The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf
eyeteeth

That Dr. Freeman



How much do I love Walter's book The Psychiatrist? He just cannot not talk about himself, even when writing biographies of other people. Perhaps especially when writing biographies of other people, because talking so much about others galls him and makes the need to assert his own importance more urgent. This anecdote appears in a footnote to the chapter on Ivan Pavlov, and I love it, in part because the woman's response is witty, but more because it's a good summary of Walter's attitude toward his public (by which I mean other people, because everyone, as we know, was Walter's public as far as he was concerned, there for the purpose of paying attention to him). Being the notorious that Dr. Freeman was to Walter a perfectly acceptable, even delightful, subset of being simply the Dr. Freeman. As long as he was being noticed, he didn't much care how.

While looking for something else I found this delightful article from 1999: "Portrayal of Lobotomy in the Popular Press: 1935-1960." It even has graphs, like this one, "Correlation between the number of benefits from lobotomy listed per article and year of publication":



See? In the early forties people thought lobotomy was awesome! Sometimes I imagine myself in maybe fifty years, on one of those haunted-asylum tours: "And antidepressant medication was prescribed in this very room!" And I'll shake my cane and say, "Well we didn't have intercranial humoric rebalancing then! We had to make do with what was available!"
Tags: medication, stix, walter freeman
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