The Inner Life: Sigmund Freud and His Followers
One rational voice is dumb: over a grave The household of Impulse mourns one dearly loved. Sad is Eros, builder of cities, And weeping anarchic Aphrodite.
W. H. AUDEN, "ln Memory of Sigmund Freud"
Freud's eye was the microscope of potency. By fortune, his grey ghost may meditate The spirits of all the impotent dead, seen clear, And quickly understand, without their flesh, How truly they had not been what they were.
WALLACE STEVENS, "Mountains Covered with Cats"
They will get it straight one day at the Sorbonne. We shall return at twilight from the lecture Pleased that the irrational is rational.
WALLACE STEVENS, "Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction"
When in 1873 at the age of seventeen Sigmund Freud graduated from the Classical Gymnasium and entered the University of Vienna, he was already under the spell of Darwin and Goethe. 1 Darwin was the great iconoclast of nineteenth-century science who broke with the axioms of Cartesian rationalism, denied the dualism between a realm of reasonable human decision and a realm of animal impulse, and therefore destroyed one of those discontinuities in nature which had been elevated into a cherished doctrine by philosophy and religion. Goethe, more poet than natural scientist, but natural scientist none the less, brought to the conception of the natural world a romantic metaphysics which stressed the living questions which man addresses to his world, and the deep feelings through which this world is understood. There is one passage from Goethe's great essay On Nature which Freud never forgot.2"Nature has neither language nor speech, but she creates tongues and hearts through which she feels and speaks. . . . Her laws are un
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Philosophy and the Modern World. Contributors: Albert William Levi - Author. Publisher: Indiana University Press. Place of publication: Bloomington, IN. Publication year: 1959. Page number: 150.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.