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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  September 30, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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this? >> i always wanted to become a writer early on, and i began by writing a straight novel. that was my first novel, the circle of friends, and i worked on it for seven years, it's not very good, but i learned how to write a novel. afterwards, i couldn't sell it and i thought in the meantime, i discovered that i am a gay man, i have a boyfriend, i'm living in new york, i should write about that. i might not be able to publish it either, but least at least i will be writing what i really want to write. >> "eminent outlaws" is published. go ahead caller. >> caller: i wanted to know if john is still writing. john reggie. he had a book that got a lot of attention oh, back in the 50s, it was called the city is of night. has he done anything recently? >> he is still writing.
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he is still working and living in l.a. i cannot remember the last titles that he di .. book is city of night, which was published in the early 1960s, really important book. he later did, what we got to see, numbers, and he did a number called a sexual outlaw, which is kind of one of the influxes from my title, "eminent outlaws." it combines the title from the administration and the sexual outlaw by john reggie. the more recent work isn't as strong as his early work. >> christopher, christopher barm, are a lot of gay writer's political? >> guest: i think they are whether they want to be or not. they didn't know that they have no choice. some are more political than others. larry kramer is a case in point. some people say he is one,
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politics is more important to him in than good prose, but is very committed to politics. tony kushner, great american playwright, very politically committed. with these men being as political as they are, i don't >> would these men be asiden. political as they were otherwise? i don't know. but politics are a major part ot their identity. vie, gods >> how close is the father of frankenstein, your novel, to the movie? >> it is very close. the movie is very faithful to my book. it includes my best dialogue.ap it leaves out my bad dialogue. [laughter] i was so happy with that movie.. he leaned heavily on my book and i could not be happier. >> host: dennis, seattle, welcome to our show. >> caller: hello, christopher, v know you couldn't covernot everybody, but james purdy wasie
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not included. he wrote for 50 or 60 years of m the gay movement. can you speak about him briefly, please. >> i did leave him out. the book includes, like i said, it took only 12 writers and io,h weld them together. now and then, i worked in other to wers that i thought were important and james purdy was . you.ant, >> host: thomas, from rochester, new york. good afternoon to you. >> caller: hello, i wanted tore know -- i know that gore vidallk wrote the city and the pillarth and he had problems with that
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book and how important it was with gay writing. also, what was the first gaytimv book, fiction or nonfiction that "the new york times" did review and also it was the first to usv the word gay to describe themselves. >> guest: this question, where tod begin. he published the city and the pillar, the new york daily times would not review it. tha t it wash reviewed in the book review, however, orville prescott hated the book so much that he did not review it. however, he did review other books. vry m he reviewed chairman capote's. books, which he liked very much. even though he said he didn't hosexualit like the gay story element.h he loved the writing and wasdalh able to look past the homosexuality and talk about other things. buet gore vidal was treated very
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it sold badly but it was a national bestseller. it sold extremely well and was very successful. maybe christopher isherwood. in but otherwise, it was always alluded to in directly. i think more and more writersgon would say that i am a gay writer ben had been before. that major, american gay writert in major writer altogether, he would avoid that until heble a published his memoirs in 1972 he?
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>> there is a subplot of a , atleman who is 1972 was a greatn year. he got a lot of reviews, too. and after that, truman capote avoided the subject. he used the christopher isherwood ploy of leaving his sexuality going. later on, readers can go back and fill in the blanks. but after getting kicked in the teeth for other voices, other rooms, he avoided that subject. although, when he appeared on television, this is a gay man ni and he never had that. he never tried to put it up. . it was very flamboyant and he knew he was area and it had been appealed to him.itched vwe wan
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who is this strange man with a high-pitched voice that we want to listen to.t? >> host: was anyone surprised when tennessee williams came out?writer had >> guest: nobody was surprised. one writer said we knew he was an elk club father of the year. >> host: christopher bram's first book is "eminent outlaws: the gay writers who changed america." he has been our guest on booktv on c-span2. thank you, mr. christopher bram. >> guest: thank you for having me. >> a program now from mark edmundson and his chronicling of the last years of sigmund freud. in the publication of his final book. sigmund freud died on september 23, 1939. this is about 50 minutes. to . [applause] >> thank you all for coming i
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know this is kind of an inconvenient time. thank you for this touching introduction. it is fair to say that some of the people who were helpful in this book he need to be thanked. no one was more helpful than my wife. she gave me the time and space to do well and also, my sons. they are here. they are in many ways helpful. thanks to them, and thanks to the institution. i had begun the idea of writing books thinking that it was an individualistic thing and then you retreat they are somewhat of a collective together at the support of this university.
