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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Freud
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1427  Friday, 8 June 2001

[1]     From:   Ron Macdonald <
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        Date:   Thursday, 07 Jun 2001 14:30:43 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 12.1402 Re: Hawks and Handsaws

[2]     From:   Stuart Taylor <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Jun 2001 00:27:44 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1402 Re: Hawks and Handsaws


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Macdonald <
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Date:           Thursday, 07 Jun 2001 14:30:43 -0400
Subject: Re: Hawks and Handsaws
Comment:        SHK 12.1402 Re: Hawks and Handsaws

It seems unlikely that Freud started to smoke cigars obsessively only
after the death of his wife, as Sean Lawrence has been given to
understand, since Martha Bernays Freud outlived her husband by a dozen
years.

--Ron Macdonald

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Taylor <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 8 Jun 2001 00:27:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 12.1402 Re: Hawks and Handsaws
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1402 Re: Hawks and Handsaws

Freud became a serious smoker when he was 24 (he hadn't met his wife,
Martha, yet). Smoking was then an important social activity, and Freud's
father was also a heavy smoker.

Freud was unable to give up tobacco, despite related health problems, as
early as his 30's and 40's. He was diagnosed with cancer of the palate
at age 67 (1923), and lived in pain, through repeated surgical
procedures, until 1939.  Martha survived him by 12 years.

As far as I know, the attribution of the 'cigar quote' to Freud is
apocryphal.

However, in 1897 (he was 41), Freud himself wrote (to his colleague,
Fliess):

"The insight has dawned on me that masturbation is the one major habit,
the 'primary addiction,' and that it is only as a substitute and
replacement for it that the other addictions -- to alcohol, morphine,
tobacco, and the like -- come into existence."

On Thursday, 7 Jun 2001, Sean Lawrence wrote:

> Pat Dolan writes that
> >Freud died of cancer of the mouth and throat did he not? Sometimes a
> >cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes it's a drug of abuse. And sometimes
> >it's an instrument of someone's death. The word "just" is a dangerous
> >thing.
>
> I am given to understand, though serious Freudians on this list will
> probably know better, that Freud started to smoke cigars obsessively
> only after the death of his wife.  Something about substitution for
> sexual gratification, I assume, but it seems to call into question his
> idea of a cigar being only a good smoke.

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