Brought into the open

IvyGar­litz en­joysaFreudi­an­graph­ic­book. MadeleineKings­ley prais­esaminor-key­tale

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

word: “Hys­te­ria is the lan­guage of the protest­ing body… Psy­cho­anal­y­sis was born when (Freud) dis­cov­ered that it was pos­si­ble to in­ter­pret rather than med­i­cate symp­toms that had no bi­o­log­i­cal or neu­ro­log­i­cal cause.”

Zarate’s art is mov­ing, with evoca­tive homages to Toulouse-Lautrec and Honoré Dau­mier. While Hys­te­ria openly por­trays the dark­ness be­neath the char­ac­ters’ con­scious minds, some of the forces that shaped Freud and his era aren’t fully probed. Freud states, as he is forced to leave Vi­enna, “I am sur­rounded by mass hys­te­ria”. The book re­flects how the world changed for him from the grotesque­ness of the Paris mad­house to civilised Vi­enna but only briefly con­sid­ers the Nazi mad­ness that en­gulfed Aus­tria.

In the fi­nal se­quence, a “wit­ness” from the fu­ture, Princess Diana, re­veals to Freud that, like the women in his case stud­ies, she suf­fered from anorexia and de­pres­sion. To­gether, they ob­serve con­tem­po­rary suf­fer­ers of th­ese con­di­tions and oth­ers, now called func­tional disorders of un­known cause; and list the med­i­ca­tions they have been pre­scribed.

The dis­mayed Freud says that his aim was to get rid of de­pen­dence on drugs and other phys­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions. The de­pic­tion of Freud fore­see­ing the present is in­trigu­ing but sketchy. Still, Hys­te­ria richly demon­strates how Freud helped pa­tients by un­cov­er­ing their buried con­flicts and sug­gests how his legacy con­tin­ues to be per­ti­nent.

Ivy Gar­litz is a poet and critic

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.