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Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His…

Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood (The Standard Edition)…

by Sigmund Freud

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Showing 5 of 5
We can only hope that, some day, someone will take one of our childhood memories about a bird and write a whole book about how it proves we were gay and explains our actions. Actually, though, take it with a grain of salt and there's a lot of great ideas in here. Also, Freud may have stolen the Constitution. ( )
  trilliams | May 30, 2015 |
When Freud seizes upon a mistranslated infantile memory of Leonardo’s, his juices get flowing, and concludes mistakenly that da Vinci was a repressed homosexual. For as much as he found neurosis and hysteria in almost every person he encountered, one wonders if he pointed that psychoanalytic finger at himself.
  NielsenGW | Dec 27, 2007 |
An interesting book... but freudian psychology is losing its relevance today and hence, this book merely fulfilled my curiosity, not the appetite for a good read ( )
  snuffles_lib | Nov 2, 2007 |
Fantastic. Brilliant. Great insight into both greats: Freud & Da Vinci. ( )
  NicoleHC | May 16, 2007 |
In which Sigmund attempts to analyse Leonardo's character from examination of a relatively small number of biographical facts. I'm not qualified to say where it figures in Freud's work on the whole, but taken on its own terms it's a extraordinarily ambitious piece, and, in its way, a fascinating read. Unfortunately much emphasis is placed on a story Leonardo tells of a vulture waggling its tail in his mouth when he was an infant. Freud takes it as read that this is either a dream or a fantasy, and proceeds to give a virtuoso display of what it might symbolise. Unfortunately, as I daresay every modern edition makes clear in its introduction, this vulture only exists in a mistranslation from which Freud was working. Leonardo writes instead of a kite. Freud comes similarly unstuck when analysing a Leonardo anatomical drawing of a man and woman engaged in intercourse, taking it for an original when it is in fact a copy, and thus considering things significant which Leonardo didn't really draw at all. These mistakes don't negate *everything* that Freud says--and indeed I've seen it said that they give this work a unique significance in Freud's output, since it's one of the rare occasions when we can say beyond all doubt that he is wrong--but they damage a fair chunk of it, and they do make one wonder about Freud's method generally, which so often consists of building rather grand and widely significant theories on exceptionally slender factual foundations.

So the book needs to be approached with a healthy dose of skepticism, but its ambition makes it an interesting and entertaining read (and not just for students of psychoanalysis or art).

My old Pelican edition also includes a lengthy introduction by James Farrell; I've only glanced through it, but it looks quite interesting in its own right. ( )
  stilton | Sep 30, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Freud, Sigmundprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brill, A. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393001490, Paperback)

Leonardo da Vinci (1910) remains among the most fascinating, though speculative, works of Freud's entire output.

A detailed reconstruction of Leonardo's emotional life from his earliest years, it represents Freud's first sustained venture into biography from a psychoanalytic perspective, and also his effort to trace one route that homosexual development can take.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

PSYCHOANALYSIS & PSYCHOANALYTICAL THEORY. This is a unique introduction to some of Freud's fundamental ideas, including infantile sexuality, dreams, and repression. It is an equally fascinating picture of Leonardo himself and what, according to Freud, lies behind some of his great works.… (more)

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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