Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"First the Nobel? Now, the Oscars?"

We know that Freud had a Nobel Prize complex.  In his writings, Freud referred, on several different occasions, to his disappointment after learning that he had been passed over for the Prize:

"'Definitively passed over for Nobel Prize,' the seventy-four-year-old founder of psychoanalysis grumbled in his Chronik, his private diary, in November 1930. It wasn't the first time his life's work had been passed over for recognition by the international scientific and medical communities—or the first time he'd complained about it. As early as 1917, when he was nominated by a previous winner, Freud had been fervently hoping for a Nobel in physiology. But it wasn't to be. 'No Nobel Prize 1917,' he wrote on April 25 of that year. He was still sufficiently preoccupied with the Nobel the following year to make note of it once again as the Europe he knew disintegrated around him. The Chronik entry for October 30, 1918: 'Revolution Vienna and Budapest.' For November 3: 'Armistice with Italy. War over!' For November 4: 'Nobel Prize set aside.'"

In 2011 the movie A Dangerous Method was released.  Set on the eve of World War I, A Dangerous Method is based on the turbulent relationships between Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology, Sigmund Freud, founder of the discipline of psychoanalysis, and Sabina Spielrein, initially a patient of Jung and later a physician and one of the first female psychoanalysts.

There had been some Oscar buzz surrounding the film, which stars Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortenson, Keira Knighthtly, and Vincent Casell. The screenplay was adapted by Academy Award-winning writer Christopher Hampton from his 2002 stage play The Talking Cure, which was based on the 1993 non-fiction book by John Kerr, A Most Dangerous Method: the story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein.

Well, the Oscar nominations were announced today.  And A Dangerous Method was passed over.  I can just hear Freud saying, "First, the Nobel -- and now the Oscars?"