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Ticho, G.R. (1974). Freud: Living and Dying: By Max Schur. New York: International Universities Press, 1972. 587 pp., $20.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 22:218-224.

(1974). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 22:218-224

Freud: Living and Dying: By Max Schur. New York: International Universities Press, 1972. 587 pp., $20.00.

Review by:
Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D.

In the fall of 1915 Max Schur, 18 years old and a medical student at the University of Vienna, attended Freud's Introductory Lectures at the University. He became enthralled by psychoanalysis, but nevertheless decided to specialize in internal medicine. In 1924 he started his personal analysis, and four years later when Schur was 32, Freud asked him to be his physician. Their relationship lasted until Freud's death in 1939.

Schur is particularly well qualified to write about Freud, not only because he had access to Freud's unpublished letters to Fliess and other unknown material, but also because he and Freud had the same cultural, educational, and ethnic backgrounds. He is therefore as much at home with Freud's literary allusions as he is with Freud's very original use of the Viennese dialect and Jewish expressions. This is quite important because Freud created new words in an idiosyncratic way, and Schur serves as an excellent guide.

It is not surprising that Schur had to face considerable difficulties within himself when he set out to write this book. He had serious questions about violating the privacy of the physician-patient relationship. "I would have to approach the topic in a manner which would have been acceptable to Freud himself" (p. 3). Schur emphasizes that his book is "not a full-scale biography." Although this is undoubtedly true, he does provide, as no other biographer has done before, the full sweep of Freud's development from an insecure, poverty-stricken student to a man with self-confidence and serenity.

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