Monday, May 19, 2008

Women and Freud

History 5 has long finished, but I am still lagging behind, but also still intent on reviewing the cycle two lectures at a time. The next two are moving us thematically into the end of the 19th century. About women (video, audio) and about Freud (video, audio).

Professor Anderson ventures into making a joke. "I apologize for always talking about sex so much. I know it is nothing you are interested in, but in any case [...] it would be an appropriate introduction to Freud." The shackles of Victorian society has everything to do with these two lectures. The prudery was both a cage, as well as a protection for women. Prudery, especially in England, was imposed, not only on women, but also on men. It allowed women to gain some development and this pathed the way to emancipation.

At the same time, these shackles turned our attention to the suppressed instincts and Freud is presented as the necessary, if not logical proponent of the thought train triggered by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. I wonder if you could add to that pessimism some more of the tormented thinkers and artists, Kierkegaard for example. I am not sure it Anderson intended not to make a very explicit link from romanticism to the late century pessimism, but I saw it clearly. The real shock of the lecture are the grim experiments Freud and a nose doctor engage in on one of his patients.

More History 5:
Romanticism and Bismarck,
Capitalism and Socialism,
Enlightenment and French Revolution,
Absolutism and Science,
Witches, plague, war and Hobbes.

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