I have been fascinated by images ever since I can remember. How embarrassing for my mother, proudly introducing her three-year-old son to the principal of the school at which she taught only to have the little one say, “You’re a whale.” To this moment, I can see myself seeing this good man as a whale as vividly as the instant it happened. His body and demeanour became a prompt for a waking dream image selected from swarms of inner possibilities, seas of images within. For the little boy, people were not only people. They also were these images and, at times, this led to trouble.
There were many Freuds: the scholar, the academic, the researcher, the neurologist, the founder of the new discipline: psychoanalysis, and Viennese professional. All were noted for their rejection of religion and their identification with prevalent German culture. This was the picture painted by Freud’s principal biographers: Ernest Jones, Peter Gay and Ronald Clark. They agreed that Freud came from an assimilated Jewish background and he was a completely secular intellectual.