Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
Throughout history, people have searched for explanations to make sense of their lives. First there was magic and religion, then there was science; and somewhere in between was Freud. Freud's whole edifice was a masterwork of explanation, with sex at its core. He studied his own, often depressed, mind as well as those of his patients, accounting for our actions and troubled thoughts with revolutionary theories such as infant sexuality, sublimation and the Oedipus complex. He believed that if something was not as visible in a patient's personality as it should have been, that was because it was too painful and had to be repressed. His theories shocked, troubled and intrigued people, and ensured Freud a central role in psychology. His work was as much poetry as science: his theories created stories that people could believe in, and these stories had real therapeutic value. He saw psychoanalysis as ministering to the soul (Psyche), our whole essence, not just our mind. Fascinated by archaeology, he was an archaeologist of the unconscious, whom we ignore at our peril. In these pages a great novelist meets a great adventurer of the mind ...and the encounter gives us privileged access into one of the most original and unflinching intellects of the modern age.