chapter  14
19 Pages

Freud: Life as a Detourto Death

F r e u d ' s ' O n T r a n s i e n c e ' , w r i t t e n a n d p u b l i s h e d d u r i n g the F i r s t W o r l d

W a r , describes a s u m m e r w a l k , just before the w a r , o n w h i c h F r e u d

was a c c o m p a n i e d by 'a t a c i t u r n f r i e n d a n d . . . a y o u n g but a l ready

f a m o u s poet ' . T h i s poet w a s aff l ic ted w i t h a n ' a c h i n g d e s p o n d e n c y '

at l i fe 's m u t a b i l i t y : e v e r y t h i n g seemed b e y o n d en joyment because o n

the edge o f o b l i v i o n . T h a t the beauty a r o u n d h i m , ' l i k e a l l h u m a n

beauty, a n d a l l the beauty a n d s p l e n d o u r that m e n have created o r

m a y create ' , w a s fated to e x t i n c t i o n meant that it became ' s h o r n o f

its w o r t h by the transience w h i c h w a s its d o o m ' (p. 287).