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Piccioli, E. (1997). Interview with John Gedo. Psychoanal. Rev., 84(1):1-15.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Review, 84(1):1-15

Interview with John Gedo

Emma Piccioli, M.D.

EMMA PICCIOLI: As you know, I have always thought of you as an improbable North American—you have always struck me as being a quintessential Central European gentleman. Would you agree with that?

JOHN GEDO: Of course I had some examples of that kind of behavior from my family, but we left when I was eleven and I found myself in all sorts of environments very different from that, so that it took me many years to learn more about what was good about the cultures of Central Europe and then to try to emulate them.

EP: You were telling me earlier about the westward looking attitude which existed in that part of the world.

JG: Well, what I found best was, of course, not the quasi-fascist atmosphere that often prevails in a city like Budapest. Incidentally, Ferenczi was there in the early part of the century, very much in the center of these circles. It included world famous figures such as Bartòk, Arthur Koestler, Lukécs, and so forth …

EP: You mentioned earlier the New York, a cafè in Budapest…

JG: Yes, when I went to talk to the Hungarian psychoanalysts in Budapest, about five years ago, I was taken to dinner at a cafe which had just regained its original name, the New York—some other name was given to it during the communist regime. This is where Ferenczi and his friends met very frequently, and the place is decorated with portrait drawings and caricatures of the circle, and Ferenczi is still there among them.


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