‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle and Other Writings’ by Sigmund Freud

Published by Penguin Books in January 2003

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In Freud’s view we are driven by the desire for pleasure, as well as by the desire to avoid pain. But the pursuit of pleasure has never been a simple thing. Pleasure can be a form of fear, a form of memory and a way of avoiding reality. Above all, as these essays show with remarkable eloquence, pleasure is a way in which we repeat ourselves.

The essays collected in this volume explore, in Freud’s uniquely subtle and accessible style, the puzzles of pleasure and morality and the enigmas of human development.


CONTENTS:

  • On the Introduction of Narcissism
  • Remembering, Repeating and Working Through
  • Beyond the Pleasure Principle
  • The Ego and the Id
  • Inhibition, Symptom and Fear

Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in Moravia; from 1860 until Hitler’s invasion of Austria in 1938 he lived in Vienna. He was then forced to seek asylum in London, where he died the following year. He began his career as a doctor, specialising in work on the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. He was almost thirty when his interests first turned to psychology, and during ten years of clinical work in Vienna he developed the practice of what he called ‘psychoanalysis’. This began simply as a method of treating neurotic patients by investigating their minds, but it quickly grew into an investigation of the workings of the mind in general, both ill or healthy. Freud demonstrated the normal development of the sexual instinct in childhood and, largely on the basis of an examination of dreams, arrived at his fundamental discovery of the unconscious forces that influence our everyday thoughts and actions. Freud’s ideas have shaped not only many specialist disciplines, but have also influenced the entire intellectual climate of the last century.

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