Das Unbehagen in der Kultur

Sigmund FREUD

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Item#: 125218 price:$22,500.00

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"THE HOSTILITY OF EACH AGAINST ALL AND OF ALL AGAINST EACH": FIRST EDITION OF FREUD'S CLASSIC CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS, PRESENTATION/ASSOCIATION COPY INSCRIBED BY FREUD TO FAMOUS AUSTRIAN NOVELIST ARTHUR SCHNITZLER, WHOM FREUD REGARDED AS "MY DOPPELGANGER"

FREUD, Sigmund. Das Unbehagen in der Kultur [Civilization and Its Discontents]. Wien: Internationaler Psychoanalytischer, 1930. Octavo, original yellow cloth. $22,500.

First edition, in cloth, of Freud's "most ambitious, and influential" work, inscribed by Freud to the famous Austrian novelist and dramatist Arthur Schnitzler on the front free endpaper: "mit freundfasse grüss, der verf[asser]" (with kind regards of the author). In a 1922 letter to Schnitzler, Freud wrote that he considered Schnitzler his "doppelganger," noting "the impression has been borne in on me that you know through intuition… everything that I have discovered in other people by laborious work."

"Man's natural aggressive instinct," writes Freud, "the hostility of each against all and of all against each, opposes this program of civilization." Published toward the end of his life, before he was driven from his Vienna home by the Nazis, and partly inspired by Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals (1887), Freud's "late—and still best known—essay Das Unbehagen in der Kulture (Civilization and Its Discontents) notes that the human animal, with its insatiable needs, must always remain an enemy to organized society" (Peter Gay). This classic work remains "Freud's most ambitious, and influential, cultural writing" (Stanford, 1991:61), offering a profound meditation on "the two opposing forces of civilization: Eros (Love), which promotes the unity of mankind, and the death instinct, which leads to aggression and destruction" (Norman F134).

"Freud had, from 1906 onward, occasionally corresponded with the famous writer Arthur Schnitzler. Strangely enough they had never met, although they moved in similar circles… Despite his remarkable psychological intuition and also his admiration for Freud's writings, Schnitzler would never admit to agreeing with Freud's main conclusions… he could not overcome his objection to the ideas of incest and infantile sexuality" (Jones, Life and Work of Sigmund Freud, III:84). In a 1922 letter to Schnitzler, an admiring Freud wrote: "I have plagued myself over the question how it comes about that in all these years I have never sought your company and enjoyed a conversation with you… The answer is this much too intimate confession. I think I have avoided you from a kind of awe of meeting my 'double' [doppelgängerscheu]… Your determinism and your skepticism—what people call pessimism—your deep grasp of the truths of the unconscious and of the biological nature of man, the way you take to pieces the social conventions of our society, and the extent to which your thoughts are preoccupied with the polarity of love and death [a concept Freud explores in depth in the present work]; all that moves me with an uncanny feeling of familiarity. So the impression has been borne in on me that you know through intuition—really from a delicate self-observation—everything that I have discovered in other people by laborious work. Indeed I believe that fundamentally you are an explorer of the depths, as honestly impartial and unperturbed as ever anyone was…" (Jones, 443-44). Text in German. Published the same year as an edition in wrappers, no priority established. No dust jacket noted in the bibliographies or in the trade. Grinstein 233a. See PMM 389.

Interior clean, a touch of soiling to cloth, spine lettering gently rubbed. Near-fine condition, very scarce and desirable inscribed with such an excellent association.

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