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and my colleagues of the university of administration really dreadfully difficult and others in the middle. i'm glad i i'm talking about this in the past tense and i'm proud you're here. let me see if i can get you interested in this business that is of interest to me for the last couple of years. in the year 19,000,009, there were two men living in vienna austria who would each, in his way, change the world. one of these men was 53 years old and was at the peak of his past. he had done some remarkable work. he had written interpretation of dreams in which he had not quite discovered the unconscious. he had put forth its dynamic for
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the first time. he wrote a book about lips of the tongue and lips of the pen. he wrote a book about jokes. he explained why we love them and why he had to tell them now he could write about government and philosophers for a long time, because he had uncovered a remarkable secret. he knew something about the unconscious. he said facetiously, looking at the front in vienna for virtually all of his entire life, saying that the secret of dreams was that of sigmund ford.
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he was revered, he made a tremendous impression on him. freud was never impressed with his psychology but was very impressed by william james and the fortitude that he showed on
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oncoming event. he was surrounded and he had books to write, he had the time of his life. how about the other guy? the other man was 19 and 20 years old and he had come to vienna from his a small town in austria. he came with high hopes. he believed that he could be a visual artist and architect and he also showed remarkable promise in literature and poetry and also in music.
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he spends days in this period with his roommate. his aspirations were broken and he was rejected not once, but twice to a state-sponsored art school. he vowed that he would distinguish himself as an artist and architect and have the last say against them by the end of his career. this young man had fallen in love with a woman named stephanie. he had never spoken a word to her, who intimidated him. when he saw her, he became tongue-tied. he would lay all of his great treasures at the feet of this woman named stephanie. but things did not go as planned. because of inflation and also because of spending habits, he
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spent more time and that money ran out. he ended up living on the streets and begging. it was cool, it was a bad winter. and he suffered considerably. eventually, he made his way to a men's hostel and begin painting picture postcards that were sold on the streets and he began to gain a modest substance. periodically, somebody would tie his coattails to a bench and then pose a question about politics and germany's principles. he began to talk ferociously and he would jump up and he would begin to go through the room. many of his cohorts optimism in
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passing. that was none other than adolf hitler. it was possible that hitler and freud met each other in the streets of vienna in 1909 are one of those combinations it is possible that they would've left it off till her wanting revenge. moving fast forward, 30 years, he is and he is now the most powerful man in the world. he had become chancellor of germany in 1932 and had successfully consolidated his power. his commitment to germany's future is absolutely ferocious. part of his reliance and
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conscience -- he was smart and shrewd in the world was incredibly unluckily. by 1938, hitler had just about consolidated his power in germany. there were some dissenters in the german army, but even they are beginning to see that this was a man of destiny. in 1938, he wanted one thing about everything else in the world, and that one thing was to
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return to vienna and to make austria a part of the greater german reich. this is his absolute undivided idea and there was nothing that was going to stop him from doing so. in 1938, hitler's army crossed the border into vienna. there were so many expectations from the viennese as from the austrians. it had strong marxist tendencies and it was unclear how potent the vienna and austria ties would be. when hitler's troops came across the border, the austrian people went mad with adulation. it was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to them. the german soldiers marching across lower their visors to protect their eyes and protect
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them against the flowers that were being thrown at them by the austrian people. the next day, hitler entered austria himself and then went to vienna. he spent the first night at a place called the imperial hotel. it was very alive in hitler's imagination. it was a live because you recall those days when he had been down and out in vienna and one night he had shoveled snow outside the imperial hotel. he said as he paced back and forth, that night in the hotel in 1938 come he talked about how miserable he had been on that night and how cold it had been. how the management had never even brought him a cup of coffee and how a number of the habsburgs had gone in and walked past him and he could still smell her perfume.
