Saturday, December 23, 2006

If you're going to have an affair...

Person of the Day: Sigmund Freud
Originally uploaded by divedi.
Don't actually sign the hotel registration book with your real name. Well, at least don't sign your name if you don't want people talking about you more than 60 years after your death.

For a long time, scholars have evidently wondered if Sigmund Freud had an affair -- read "romantic, sexual liaison" -- with his wife's younger sister. Perhaps the answer is closer to be seen than in years past.

From Ralph Blumenthal at the New York Times:
Rumors of a romantic liaison between Freud and his sister-in-law, who lived with the Freuds, have long persisted, despite staunch denials by Freud loyalists. The Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung, Freud’s disciple and later his archrival, claimed that Miss Bernays had confessed to an affair to him....

What was lacking was any proof. But a German sociologist now says he has found evidence that on Aug. 13, 1898, during a two-week vacation in the Swiss Alps, Freud, then 42, and Miss Bernays, then 33, put up at the Schweizerhaus, an inn in Maloja, and registered as a married couple, a finding that may cause historians to re-evaluate their understanding of Freud’s own psychology.

A yellowing page of the leather-bound ledger shows that they occupied Room 11. Freud signed the book, in his distinctive Germanic scrawl, “Dr Sigm Freud u frau,” abbreviated German for “Dr. Sigmund Freud and wife.”
I don't know; I'm thinking it would have been easier to have been up-front: Dr Sigm Freud u illicit lover...

“By any reasonable standard of proof, Sigmund Freud and his wife’s sister, Minna Bernays, had a liaison,” wrote Franz Maciejewski, a sociologist formerly at the University of Heidelberg and a specialist in psychoanalysis, who tracked down the record in August.

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