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Segal, N. (2000). Freud: Conflict and Culture - Essays on his Life, Work and Legacy edited by Michael S. Roth (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998) Authorized Knowledge: A Study of the History of Psychoanalysis From a Discourse Point of View by Jaap Bos (Utrecht: Febo druk bv, 1997) 20 Maresfield Gardens: A Guide to the Freud Museum by Erica Davies et al. (London: Serpent's Tail, 1998); reviewed by Naomi Segal. Psychoanal. Hist., 2(1):128-136.
   

(2000). Psychoanalysis and History, 2(1):128-136

Freud: Conflict and Culture - Essays on his Life, Work and Legacy edited by Michael S. Roth (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998) Authorized Knowledge: A Study of the History of Psychoanalysis From a Discourse Point of View by Jaap Bos (Utrecht: Febo druk bv, 1997) 20 Maresfield Gardens: A Guide to the Freud Museum by Erica Davies et al. (London: Serpent's Tail, 1998); reviewed by Naomi Segal

Review by:
Naomi Segal

If hysterics are people who ‘suffer from recollections’, perhaps the normalization of memory is what we call history; and if this is so, then perhaps the way in which we attempt to render the past safely present is by spatializing it. These three books all offer a geography and history of Freud as the possession of the present day, the ‘climate of opinion’ brought down to earth. Each is very literally occasional: one a collection of 17 essays and a cartoon strip commissioned to accompany an exhibition at the Washington Library of Congress in 1998; another a doctoral thesis which brings together a number of previously published papers into an essay on ‘my travels through the land of the humanities’ (Bos, 8); and the third a collectively-written guidebook to the Freud Museum in London, which opened to the public in 1986. All three are illustrated but, while an almost worryingly sincere Freud stares out to right of vision in burnt umber from the cover of the exhibition collection, on the thesis he judders in pink on black like a Francis Bacon; on the guidebook, it is the couch that invites us to step inside.

Freud: Conflict and Culture - Essays on his Life, Work and Legacy edited by Michael S. Roth

The besetting problem of any book designed to accompany an exhibition is one of address. It needs to interest three distinct readerships: the casual visitor without prior knowledge, those habitues of the material who come to see it all together on a single site and, most problematically, readers who are only metaphorically visiting the exhibition, and who may be at either level of knowledge.

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