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Freud for Beginners (1979)

de Richard Appignanesi, Oscar Zarate (Ilustrador)

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Aiming to demystify the facts of Freud, this text tells the story of Freud's life and ideas from his upbringing in 19th-century Vienna, his early medical career and his encounter with cocaine to the gradual evolution of his theories of the unconscious, dreams and sexuality.
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This book one is a very odd summation of Sigmund Freud’s life and work. Odd in the fact that it present Freud’s history as a sort of graphic novel with photo collages and hand-drawn illustrations of his case studies and theories.

The book is a fairly linear biography, with the important case studies fleshed out to show how his psychoanalytical techniques helped him to cure those particular patients. It shows that as his theories evolved, so did his writing and conception of both human history and human consciousness. Because those theories took control away from the conscious mind and gave it to the unconscious, he naturally came under a lot of criticism. Unfortunately, though, for him, his theories also became more convoluted every time he came across a case that couldn’t be handled by previous findings. The book also details the basic outline of each of his publications (with the exception of Moses and Monotheism).

Appignanesi has put out a few of these illustrated beginners manuals on various subjects, including Lenin and postmodernism. I think the inclusion of loads of illustrations along with short bursts of “textbook-y” parts makes it easier to consume the high-level information about the subject. It really helps to get away from the dusty, old college course feel that some books on psychology can have. The drawings are strange at times, and downright sexual at others, but if you’re going to illustrate Freud’s theories, there’s going be some genitalia in there somewhere. If you’re looking for dip your toe into Freudian psychology, then this one might be right up your alley. Just don’t read too much into it. ( )
1 vote NielsenGW | Feb 2, 2013 |
I had to read this graphic novel for history, just like Darwin for Beginners . I enjoyed the humor and subtle subliminal messges in the graphic novel, though at times, I thought they went too far. ( )
  06nwingert | Oct 25, 2008 |
Freud revolutionized the way we think about ourselves. His psychoanalytic terms such as Id, Ego, libido, neurosis and Oedipus Complex have become a familiar part of our everyday vocabulary. But do we know what they really mean?
Freud for Beginners successfully demystifies the facts of Freud's discovery of psychoanalysis. Irreverent and witty but never trivial, the book tells the story of Freud's life and ideas from his upbringing in nineteenth century Vienna, his early medical career and his encounter with cocaine to the gradual evolution of his theories on the unconscious, dreams and sexuality. With its combination of brilliantly clever artwork and incisive text, Freud for Beginners has achieved international success as one of the most entertaining and informative introductions to the father of psychoanalysis.
  rajendran | Jul 20, 2008 |
Cartoon-esque ( )
  bluecat51 | Jul 6, 2008 |
Sigmund Freud was born 150 years ago, in May 1856, and went on to revolutionise the way we think about ourselves. Along with Darwin, Marx and Einstein, he is considered one of the key thinkers of the modern world. However, he excites controversy, with virulent opponents and loyal champions still battling out the meaning and significance of his work. Introducing Freud's irreverent and witty approach, which has made it a bestseller throughout the world, demystifies Freud's psychoanalysis. It tells the story of Freud's life and ideas from his upbringing in 19th-century Vienna to the gradual evolution of his theories on the unconscious, dreams and sexuality.

Including for the first time a thought-provoking discussion of Freud with Jonathan Miller, this is a reasonable introduction to the life and work of this challenging and seminal thinker.

However, it must also be recognised that many of Freud's ideas will remain undecipherable to anyone who has not had the experience of clinical practice of a certain kind.
  antimuzak | Jan 27, 2008 |
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Richard Appignanesiautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Zarate, OscarIlustradorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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6 May 1856: Sigmund Freud is born in Freiburg, Moravia, which is today in Czechoslovakia but was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
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Aiming to demystify the facts of Freud, this text tells the story of Freud's life and ideas from his upbringing in 19th-century Vienna, his early medical career and his encounter with cocaine to the gradual evolution of his theories of the unconscious, dreams and sexuality.

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