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and how much it had affected him. his feelings about vienna and austria were complex. some of the other things he did was to look at the architecture of the city and hitler first and foremost in his mind, he imagined what it would be like to tear up that building and that street and strike again. sigmund ford was no longer the man that he had been at 53 years old. he was now 81 years old and extremely sick. he had been smoking cigars resolutely for many years, and everyone expressed in that it might be a good idea to cut back. he called them not just the stuff of life, but the stuff
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that was not good. he would get himself a close thing from the housekeeper and use it to jam the cigar. the cigar -- so he could write and perform. the first day of the invasion was extremely bad for her jews in general. everywhere are, the gentile, many who had been friends and colleagues and many who had been friends they said hello to, they seemed to have gone mad. they emptied their apartments
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and gone in there and show what they wanted. they punched and kicked mothers and fathers in front of their children. they took cars away, they took away anything that they wanted. it was absolutely shocking. they were put into the street. they were surrounded and had their pictures taken with was absolutely appalling. they crowded around these jews, and the viennese are screaming, [inaudible] freud was aware of what was going on. he read the newspaper, he heard the news on the radio, but he disliked intensely, but he was willing to look at it. when he read about the annexation of germany, he took
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the people's paper and balled it up and threw it across the room. the day before hitler spoke, a group of nazi thugs found their way to freud's front freud's front door. they opened it in front of him. like a good viennese housewife, she asked him to put their umbrellas in the umbrella stand. they did not wish to do that. they came in and asked for money. she gave them all the household money, not squarely not enough. they wanted more. they got them a large sum of money. the rest of the story, jones
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adored forward, freud heard the commotion and the outer part of his house. he was full of books and antiquity, have any of you been to the freud museum in london? >> it is just remarkable. then he came tottering out, 81 years old, 5 feet 7 inches, weighing about 95 pounds, he simply stared at the mattress. he didn't want to be caught in it, but probably not to better effect until this point.
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he stared hard at the nazi's heart of steel and they ran off. after they were gone, he turned to martha and said, should they get? martha told him it was quite a substantial figure and he said that's not so much for a single visit. [laughter] ends became bad and worse outside. hitler spoke to 750,000 people. simply enormous crowd. he was greeted with the greatest adulation. compared himself to jesus christ and was applauded people were taken to new concentration camps at a place called doctor now. it'll were being arrested and
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sent to jail,. a newspaper reporter, one of those evenings when he was in vienna, they were going to go out. she said oh, really don't want to go there, and she said no, really, i can't go there. i was there last night, and a jewish man who is sitting next to me had a drink and was talking in the front of his about the situation in vienna. and he take a straight razor out of his hands and killed himself
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right there and said he didn't want to go back. the gestapo eventually came, probably to rest freud himself. they believe that the association was up front, and i suppose they are quite right. freud's daughter said you cannot leave the house. which they did. boy she left, she was given poison. the nocturnes decided to tortur.
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she went off to the disk unturned gestapo and she was questioned by them for about eight hours. during the period she was gone, he walked up and down smoking and smoking and thinking and smoking, absolutely distraught at the idea that anna would be taken from his life. he was the closest person to her and she was exemplified by what he did for her. because his cancer required a large piece of his job to be removed, an enormous piece where he bites to put a cigar. he had a piece of danger, a centerpiece, and it was called the monster.
