Our uphill climb to Freud’s Castle


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Here’s me with my hand on Freud’s knob at the Freud Museum today. The journey to the place was like a chapter from Kafka’s The Castle. We returned from Hampton Court Palace to find the Jubilee underground was off there, so we detoured via another to join up with it at Baker Street only to find the whole line was out of action. We then boarded a bus which conspired to take us in the wrong direction, hopped off it and about turned eventually making it to Finsbury and up the interminable hill
to Freud’s London home. What I hadn’t prepared for when I arrived was the smells of the old books and furnishings, which brought the place alive, that and his collection of Egyptian and ancient cultural artefacts. And the most striking piece in the whole house was a pencil drawing by an artist acquaintance which initially appeared quite severe but the more you looked at it, you became aware of the humanity and compassion in the man. And to see all this, the testament to a genius, residing in leafy suburbia…. It brought me back to the man in whom the ideas of psychoanalysis were born

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One thought on “Our uphill climb to Freud’s Castle

  1. Freud’s house, so what? Even Freud had to have a place to lay his weary psychoanalytical head, I might have thought – for a moment – but my curiosity about the great man encouraged me to read beyond your grueling Finsbury climb. The moment you mentioned the smells of his books and furniture, I stopped in my tracks. Freud was REAL. And I became thoroughly caught in the teeth of your attention-trap by the end of the severe yet compassionate pencil drawing. I find myself wondering now, did you sit in his chair? Did the sense of his presence humble you, his curiosity and intelligence – did it spark a new fervor for growth and exploration in your own soul? Or was there a feeling of old newsprint, dried and yellowed, no longer full of the flush of youth and passion and needing to know and wanting to teach, to reach out and help – or was it a sense of wondering what’s the use anyway? Whatever the feelings that washed over you and comments you made as you walked through the rooms, I’m sure Freud’s ghost was amused to hear your lovely accent and to see the compassion etched upon your severe, Scottish brow.

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