Nick Haslam reviews 'Freud: The making of an illusion' by Frederick Crews

Nick Haslam reviews 'Freud: The making of an illusion' by Frederick Crews

Freud: The making of an illusion

by Frederick Crews

Profile Books, $32.99 hb, 767 pp, 9781781257128

Shortly after Sigmund Freud’s death in 1939, W.H. Auden published an elegy to the famous Viennese refugee. Auden’s Freud is flawed and fallible – ‘He wasn’t clever at all: he merely told / the unhappy Present to recite the Past’ – but unquestionably great. ‘If some traces of the autocratic pose, / the paternal strictness he distrusted, still / clung to his utterance and features, / it was a protective coloration / for one who’d live among enemies so long: / if often he was wrong and, at times, absurd / to us he is no more a person / now but a whole climate of opinion.’

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Nick Haslam

Nick Haslam

Nick Haslam is professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne, where he teaches social and personality psychology. His most recent book is Psychology in the Bathroom (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
Published in March 2018, no. 399

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