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the monster was extremely painful to get out and get back in. and anna was the only one who could be alone with him and could complete this operation for him, and they did that with a packed would never do it in any other way than that which you were a nurse. he relied upon anna for other reasons as well. he had decided after long consideration of the best person to bring his work forward into the world after this -- the most adept intellectually, his legacy not to be taken forward by someone who is excessively imaginative, but somebody who knew how to develop freud's
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thinking and what was going to do. she had been helped out by a telephone call. it is possible that the american embassy, which had taken an interest in freud and his plight. in fact, there was considerable pressure from the united states. this changed his mind that not a single bit. he said it was an erroneous mistake. he wasn't entirely sure that he wanted to live, but when it came clear to him that they might on anna, that she could conceivably die at the hands of the nazi's, he became relatively convinced that he was willing to give up.
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so what the hell of others, he did accomplish this. it involved a strange man who was one who took over and the colonel had a great deal to gain in making things difficult for freud. not a [inaudible] about what to do with freud. the one who had taken over for psycho analysis in berlin, there is considerable danger there. considerable danger for freud. it took, a tremendous strategist
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who loved freud dearly, a remarkable analyst, the last thing that she did was [inaudible] he wanted to do these five and 10 minute sessions. and redmond freud was going to give you a good 50 minutes. and that was the way it was supposed to be. after the end of the day, they took anna, she was not only extremely resourceful, but extremely rich, and at the time, they wanted her help. all that long day, they hoped and finally at the end of it,
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anna would turn to him and he was content -- more than content, it's possible he was very happy. he is working on his last book. he only had one hour per day and he always give that to his important project. which he said thompson. [inaudible]
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a book written by the princess, the book was called the child with the golden foot. there was a child that she adored, like freud. he had three children throughout his life and left vienna in order to england with his son. six months under quarantine camp. kind of an interesting way, he simply adored these individuals. we think of those letters that we have been reading? they seemed to go back and forth in expressing these ideas.
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topsy, he had gotten cancer. he got cancer of the right side of the job. and yet, he adored others and she spent a lot of money to care for him. but topsy recovered. he ended up kind of a passenger in the book, kind of running around, at one point, he said, you know, i would rather have cured topsy than anything else. so he kind of labored away on this. quite faithfully. one of the most emphatic and delighted entries in this journal will simply the
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translation finished, exclamation point. he didn't know if he was going to finish it. but he had gotten it again. through the entire ordeal, you can see, that it is kind of crystallized into things that he did when he was leaving austria. this is quite a story, it seems to me. you know, gave all the outrageous taxes, nothing other than bribes and this in a. he paid this person and that person, the criminal gestapo, the legal figures, and then there was one more document when they left. he said, certain port, not being molested in any way by the german forces, in fact, i don't want to do my work. he knew that if he didn't sign
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this, he would not leave vienna. and he wrote underneath it, i can hardly recommend the gestapo. [laughter] well, yeah, of course. and off we went. and off he went. you know, it was a very critical moment for him. there was one leader, one nation, with one empire. it just fits into the idea of one. he honors him with a monolithic message. as is what our destiny is and this is what has happened to us. you couldn't imagine that anyone would do something that ironic, you know? maybe it was more a democratic
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thing. there is only one meaning to any text, and that is it was presumably as much. what's interesting to ask, and i was just a couple of concluding things and then you can ask some questions, it is interesting to ask what it was that made void is relatively tranquil and capable as he was. he was just overgrown with anxiety. one answer to that would be is that he understood the nazis before they even came close to understanding themselves. he wrote a book which hitler read, group psychology and the
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ego. in it, he suggested that leader figure, when it comes, takes the place of the agency that he called the figure of conscious for society. and often commands that are very difficult to follow are issued and often those that are unconsciously received. one of the real problems in being alive from the freudian perspective is that the agency is in contrast complex with other agencies. there is a always something close to the freudian interior and almost inevitably attention to the different aspects you want different things.
