Freud's Patients : A Book of Lives Click to enlarge Freud's Patients : A Book of Lives

Freud's Patients : A Book of Lives Click to enlarge Freud's Patients : A Book of Lives

Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen

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Everyone knows the characters described by Freud in his case histories: 'Dora', the 'Rat Man', the 'Wolf Man'. But what do we know of the people, the lives behind these famous pseudonyms: Ida Bauer, Ernst Lanzer, Sergius Pankejeff? Do we know the circumstances that led them to Freud's consulting-room, or how they fared - how they really fared - following their treatments?And what of those patients about whom Freud wrote nothing, or very little: Pauline Silberstein, who threw herself from the fourth floor of her analyst's building; Elfriede Hirschfeld, Freud's 'grand-patient' and 'chief tormentor'; the fashionable architect Karl Mayreder; the psychotic millionaire Carl Liebmann; and so many others?In an absorbing sequence of portraits, Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen offers the stories of these men and women - some comic, many tragic, all of them deeply moving. In total, thirty-eight lives tell us as much about Freud's clinical practice as his celebrated case studies, revealing too a darker and more complex Freud than is usually portrayed: the doctor as his patients, their friends and their families saw him.