ARTICLE: Alpine Psyche - Freud in the Mountains

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Matthew Shipton explores how Freud's journeys through mountainous landscapes may have shaped his thinking and psychoanalytical theories, including his topographical model of the mind.

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 lorens holm 15 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

What a great paper! Thank you so much. I am very interested in the role of the psyche and our attachment to landscape. The word -scape is etymologically related to the binding of a book and the stalk of a feather. So landscape is land that we are already bound to. About Freud, I had no idea that his biography was so closely tied to mountains. One of his key theoretic engagements with the land (that I am aware of) is his account of forgetting Signorelli in the text on everyday life. He drew that diagram of forgetting Signorelli in which the unconscious is mapped onto the landscape of northern Italy and Bosnia Herzegovina, including Trafoi, as if it were a surface.

Lorens Holm

 Matt Shipton 16 Mar 2022
In reply to lorens holm:

Thanks, Lorens! There's so much that can be (and has been) said about landscapes. One of my favourite quotes is from John Berger, who wrote: "Perspective is not a science but a hope. Traditional Chinese art looked at the earth from a Confucian mountain top; Japanese art looked closely around screens; Italian Renaissance art surveyed conquered nature through the window or door-frame of a palace. For the Cro-Magnons space is a metaphysical arena of continually intermittent appearances and disappearances.” In this sense, you could say that Freud projected his hopes for psychoanalysis onto the terrain through which he moved and mountains, like the unconscious or memory, can be treacherous. 

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