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when you get a leader who can put into place, that leader can do the unpleasant things he wishes to do, and also predicate the ego. you get a feeling i could to inebriation. that is what happens when you have a drink or two or three. so freud, throughout his life and 40 freudian thought, he was very worried about it. a fair amount of tension is also
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necessary to inebriation can take you to liquor, which is not the end of the world, it can take you and make you suspicious, which is the inebriation of politics and creates oneness with division and anxiety. it is interesting, spiritual discipline that i am familiar with. ole miss, peace, columnist, bringing together the healing. when you think about major religions, the sense of tranquility is highly desirable.
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not anarchy, it is the way of the world and a healthy individual wants to see this. he is very tough-minded on the subject and i think illuminating. and he needs to sympathize with this need for wholeness. it is painful, it helps us understand why we, ourselves, and fellow citizens were fellow human beings might be drawn to the inebriation of this.
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i think they behave pretty well during this limit, but i want to end by saying that i accomplished working hard and playing a little bit. it was really something, you know, he never lost his wits. and he never got so much for a single visit. he never lost his way. that is something to admire. thank you. [applause] >> anyone who would like to ask
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a question or make a comment, and spontaneous postulation come into my life here. please step up to the microphone and talk away. >> i was curious about what you are saying about the stoicism, did he endorse that point of view in his writing? >> figure. >> he did endorse that kind of writing. florida is generally pessimistic. he believed that life is extremely painful. and he believed there believes there is more to be enjoyed. which is one of the great strength, it seems to me.
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and one of his limitations. he is extremely good at telling us where this comes from. if you want to know what mourning his life, if you want to know what happy love is like, it is superb at describing things. however, it doesn't have much time or appetite for descriptions of happiness. if you want to know what it feels like to write a wonderful novel or a good home were teaching the class. these are things that are not necessarily something we are interested in. things that we can take this on. >> when he wrote the book, did
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you discover that he felt conflicted writing it as he was at that moment in history for the jews? >> is a wonderful question. how can you write a book now. in which you say that moses was not a jew, but an ejection. and that moses did not die a natural death at the age of 120 is the bible indicates, but was killed by the jews because he tried to impose a difficult thing on him. how can you write such a book. i really don't care what's going on in the world, at large. they are about the strength of
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mind that morrissey has been brought to the jews, and they are in a positive direction. there is also the need to work out a strong sense of identification. he really felt like he was leaving a small band of people on into the future that he would never see people who would give more grace to invisible things. at least as i see it, it may not have been completely unconscious about what the changes were. what they wanted to do was talk
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about moses. there were two people that were peculiar. one of them is moses. the other was shakespeare. he was a proponent of the locals fight, and he had a great champion as william shakespeare. you can see why these two figures, shakespeare and moses, you can make them a little bit nervous. he wanted to have shakespeare's vision, but nobody else can. and yet he learned a tremendous amount. he wanted to have moses to put the institution building power, but who could.
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there were people who were fascinated by an adored him -- he had a competition consultative relationship with them. could you elaborate a little bit more on this fascinating sort of counterpoint that he made between hitler and freud, and the bigger power. more and more concerned, theoretically he was in power, but -- [inaudible] he had disciples and family and the difficult thing to handle. >> yes, i mean, one of the things -- the view of group psychology where freud talks about the figures that are not hard to create, he said a leader is someone who must be
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sufficient unto himself. he knows the truth and no one else does and he is not influenced by anybody. the view of that book is it takes one to no one. in a certain sense, that is how freud was. and he said, he was very difficult to sympathize with. i can see the sympathy with the nazi regime, which became more popular. jones had a skit about 9 inches thick. it was clear to everybody and clear to him that he joked power and authority and he wanted to make his work last, and he knew how you did it. which was to be the primal father, the character of the
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subject knows. he had this thing that was both a poison and an elixir. he knew that this would be a certain kind of authority, but something that works. and if you go around talking and sounding like a super ego, this is what it is, people tend to listen to you. the work is a constant deconstruct and of authority. and you have this great transformants, this is the most brilliant man who ever lived, he can make me happy and whole and slowly, he worked for the patient, to deconstruct this
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mission of who he was. and freud, he put himself in a room and deconstruct them for about seven hours a day every single day for most of his life. that was part of his discipline. he was very smart and original guy but he didn't always feel so good god knows -- he didn't do well when he lost his daughter or his grandchild. he struggled but a mortal person like myself. he is the dissolution of a future. do you think he had another hero, hannibal? >> his attitude towards the rebels? >> yes, sure, the thing about
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this coincides with a good story. it is a story that was actually told by the interpretation of dreams. he did not seem as long will the ss fund. on it, he was walking down the street and he had just bought a hat and he smacked it off and threw it in the gutter. and he said papa, what did you do and what he wanted to say was that jacob had -- you know, stood up to the guy, punched him in the mouth, whatever was the appropriate thing to do. and jacob said, so you know that they did, instead of the road and i cleaned it out and i went on my way. he this is furious about this and could not believe it.
