‘Freud and the Political’ by Mladen Dolar

Paper by Dr. Mladen Dolar, as published in Theory & Event, Johns Hopkins University Press, Volume 12, Issue 3, 2009. DOI: 10.1353/tae.0.0085


. . . And, coming from Slovenia, I cannot resist picking out one anecdote, I suppose the most spectacular of all, of an event that happened during Freud’s one brief visit to Slovenia. At Easter holidays in 1898, Freud visited Italy with his brother Alexander, and, on the way back, they stopped at the famous caves of Škocjan, in Slovenia (which are now actually a UNESCO heritage site). He gives his account in a letter to Wilhelm Fliess (14 April 1898), describing “a subterranean river running through magnificent vaults, with waterfalls and stalactites and pitch darkness . . . It was Tartarus itself. If Dante saw anything like this, he needed no great effort of the imagination for his Inferno.” And whom did Freud meet at the bottom of this Tartarus, in the last circle of this Inferno? “The ruler of Vienna, Herr Dr. Karl Lueger,” who happened to be visiting the cave at the same time. . .

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