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Meerloo, J.A. (1957). Freud, the Creative Scientist: Reflections Upon Some Pictures of Sigmund Freud. Psychoanal. Rev., 44(2):220-224.

(1957). Psychoanalytic Review, 44(2):220-224

Freud, the Creative Scientist: Reflections Upon Some Pictures of Sigmund Freud

Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D.

The pictures in this article were taken in 1939 shortly before Freud was forced to move from Vienna to London in order to escape the Nazi onslaught. Freud was already over eighty years old. His friend Dr. Aichhorn wanted to keep a memento of the home that for so many years had been a center of inspiration to various scientists. The Viennese amateur photographer, Edmund Engelman, who made the pictures, was, however, himself forced to leave Vienna and immigrated to this country. On a recent trip to Austria his negatives were found once again, and Mr. Engelman was kind enough to make these pictures available.

On the sixth of May, 1956, the scientific world celebrated the centennial of Sigmund Freud's birthday. In various speeches and articles his creative work was reassessed, admired, criticized, lovingly remembered or vehemently rejected. The ritual of official celebrations brought Freud's work once more into the limelight—as if his own critical analysis of such official habit formation were not in existence. Freud explained to us the contrasting feelings—the ambivalence—that motivate any official commemoration. The hero is no longer there to berate us, he cannot compete with us any more, and so we can more easily project onto his mind and intentions all the adoration and admiration that come up through the crevices of our own wishful thinking. In the glamor and flourish of commemoration we can more easily repress our hostilities. However, the real genius does not need celebration, his light grows brighter with every century.

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