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The Freud Reader

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  885 Ratings  ·  35 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
Paperback, 896 pages
Published September 17th 1995 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1989)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,940)
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Jan 30, 2011 Ashley rated it really liked it
"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
Aug 26, 2007 Carrie rated it really liked it
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.

Oct 03, 2013 Hind rated it it was amazing
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.

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
Curt Bozif
Oct 02, 2007 Curt Bozif rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with a mother & father.
That a cigar is sometimes just a cigar.
Jul 22, 2007 Brittany rated it really liked it
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.
David Bradley
Mar 11, 2011 David Bradley rated it really liked it
An excellent compendium of Freud's writings. Unfortunately, it's a compendium of Freud's writings . . . .
Doktor Dolan
Jan 05, 2008 Doktor Dolan rated it liked it
Freud was a clown.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 28, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, psychology
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
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
Matthew Rothschild
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
Christina Bouwens
Nov 20, 2011 Christina Bouwens rated it liked it
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
Dec 24, 2012 James rated it it was amazing
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
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
Nov 07, 2015 Marc rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
Representatieve bloemlezing van het belangrijkste werk van Freud, goede introductie
May 31, 2016 Agamemnon rated it it was amazing
This book is dense, its depths are deep, but gold lies within. This book rewards the adamant reader with a wealth of psychological knowledge.
Apr 25, 2013 Joshua rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 01, 2009 Angella rated it liked it
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.
May 10, 2008 K rated it liked it
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.
Jun 19, 2011 Charles rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
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.
Mar 19, 2015 Corey rated it it was ok
It was interesting to read to understand how modern psychology started out, but I would say a lot of it has evolved since then; this reads more as a history tome than as a self-help book, definitely.
Crystal Vales
Aug 16, 2010 Crystal Vales rated it really liked it
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.
May 15, 2007 Casey rated it liked it
Shelves: adults
Not one of those things I read voluntarily, but it's an important component of an appropriately snobby education.
Jul 25, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it
Ok I didn't read it ALL, but it is a great comprehensive book with his case studies in it. Lots of hysteria.
I read most of this as part of a course on Vienna in the time of Freud, hence the historical grouping.
I can already tell that I'll regret taking literature and psychoanalytic criticism...
Sep 12, 2007 Gaz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolute rubbish but very well-written rubbish.
Nov 13, 2009 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Shelves: wishlist
Old college textbook that I never read...
Dec 29, 2008 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great writer, up there with Flaubert.
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  • The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: The Other Side of Psychoanalysis
  • We Have Only This Life to Live
  • Freud and Beyond: A History of Modern Psychoanalytic Thought
  • Freud: A Life for Our Time
  • Early Writings
  • Vom Wesen der Wahrheit
  • The Parallax View
  • The Essential Jung: Selected Writings
  • The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflote) in Full Score
  • Mimesis and Alterity: A Particular History of the Senses: A Particular Study of the Senses
  • A Primer of Freudian Psychology
  • Das Ornament Der Masse: Essays: Weimar Essays
  • The Essence of Religion
  • Four Major Plays, Vol. 2: Ghosts / An Enemy of the People / The Lady from the Sea / John Gabriel Borkman
  • History of Madness
  • Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society
  • Papers and Journals
  • Attachment
Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, who created an entirely new approach to the understanding of the human personality. He is regarded as one of the most influential - and controversial - minds of the 20th century.

Sigismund (later changed to Sigmund) Freud was born on 6 May 1856 in Freiberg, Moravia (now Pribor in the Czech Republic). His father was a merchant. The
More about Sigmund Freud...

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