Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Report a Data Error | About
Werman, D.S., Guilbert, Y. (1998). Freud, Yvette Guilbert, and the Psychology of Performance: A Biographical Note. Psychoanal. Rev., 85:399-412.

Welcome to PEP Web!

Viewing the full text of this document requires a subscription to PEP Web.

If you are coming in from a university from a registered IP address or secure referral page you should not need to log in. Contact your university librarian in the event of problems.

If you have a personal subscription on your own account or through a Society or Institute please put your username and password in the box below. Any difficulties should be reported to your group administrator.


Can't remember your username and/or password? If you have forgotten your username and/or password please click here and log in to the PaDS database. Once there you need to fill in your email address (this must be the email address that PEP has on record for you) and click "Send." Your username and password will be sent to this email address within a few minutes. If this does not work for you please contact your group organizer.

OpenAthens or federation user? Login here.

Not already a subscriber? Order a subscription today.

(1998). Psychoanalytic Review, 85(3):399-412

Freud, Yvette Guilbert, and the Psychology of Performance: A Biographical Note

David S. Werman, M.D. and Yvette Guilbert

The friendship of Freud and Yvette Guilbert, the famous French “diseuse,” well-known today by Toulouse-Lautrec's pictures of her, was based manifestly on mutual admiration, affection, and respect, if not on reciprocal understanding. Guilbert had little or no knowledge of Freud's research into unconscious processes, and Freud seemed not to have understood or empathized with Yvette.

Their superficial albeit congenial friendship was challenged when Yvette asked Freud to explain how she was able to enter into the characters she portrayed on the stage. Freud provided an answer based on the influence of early unconscious memories. Yvette roundly rejected this view, and defended the intense effort of the performer.

It is the opinion of the author that Freud and Yvette had each seized one end of the performer's activity: the regressive, on one hand, and the conscious, creative ego work on the other. While advancing the concept of “regression in the service of the ego,” psychoanalysts have paid little attention to the actual work of the ego.

On a wall in Freud's study, at Bergasse 19, were the photographs of three women: The first two were of Lou Andréas-Salomé and Marie Bonaparte, well-known to psychoanalysts as among Freud's cherished friends and colleagues. The third photograph was inscribed “Au savant Sigmund Freud le salut d'une artiste,” and was signed Yvette Guilbert, the French diseuse (Engelman, 1976).1


This paper was presented at the Mid-Winter Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association, in New York, December 17, 1995 in a slightly shorter version.

- 399 -

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2017, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.