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Young Dr. Freud
Theories Analysis Family
Perspectives: Lifestyle
Freud's Vienna home and office, 1938
Freud's Vienna home and office, 1938
(Photograph by Edmund Engelman)
 
In the fall of 1891, Freud was earning just enough money to move to a new apartment in the heart of Vienna. For nearly five decades, this would be his home. Here in the small office adjoining his apartment, he would receive his patients, and do the work that would at last bring him the fame he always believed would be his.

His work took precedence over all else in his household, remembers his granddaughter, Sophie Freud:

SOPHIE FREUD: He was very conventional in his lifestyle. It was a very organized home. The meals were exactly on the hour. He had his mealtime and the household was built around his schedule. There was nothing casual in that family, nothing was ever casual. It was all quite formal. It was a formal society.

He loved a good cigar and smoked more than twenty a day.
Freud was a man of regular habits. He had his mustache and beard trimmed daily by his barber, strolled the boulevard each day, and played cards with the same group of friends every Saturday night. Highly conscious of his image, he was always faultlessly dressed. Above all, he loved a good cigar and smoked more than twenty a day.

 
Freud at home in a suit
Freud at home in a suit
(Freud Museum London)
 

Every summer, Freud fled the heat of Vienna to vacation with his family in the Alps. He loved hiking the mountain trails with his children, gathering the wildflowers and identifying the mushrooms dotting the alpine meadows. Freud and his children enjoyed riding the ferry, especially when the steersmen fired an ancient pistol, sending reverberations echoing from mountain wall to mountain wall. "There was one place he liked best," his son Martin later wrote about a lake high in the Koenigsee.

But his work continued even on vacation. In the end of August, 1899, Freud finished his book in a farmhouse in Berchtesgaden high in the German Alps, looking out on what would one day be the site of the vacation home of Adolph Hitler.

Out of this orderly, bourgeois life would come a break with the past that would create an intellectual revolution.
After his book was published, everything would soon change. Out of this orderly, bourgeois life would come a break with the past that would create an intellectual revolution.

GAY: He has things to say which are extremely subversive. He was a bourgeoisie who made bombs in his living room.

Freud would pour everything he had learned into the book, which would signal a shift in the way men and women imagined their inner lives. He would call his book The Interpretation of Dreams.



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