Posts Tagged: Sigmund Freud Results 16
The Cairo-born French Jewish ethnopsychiatrist Tobie Nathan previously published a novel, “Who Killed Arlozoroff?” about the 1933 murder of left-wing Israeli political leader Haim Arlosoroff, as well as a book-length essay last year criticizing Sigmund Freud’s 1899 “Interpretation of Dreams.”
One historian wrote: “If, metaphorically, Sigmund Freud was the father of psychoanalysis, Sándor Ferenczi was the mother.” If so, then every day is Mother’s Day for the analyst born Sándor Fränkel in northeastern Hungary to Polish Jewish parents in 1873 (the family name was later changed to sound more Hungarian). In January, Karnac Books published “Ferenczi and His World: Rekindling the Spirit of the Budapest School,” and in March, the DVD of David Cronenberg’s Freud-Jung film “A Dangerous Method” in which Ferenczi plays a key role, was released.
More than just spiritual forefathers of the sex therapist and ex-Haganah sniper Ruth Westheimer, a trio of German Jewish sexologists preceded Sigmund Freud in innovations. Magnus Hirschfeld (1868–1935); Iwan Bloch (1872–1922); and Albert Moll (1862–1939) are no longer household names, but they star in Modernism and Perversion: Sexual Deviance in Sexology and Literature, 1850-1930. Its author, Anna Schaffner, states that all three drew inspiration from literature, whereas Freud made overt efforts to distinguish between life and bookish fantasies. In search of better understanding minorities, Moll and Bloch read French authors such as Rétif de la Bretonne and the Marquis de Sade as if they too were sexologists who had compiled accounts of human behavior. For his part, Hirschfeld was more than just “The Einstein of Sex,” an American journalistic moniker invented in the 1920s. A lucid, well-documented 2010 study, Magnus Hirschfeld and the Quest for Sexual Freedom: A History of the First International Sexual Freedom Movement by Elena Mancini, underlines Hirschfeld’s family roots in Kolberg (today’s Kolobrzeg in northwestern Poland), attending synagogue on the High Holy Days.
The trouble with living in a logorrheoic country at a time when speech is free, public and almost unashamedly unfiltered is that the careful observations of the geniuses who made it possible seem asinine.
Case in point: Sigmund Freud. Sifting through the occasional secretions of the tightly sealed and private lips of the Viennese bourgeoisie he made an art of joining up the dots into a science of the psyche. One of the more suggestive of his theories was that of upward displacement where genital discomfort or excitation could be manifest as catarrh or nasal itching. Sander Gilman, Melvin Konner, Jay Geller and others discuss whole series of neuroses that surround the Jewish body and psyche.
The Lublin-born French epistemologist and philosopher of science Émile Meyerson died in 1933, but is still remembered for his dedicated Zionism and friendship with fellow Jews, such as author and activist Bernard Lazare. Yet until now, Meyerson has been little known as a man. On April 28, Les éditions Honoré Champion published “Miscellanies: Short Unpublished Works” by Meyerson, edited by Eva Telkes-Klein and Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent.