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May 13, 1983

Freud as a Writer

Author Affiliations

Washington Psychoanalytic Society Billings, Mont

JAMA. 1983;249(18):2546. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330420090049

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This is a beautiful and valuable book. I wish that I had read it before reading Freud, but of course I wouldn't have then and can only be grateful that today it makes reading him an even richer experience. Mahony's book, in its own richness, is difficult to review. It has been on my desk for months, always a pleasure to return to, but its fascinations seem to place it illusively beyond synopsis. After all, how long can a review be allowed to be? Furthermore, one is caught up again and again in the reflexive turnings of writing about a writer writing about a writer.

Freud's Goethe Prize was for literature, and Albert Einstein, in a similar accolade, complimented him on his work "from a literary point of view." Patrick Mahony helps us to read the 23 volumes of the Standard Edition, the Minutes of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, and