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Freud's Trip to Orvieto: The Great Doctor's…

Freud's Trip to Orvieto: The Great Doctor's Unresolved Confrontation with…

by Nicholas Fox Weber

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Beautifully rendered and uniquely insightful, this Freudian "side-trip" involves art, nakedness, sexuality and repression but in a strikingly unusual way. Even the loudest anti-Freudian (the fashionable position these days) will find something here to delight in and argue about. ( )
  michaelg16 | Jan 7, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Freud's Trip to Orvieto is an impressive book with thick, glossy pages, many beautiful color plates, and a heft that draws your attention. Unfortunately, I did not find it very readable. I would like to know more about Freud, but Nicholas Fox Weber's examination of this particular episode in Freud's life seemed too much about Weber and his reactions and not enough about Freud. I may try this book again since it's so well reviewed, but for now, it's not for me. ( )
  y2pk | Jun 21, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Freud’s Trip to Orvieto, written by Nicholas Fox Weber, is a beautiful book in design, illustration and feel. It is also a hard book to categorize and a delight to read. Weber recounts finding an offprint of an article when going through his parents’ home, which prompts a memory from his own youth when he experienced both a strong sexual memory and an observation of the authors of the article of the offprint. Weber weaves a beautiful web, discussing his own education, the trip Freud made to Orvieto and his memory loss, the homoerotic paintings of Signorelli’s Orvieto Frescos, anti-Semitism in Freud’s time and Weber’s academic study. Weber, a trained art historian with a passionate love of beauty, draws us into Freud’s trip to Orvieto and the art works Freud admired and studied. Freud’s Trip to Orvieto reads as if it were Weber’s memoir, an examination of psychoanalysis and thought with the authors of the offprint article, Freud, himself and others, Jewishness, antisemitism and Italian Renaissance art. Freud’s Trip to Orvieto is unique and easy to recommend for an interesting and informative read. ( )
  David_Chef | Jun 9, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I know very little about Freud and Freudians, though I suspect there are fewer of them today than in years past. His theories and teachings seem to have fallen out of favor. Signorelli was always a forgettable painter in my mind and many tiers below the likes of Botticelli and Michelangelo. Nevertheless it was fascinating to read of Freud's trip to view the Signorelli frescoes at Orvieto and what came to be known as the "Signorelli parapraxis" and repressed memory.

The book is an intriguing meditation on masculinity, Jewish identity and homo-eroticism. It was less interesting to read Nicholas Fox Weber's interpretation and psychoanalysis of these events, particularly the weaving of his own biography and personal history into the narrative. ( )
  abealy | Jun 8, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
“Freud's Trip to Orvieto is at once profound and wonderfully diverse, and as gripping as any detective story. Nicholas Fox Weber mixes psychoanalysis, art history, and the personal with an intricacy and spiritedness that Freud himself would have admired." ( )
  lisadewaard | May 2, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Freud's Trip to Orvieto is at once profound and wonderfully diverse, and as gripping as any detective story. Nicholas Fox Weber mixes psychoanalysis, art history, and the personal with an intricacy and spiritedness that Freud himself would have admired.
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After a visit to the cathedral at Orvieto in Italy, Sigmund Freud deemed Luca Signorelli's frescoes the greatest artwork he'd ever encountered; yet, a year later, he couldn't recall the artist's name. When the name came back to him, the images he had so admired vanished from his mind's eye. This is known as the "Signorelli parapraxis" in the annals of Freudian psychoanalysis and is a famous example from Freud's own life of his principle of repressed memory. What was at the bottom of this? There have been many theories on the subject, but Nicholas Fox Weber is the first to study the actual Signorelli frescoes for clues.0What Weber finds in these extraordinary Renaissance paintings provides unexpected insight into this famously confounding incident in Freud's biography. As he sounds the depths of Freud's feelings surrounding his masculinity and Jewish identity, Weber is drawn back into his own past, including his memories of an adolescent obsession with a much older woman.0'Freud's Trip to Orvieto' is an intellectual mystery with a very personal, intimate dimension. Through rich illustrations, Weber evokes art's singular capacity to provoke, destabilize, and enchant us, as it did Freud, and awaken our deepest memories, fears, and desires.… (more)

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