A Note on Freud

by Yvy Truong

I think I’ll be mentioning this in seminar on Wednesday but I guess I’ll mention it right now here on my blog. In the beginning of Freud’s Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria, I believe on page 9, I find it funny that Freud quotes Goethe’s Faust. Though we only read Marlowe’s story of Doctor Faustus, from my understanding Doctor Faustus is a man looking for absolute knowledge (or perhaps absolute power?) and obtains it through the means of unnatural/supernatural entities (hello there, Lucifer and Mephistopheles!). But in the end, he ends up making a fool of himself by playing these stupid little pranks. However, not to say that we can’t learn anything from Doctor Faustus (and when I mean that, I mean if the opprotunity every presents itself, don’t be like him). So, what does that have to do with Dora and Freud? Well, I find that Freud is a mimicry of Faustus in the sense that, sure he may be a clever guy in his own special way, but he ends up looking ridiculous. I think (am I being too harsh?) that the most important thing we can learn from Faustus – I mean Freud (woops, I made a Freudian slip, darn subconscious), is not to follow his example of psychoanalysis. Sure, you can read Dora and roll your eyes in agony or let your jaw drop (and perhaps more than once… Yes, some of his things are that ridiculous!), but Freud is useful is some ways and that is to warn us to not follow his method.