I'D LIKE to write a word or two about my dear dad and his grandfather, Sigmund Freud.
My father, Clement, grew up in the strange shadow of a grandfather who was the founder of psychoanalysis. He probably had two choices: to be very proud of Sigmund, or to pretend he didn't exist.
My dad went for the latter so he never read a word Freud wrote, never owned a book by him and never discussed him except as a grandfather, a job that, apparently, Sigmund did quite well.
My father, Ernst Ludwig Freud, was once on the Johnny Carson chat show in America and Carson, going against the strict instructions of 'Whatever you ask, don't mention Sigmund', said: 'Tell me about your grandfather?' My dad gave a long and detailed account of his maternal grandfather and his work as a German banker. Carson moved on.
As a result of my father's unusual position on all this, my siblings and I never read a line of the great man's writings or knew anything about him.
I think my sister had it worst. At the age of seven, she came home from school one day and said: 'Who is Sigmund Freud? The teachers were talking about him as though I should know.'
My father told her that Sigmund was her great-grandfather and was, indeed, quite well known. …