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

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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Published in March 2018, no. 399