The History of Literature #394 – Freud and Fiction | PLUS An Assia Wevill Preview

What narrative techniques did Freud borrow and employ? What was the effect? And what did it mean for the literary critics who followed? Following his look at the life and major works of Sigmund Freud, Jacke describes Freud and his followers’ at-times fraught relationship with fiction and fiction writers, with a particularly close look at Freud’s famous work “Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria.” PLUS a preview of our upcoming episodes featuring Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and Assia Wevill.

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The History of Literature #392 – Sigmund Freud

As the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. Although many of his claims and theories are still hotly debated, for decades his ideas dominated writers and thinkers around the world – and they continue to exert a major influence on how we view ourselves and our society. In this episode, we look at Freud’s life and some of his most famous works, setting the stage for an analysis of Freud’s impact on literature.

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History of Literature #112 – The Novelist and the Witch-Doctor – Unpacking Nabokov’s Case Against Freud (with Joshua Ferris)


“I admire Freud greatly,” the novelist Vladimir Nabokov once said, “as a comic writer.” For Nabokov, Sigmund Freud was “the Viennese witch-doctor,” objectionable for “the vulgar, shabby, fundamentally medieval world” of his ideas. Author Joshua Ferris (The Dinner PartyThen We Came to the End) joins Jacke for a discussion of the author of Lolita and his special hatred for “the Austrian crank with a shabby umbrella.”

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