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I've mentioned the author Frederick Crews a few times on OL** ... and now I am ploughing steadily through his book "Freud, the Making of an Illusion." It's the kind of book people reserve the word 'magisterial' for, so far. The subject is Freud's story-telling, in essence, and the divergence from the actualities. Crew is the first to exploit the new availability of previously censored or suppressed materials. He has previously rubbished mythic Freud in some earlier work referred to by the lesser term "tour-de-force." What will appeal to the Objectivist or Objectivish is the hard line, the hard line for reality trumping bullshit. Crews was the first to achieve a kind of encyclopedic knowledge of the Freudian-derived Recovered Memory movement and its associated Satanic Ritual Abuse allegations, trials and injustices. He was able to 'wrap it up' like a good prosecutor, with an at-my-fingertips-knowledge of what went down where and when and how and why. A good taste of what would be to come were you to purchase or borrow the book comes from its Preface, which I quote from (you can also Look Inside at Amazon): Among historical figures, Sigmund Freud ranks with Shakespeare and Jesus of Nazareth for the amount of attention bestowed upon him by scholars and commentators. Unlike them, he left behind thousands of documents that show what he was doing and thinking from adolescence until his death at age 83. Although many of those records were placed under lengthy restriction by followers who felt both financial and emotional incentives to idealize him, that blackout has at least partially expired by now. More revelations will emerge, but they are unlikely to alter the outlines of Freud's conduct and beliefs as they appear in the most responsible recent studies. [...] Of course, hardcore partisans can be counted upon to dismiss this book as an extended exercise in Freud-bashing -- a notion that gets invoked whenever the psychoanalytic legend of lonely and heroic discovery is challenged. To call someone a Freud basher is at once to Shield Freud's theory from skeptical examination and to shift the focus, as Freud himself so often did, from objective issues to the supposedly twisted mind of the critic. Like other aspects of Freudolatry, the charge of Freud bashing deserves to be retired at last. The best way to accomplish that end, however, is just to display the actual record of Freud's doings and to weigh that record by an appeal to consensual standards of judgment. _________________________________ ** totalismCult Warning Signs william.scherk posted a blog entry in Friends and Foes ...One of the many astute chroniclers of this time wasFrederick Crews, whose "The Memory Wars" still stands out above the rest. I note in passing his most recent book, a stunning tour de force in my opinion. See Freud: The Making of an Illusion. I have mentioned his work a couple of times here... January 12 30 comments Solving a Puzzle-- Understanding Some People's Reactions william.scherk replied to Philip Coates's topic in Objectivist Living Room ...ThenFrederick Crews saved me. He let me see that crashing through the Dominant Discourse of Freudian Bullshit was a dangerous job. Those who had peddled that shit all the years were deadly opposed to being pushed off their thrones, their departmental thrones, their kingdoms of influence and tenure... January 30, 2012 358 replies Emotions as products of Ideas william.scherk commented on nealelehman's blog entry in neale's Blog ...readFrederick Crews on Freud/psychoanalysis, anything you can get by Allen Esterson, Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, Frank Cioffi, and the very interesting current-philosophical-outrages site Butterflies and Wheels , a British site that is part of my regular reading. My favourite living philosopher is Susa... June 30, 2007 6 comments
Nobody believes anything I say. Some smartass said it might help if I told the truth once in a while. But all those stories that I told are true. And I know they are true because I made them up my own self. I attended a lying contest, a contest to see who could tell the biggest lie. There was the one about the man who was so thin that he had to stand twice in the same place to make a good shadow. There was a woman who was so fat that when she hauled ass she had to make two trips. There was a giraffe with a neck so long that a hiccup took 12 hours. There was a building so tall that it had to have a hole in it to let the moon go by. There was a chef who could slice cheese so thin that the slices had only one side. There was a hillbilly who believed electricity was good for his health. But he was a nature nut and he thought natural electricity is better than artificial electricity. So one day during a thunderstorm he went outside and caught himself a lightning bolt in his mouth. His throat was so hot from the lightning bolt that he caught in his mouth that for a whole month he ate food raw and by the time it got down to his stomach it was cooked. Then it was my turn to tell a lie. I didn't know I was in the contest. I thought I was just a spectator. But they wanted me to tell a lie. And they dragged me to the microphone in front of the audience. I said: "Hey listen youse people. There is some kind of mistake here. I'm not supposed to be in this contest. I don't tell lies. I never in my life told a lie. I couldn't tell a lie even if I tried to." The place went crazy with applause and cheering and whistling and hat throwing. And they told me I won the contest.