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Sigmund Freud. Mental Healers
Print Edition
ISBN
978-619-02-0920-1
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5 3
Language
Bulgarian
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Paperback
Size
12/20
Pages
144
Published
22 October 2021

Sigmund Freud. Mental Healers

"Health is natural; sickness is unnatural: at least so it seems to man," is how Stefan Zweig begins his fascinating, often entertaining examinations of Franz Anton Mesmer, Mary Baker Eddy, and Sigmund Freud. "Bodily suffering is not assuaged by technical manipulation but through an act of faith."

Mental Healers is dedicated to Albert Einstein, the scientist who had won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921. It first appeared in 1931 as Die Heilung durch den Geist, or Healing Through the Spirit, a title that anticipates our current interest in alternative medicine and the placebo effect.

Zweig's first healer, Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), was a German physician who introduced "animal magnetism" to the world. Viewed by many as a charlatan, he died an outcast before he could properly understand and explain his discovery.

Zweig's second healer, Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910), was a New England matron who found her vocation only in middle age. She established Christian Science, an American Protestant system of religious practice that rejects medical intervention, when she was almost 60.

Zweig's third healer, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), was the Viennese Jewish physician who founded psychoanalysis. Zweig, who knew Freud and delivered a eulogy at his funeral, describes Freud's then-new ideas with the insight of an artist who lived in the same time and place.

Fluently written and psychologically astute, Mental Healers is compelling cultural history and a valuable window onto the genesis of new ideas in healing.

"Mesmer, Eddy and Freud were critical figures alerting the modern world to the influences of the mental and emotional on health and illness. Their impact was tremendous and Zweig's classic study provides a wonderful opportunity to engage with these significant innovators." - Ted Kaptchuk, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

About the Author
Stefan  Zweig

Born in Vienna, Zweig was the son of Moritz Zweig, a wealthy Jewish textile manufacturer, and Ida (Brettauer) Zweig, the daughter of an Italian banking family. He studied philosophy and the history of literature, and in Vienna he was associated with the avant garde Young Vienna movement. Jewish religion did not play a central role in his education. "My mother and father were Jewish only through accident of birth," Zweig said later in an interview. Although his essays were published in the Neue Freie Presse, whose literary editor was the Zionist leader Theodor Herzl, Zweig was not attracted to Herzl's Jewish nationalism.

During the First World War he took a pacifist stand together with Romain Rolland from Switzerland, summoning intellectuals from all the world to join them in active pacifism, which actually led to Romain Rolland being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Zweig remained pacifist all his life but also advocated the unification of Europe before the Nazis came, which has had some influence in the making of the EU.

Like Rolland, he wrote many biographies but considered the one on Erasmus Rotterdamus his most important one, which he described as a concealed autobiography.

Zweig fled Austria in 1934 following Hitler's rise to power. He was famously defended by the composer Richard Strauss who refused to remove Zweig's name (as librettist) from the posters for the premiere, in Dresden, of his opera Die schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman). This led to Hitler refusing to come to the premiere as planned; the opera was banned after three performances.

Zweig then lived in England (in Bath and London), before moving to the United States. In 1941 he went to Brazil, where in 1942 he and his second wife Lotte (née Charlotte Elisabeth Altmann) committed suicide together in Petrópolis using the barbiturate Veronal, despairing at the future of Europe and its culture. "I think it is better to conclude in good time and in erect bearing a life in which intellectual labour meant the purest joy and personal freedom the highest good on earth," he wrote. His autobiography The World of Yesterday is a paean to the European culture he considered lost.

Print Edition
Print Edition
ISBN
978-619-02-0920-1
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Price
12.46 lv.
(14.00 lv.)

* 11% online discount
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