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from that day forward come he never came forward by the gentiles. he was always going to struggle. he took as his hero, the general, who struggled against the figures that are in freud's mind, who had had a strange movement. the ancestors of contemporary catholicism, the roman empire. boyd was involved in the basis of catholicism. but he loves hannibal, he was a somatic figure and he stuck with him throughout his entire life. >> since we are still talking about freud's personal life, a little bit about the extent to
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which he might have embraced that intoxicant theme. >> the question is, did freud face the intoxicating fame -- the last infirmity of a noble mind. he was very much interested in becoming this. it is not something that is thought about a lot. he said no, i do not want a noble prize. he did get a prize for his prose, and he loved that. he did so before his death. again, and he said, that when he was living in vienna, he had not
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been so much famous as the earlier on, i was six years old when he wrote about infant sexuality, and when people saw him on the street, people would walk across the street. he was not famous. he was notorious. and he was one of the most brilliant people. psychoanalysis is the disease of which it purports to be the cure. so there is much that is in there. he was just kind of hoping for recognition, not wanting recognition, he was damaged with what had to be indistinguishable from. he got flowers at his house, people would come by, they would
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give him an egyptian statue from the collection, and people at the bank knew who he was, the tablets picked up and they said, oh, we know all about you. the british newspapers also knew about him, in particular, following the life of his daughter. this is all chronicled, this is honorary, as far as british citizens go, and he was sort of half interested, freud was, the people in the royal society came with their book and injected him as an honorary member of the royal society. and the scientists, which is what he always wanted to do. and he was very interested in charles darwin and isaac newton.
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the only one who brought the book was actually became. he was just in seventh heaven. when they said we would like you to come down to the society, they said we couldn't possibly. we have gone outside a week before, but it was a different thing. it was a criminal thing. so he was just in a state of rapture in london. a beautiful, humane land, full of generous and kind people. but then he made an amazing decision. he knew that when the the book was published and what caused a tremendous stir. he could easily have made it a posthumous book. he could've been lauded by the british for the rest of his days. but of course, as soon as he was finished, he got it out as quickly as he could in germany and then he hounded the publisher to get it translated
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before he died. sure enough, it happened. he got terrible reviews and once again he said, now i am freud again. the holiday was good. but to be freud again was really wonderful. he wrote in a letter to a friend of his, quite a worthy exit, i do think. should we do one more and then we will be done? if there is one more? >> can you tell us a joke? >> i cannot. if you are not beanies, not that
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i am assuming -- [laughter] but i will tell you -- i will tell you this, one of the things i wish that freud had lived to see was the movie with groucho marx. in fact, i'm sure he was an illegitimate great-grandson or something like that. when i think of groucho marxist jokes, what comes to my mind is that when we think about well, -- and did something amazing yesterday. in my pajamas, a sauna with them. what i was doing, have no idea. [laughter] thank you so much. if you would like to buy the book, i will sign it. >> every sunday at 6:00 p.m. eastern, booktv airs the program from our archive that coincides with a significant occasion that happened that weekend in history. for more proam


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