Wednesday, February 08, 2012

GW Psychiatric Treatment -- Letter to Dr. Pitts

TO:        Suzanne M. Pitts, MD
FROM:  Gary Freedman
DATE:    November 16, 1993
RE:         Waltzing Mathilde

This will direct your attention to the fact that James Joyce's novel Finnegans Wake contains a reference to Mathilde Wesendonk and her "Carter."

It may well be that my association of Robert Strauss and Mathilde Wesendonk is not idiosyncratic, but culturally patterned. If the latter is true, the meaning of the association lies in normative competence and is not limited to the sphere of privileged competence.


Gary Freedman said...

In psychotherapy I seemed to associate Mathilde Wesendonk (Wagner's mistress) with Robert Strauss. Wagner and his wife Minna lived on the estate of the wealthy couple, Otto and Mathilde Wesendonk. When Wagner's and Mathilde's relationship was discovered -- the Wagners were thrown out. -- Just as I was thrown out of Akin Gump.

Robert Strauss held a position in the Carter Administration.

Incidentally, when I was a boy my parents had an old 45 RPM recording of the song "Waltzing Mathilde."

The song is played prominently in the movie On the Beach, which takes place in Australia.

Gary Freedman said...

Johann Strauss is known as the Waltz King.