if we consider the fact that in his lifetime the words 'clitoris,' 'vulva,' and 'labia' were not included in the dictionary and, in this country, the only word in Webster's dictionary for female genitalia was 'vagina'? Who decides what words are included in the dictionary and who decides what is real?