Thursday, June 15, 2006

a note to the reader

"While locked in my wee carrel at the university library for the better part of the sixties and seventies, I wrote my Ph.D. thesis on the subject of Darwin's influence on Freud. (I've never been one for small projects). As I whiled away the hours in my windowless cubbyhole, Charles Darwin and Sigmun Freud became increasingly interesting to me both on theoretical and personal level. Freud wrote over twenty volumes, not including letters, and Darwin wrote far more. Naturally, as I read them, the personalities of the men developed and became more complex and occasionally contradictory. I began to notice inconsistencies, not in the theories, but in the motivations behind them. Ideas were suddenly changed -- What did make Freud give up his seduction theory? Did he think he was wrong? Were there personal reasons? Or had the theory simply evolved? Darwin wrote about sexuality late in his life, but he'd had all of his evidence for years. Why did he wait? Clearly both men were involved in their own PR -- aren't we all?"

from "A Note to the Reader" in Catherine Gildiner's Seduction, (Vintage Canada 2005)

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