Eating Pavlova

Eating Pavlova

by D. M. Thomas
     
 

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A fascinating foray into the most influential mind of the 20th century, D.M. Thomas plunges into the last morphine-clouded days of Sigmund Freud's life--where his devoted daughter Anna tends to him, trying to understand her icon's demise as he drifts through the final layers of his own consciousness.

Overview

A fascinating foray into the most influential mind of the 20th century, D.M. Thomas plunges into the last morphine-clouded days of Sigmund Freud's life--where his devoted daughter Anna tends to him, trying to understand her icon's demise as he drifts through the final layers of his own consciousness.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Thomas, whose best-known if not best book remains The White Hotel, is his haunted, obsessive self in this tour de force that combines two of his passionate interests: the dark corners of psychiatry and the ironies of history. He imagines Sigmund Freud as he lies dying in London just before WWII, tenderly nursed by daughter Anna. A tumble of reminiscences, dreams and regrets fills Freud's mind as he recalls his wife, her sister, Freiberg, Vienna and such towering figures in his life as Fleiss and Jung. Fragments of his diary may or may not be true-they may in fact be designed to mislead the faithful Anna about difficult passages of his life. He imagines scenes as they might be fictionalized, showing himself alternately priapic, jealous, remote, complaisant. After a concluding series of dreams, Thomas slyly offers Freud's unconcerned, cut-and-dried interpretations, whereas the reader can see the dreams for the prescient visions they are of the Holocaust, the nuclear bomb, the postwar world. It is a brilliant performance, but unlike such more strongly felt recent Thomas novels as Pictures at an Exhibition and Flying in to Love, it seems no more than just that. (Oct.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
What ought to be an intriguing glimpse into the amazing mind of Sigmund Freud is instead a rather tedious tale of Freud's deathbed delusions under the influence of morphine. This, his purported memoir, wanders through memories, hallucinations, lies, dreams, sexual fantasies, and sexual recollections involving his parents, wife, daughter Anna, patients, and colleagues. Even after his death in 1939, Freud continues to observe and reflect on the world around him. Or is the observer Anna, also an analyst, who identified so strongly with her father? Thomas's technique of teasing the reader with the truth about identity and memory, so effective in Pictures at an Exhibition (LJ 10/15/93), never catches fire here. The touches of humor toward the end, as Freud/Anna tries to understand the contemporary world, are engaging. But accounts of sexual activity are unintentionally humorous, portraying Freud as slightly ridiculous. A disappointing effort from a major talent. Recommended for literary collections.-Patricia Ross, Westerville P.L., Ohio

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786702701
Publisher:
Westview Press
Publication date:
10/28/1995
Pages:
231
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.64(d)

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