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The Freud Reader

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  668 ratings  ·  32 reviews
The first single-volume work to capture Freud's ideas as scientist, humanist, physician, and philosopher.

What to read from the vast output of Sigmund Freud has long been a puzzle. Freudian thought permeates virtually every aspect of twentieth-century life; to understand Freud is to explore not only his scientific papers—on the psycho-sexual theory of human development, his
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Paperback, 896 pages
Published September 17th 1995 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1989)
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Ashley
"Our possibilities of happiness are already restricted by our constitution. Unhappiness is much less difficult to experience. We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our own body, which is doomed to decay and dissolution and which cannot even do without pain and anxiety as warning signals; from the external world, which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless forces of destruction; and finally from our relations to other men. The suffering which comes from this l ...more
Carrie
Aug 26, 2007 Carrie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: hysterics and narcissists
Forgive the egoism, but I love this book mostly for what I've scrawled in the margins. In the margin of p. 552 I wrote: "Why does our libido need objects when it has itself?" Along with the phone numbers of several unnamed boys and girls (Hey, it WAS Vassar!) on the front leaf, I scrawled "NEBULUS" and the words "swollen and humected."

Now, let's get back to Siggy's discussion of what happens when the cathexis of the ego with the libido exceeds a certain amount: we are unable to love.

Dustyn Hessie
Freud's discoveries were even more miraculous than I had previously thought... My peers and professors had always told me that he was this "perverse," "outdated," masochist simply occupying his mind with the sexualization of everything he could get his rusty little beard on. They couldn't have been more wrong - Freud was a genius! Without him we'd be utterly lost.

I think it's interesting to point out that Freud's work - especially on the unconscious, the ego, the object-libido, etc. - has been
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Brittany
Being that I am a psychology major I obviously need to examine all of the schools of thought out there. Freud being the "father" of psychoanalysis this book is interesting to read. It has many of his case studies and his papers, some that are less well known than his later essay Civilization and Its Discontent. I am looking forward to reading it, most likely in parts because it is so much to take in.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
This book was a required purchase not for a psychology or even a philosophy course, but a political science course. But I think that's a testament to just how wide ranging is Freud's influence. For what it's worth, from what I can tell by what I marked up, the assigned essays were "The Ego and the Id." There's a lot more titles here though I can recognize as tremendously influential: "The Interpretation of Dreams," "Family Romances," "Totem and Taboo," "The Unconscious," "Beyond the Pleasure Pri ...more
Shiloh
Jun 03, 2008 Shiloh is currently reading it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes to think about thinking
So far have enjoyed the chronological presentation of Freud's important works, especially as I have never read him before, have only heard of his various theories which come across as dated and over-blown. And that is a simplistic interpretation of a thinker who wasn't afraid to take risks when it came to the burgeoning scientific study of mental processes. Most of the things we take for granted when it comes to psychology were studied and analyzed by Freud, in a systematic and devoted way. Yet, ...more
Hind
Wow what a journey! First and foremost I am more than thrilled I managed to finish this whole book! It is a tough dense book that takes a whole lot if commitment to plough through.

Now on to the book. How does one attempt to analyze the father of psychoanalysis? I don't know how one would attempt that, but I sure know there is a whole lot you can take from this book. Well at least, as to myself, I know reading Freud will forever change the way I think and analyze everything, especially people.

T
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Dan Ruprecht
Notable for locating human motivation and drives in the subconscious. Dream interpretation and literary analysis seem like extreme mental gymnastics without too much grounding.

On Mourning and Melancholia presented the idea that depression is often the way that a mentality copes with losing an externality by incorporating it as part of itself and wanting to hurt that part of itself.
Cat Noe
If I could, I would give this six stars.

Like most people, I have heard more than a few negative comments about Freud over the years, and they left me with a solid but unjustifiable low opinion of his work. Prejudice, to my mind, is an ugly word, so this state of affairs could not be left alone. Solution, do some reading and come out knowing exactly why he's wrong. That was the theory, at any rate. It lasted... well, a page or two, at least.

