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Civilisation and its Discontents
By Sigmund Freud
9/10 from 1 review
Categories: Philosophy
Buy at Amazon.co.uk
1 review
It's the Freud Dude
Penguin are reissuing the Frued library under Adam Phillips editorial direction. Lovely, slim volumes of Freud with spanky new covers. Perfect for slipping into the side pocket of your computer bag and reading on the tube.

I've picked out Civilisation and its Discontents because for me it's the most complete Freud essay, and because the bulk of my Master's Thesis was based around it.

Counterpointed with The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, it makes fascinating reading about how totally encompassing Freud believed his theories could be.

Don't read this for answers - read it as a philosophical discourses that attempts to use science to prove itself because that was the dominant force at the time.

Don't read it as a rational argument for where the problems with civilisation really lie, read it as a remarkable essay where someone who had compelete belief in their theories struggles to counter them against a society that is finely balanced between two wars.

Read it as literature. Read it because when Freud wrote well, he wrote *really* well. Read it because occasionally you'll gasp and go "my god, he could be right" and then the very next page he'll extrapolate his idea into the absurd and you'll lose all faith in him.

Also read it because of the lovely, evocative discourse on how technology has distanced people from their loved ones.
Rating: 9/10
Link to this review
Posted by Chris Locke on Tue, 27th August 2002, 11:02am
1 review