The Freud Scenario
Publication Date: March 12, 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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In 1958, the US director John Huston asked Jean-Paul Sartre to write a scenario for a film about Sigmund Freud. Huston wanted Sartre to concentrate on the conflict-ridden period of Freud’s life when he abandoned hypnosis and invented psychoanalysis. The Freud Scenario, discovered in Sartre’s papers after his death, is the result—a deft portrait of a man engaged in a personal and intellectual struggle that would prove a turning point in twentieth-century thought.
Sartre did not regard this script as a diversion from his larger intellectual project. Freud’s preoccupations with female hysteria and the father relationship touched on major themes in his own work, and Loser Wins, The Family Idiot and Words, some of Sartre’s most celebrated publications, are all in some way derived from his work for Huston.
Written for a Hollywood audience, The Freud Scenario demonstrates that, in addition to a towering intellect, Sartre enjoyed a genuine popular touch. Already widely acclaimed in France, The Freud Scenario stands as a valuable testament to two of the most influential minds in modern history.
Jean-Paul Sartre was a prolific philosopher, novelist, public intellectual, biographer, playwright and founder of the journal Les Temps Modernes. Born in Paris in 1905 and died in 1980, Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964—and turned it down. His books include Nausea, Intimacy, The Flies, No Exit, Sartre’s War Diaries, Critique of Dialectical Reason, and the monumental treatise Being and Nothingness.
Quintin Hoare is the director of the Bosnian Institute and has translated numerous works by Sartre, Antonio Gramsci, and other French authors. He lives in the United Kingdom.
“From the very first scenes we are reminded that Sartre is a playwright. Exposition, dialogue, the meticulous care with which he fleshes out his characters—we are overwhelmed by the author’s mastery.”—Le Nouvel Observateur
“Freud’s therapeutic method has never been dramatized so theatrically or so intelligently as here by Sartre.”—New York Times
“In the best Sartrean vein.”—Figaro
“A document of tremendous importance.”—New French Books