Brilliant, logical, a gentleman all the way, absolutely
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Christina Bouwens
A must-check out for Freud scholars although dense, as all of Freud's German-to-English translations tend toward (gotta be a redundant subconscious at the helm...). Peter Gay puts the man (the myth) where he belongs in 20th Century thought when he says: "It may be, as a good deal of highly tentative scholarship suggests, that some of Freud's theories may require careful reexamination, serious modification, perhaps even replacement. But his general model of the mind -- the central role of the dyn ...more
James
A neat compendium of some of Freud's most important writings. Each piece is introduced by Peter Gay, which aids in making clear the writing's themes and relevance.
Before you purchase Penguin book after Penguin book of Freud's work, check out the contents of this book, as chances are that most of what you'd want to read are already collected in this convenient volume.
One thing I am constantly surprised by is the clarity with which Freud writes (especially in comparison to other Psychoanalysts, i
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Nicole
May 08, 2013 Nicole marked it as to-read
Mostly what I like about this book is that is a great compendium of Freud's fundamental works. Peter Gay explains some details about the selected work, but as the book is intended, it is through Freud that we get the introduction to his theory.

Freud is no doubt one of the most influential persons in the 20th century. Even today he is reference in all sorts of ways and in all sorts of places (art, literature, pop culture, movies, magazines). Everybody has herd of him, but few have heard from him
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Joshua
This is a good book to have because it covers a lot of Freud's writings. It also has a bunch of his short essays, which really point out how badly he missed the point of empirical research. For instance, his work on daydreaming and creative writers is such a deficient, negative reading of the imagination that even a pessimistic gothic teenager could give us something more "truthful" than his garbley-goop.
Angella
This is a great introduction to Freud's life work. I was told that Gay (the author) became an analyst just so he could understand Freud better to write this book. My only disappointment is that it's not clear what was taken out of the abridged works.
K
Didn't read everything in here, but that would take awhile.

I liked a lot of what I did read. Some pretty good translations. Favorite: On Creative Writers and Day Dreaming, On Dreams, & The Dora Case. Plan to read more of the cases later.
Charles
Purchased so I'd have a copy of "Totem und Taboo," which is an essay mentioned randomly in Ellison's Invisible Man. I enjoyed fighting my way through the essays, though of course I never finished all of them.
Crystal Vales
Besides the fact that so many of his theses were first introduced by Nietzsche years before, this a pretty good introduction to the onset of psychiatry, creativity and personality disorders.
Casey
Not one of those things I read voluntarily, but it's an important component of an appropriately snobby education.
Amy
Ok I didn't read it ALL, but it is a great comprehensive book with his case studies in it. Lots of hysteria.
David Bradley
An excellent compendium of Freud's writings. Unfortunately, it's a compendium of Freud's writings . . . .
Katie
I read most of this as part of a course on Vienna in the time of Freud, hence the historical grouping.
Catherine
I can already tell that I'll regret taking literature and psychoanalytic criticism...
Gaz
Absolute rubbish but very well-written rubbish.
Elizabeth
Nov 13, 2009 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Shelves: wishlist
Old college textbook that I never read...
George
Great writer, up there with Flaubert.
Curt Bozif
Oct 02, 2007 Curt Bozif rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone with a mother & father.
That a cigar is sometimes just a cigar.
Jane
Fantastic one-volume Freud.
Billy
Aug 30, 2008 Billy is currently reading it
Behold the master speaks....
Sarah
Fine way to read Freud.
Jin Zhao
Great introduction to Freud.
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Sigmund Freud (Arabic: سيغموند فرويد)
On this date in 1856, Sigmund Freud was born in Moravia. Freud grew up in Vienna, where he lived until fleeing the Nazis in 1938. He earned a medical degree from the University of Vienna in 1881. He and Joseph Breuer co-wrote Studies in Hysteria (1895). Freud developed his theory on psychoanalysis, then wrote The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), The Psychopatho
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More about Sigmund Freud...
The Interpretation of Dreams Civilization and Its Discontents The Ego and the Id Totem and Taboo Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis

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