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Jacobs, D. (1992). Reading Freud. Explorations and Entertainments: By Peter Gay. New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 1990. 204 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 61:639-641.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:639-641

Reading Freud. Explorations and Entertainments: By Peter Gay. New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 1990. 204 pp.

Review by:
Daniel Jacobs

In his "Prefatory Note" to this new collection of essays, Peter Gay bids us farewell as a biographer of Freud. He fully intends in his future publications to "leave the person of Freud behind." Unlike "the fading opera star," Gay assures us, he will not repeatedly offer farewell recitals (p. xv). This announcement comes after years of scholarly and devoted work on what he describes as "the mystery that is Freud." It cannot help but bring a sense of regret to any reader who is indebted to Gay for a deeper understanding of Freud, his ideas, and his times. It will stimulate, as well, a lively interest in these, his last words on the subject. Most final performances, at least in music, are designed to be interesting and relatively brief, all the while displaying the full range, variety, and virtuosity of the artist's talent. Peter Gay's Reading Freud: Explorations and Entertainments is no exception. It is original, varied, interesting, and delightful, full of little known facts and many happy surprises.

The work consists of eight essays, two newly published and six revised for this collection. The book is divided into two sections ("Explorations" and "Entertainments") of four essays each, with a

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