email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
"Are You There Alone?""How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?""My Madness Saved Me"10% Happier365 Days49 Up56 UpA Beautiful MindA Beautiful MindA Beautiful MindA Book of ReasonsA Can of MadnessA Child's Life and Other StoriesA Dangerous LiaisonA Fight to BeA First-Rate MadnessA Good Enough DaughterA Heartbreaking Work of Staggering GeniusA Lethal InheritanceA Lethal InheritanceA Life ShakenA Life Worth LivingA Little PregnantA Message from JakieA Million Little PiecesA Numerate LifeA Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth CenturyA Slant of SunA Special EducationA Tribe ApartAbout FaceAddicted Like MeADHD & MeAEIOUAgainst Medical AdviceAgents in My BrainAileen - Life and Death of a Serial KillerAlgernon, Charlie and IAll Out!All Seasons PassAlphavilleAlways Too Much And Never EnoughAlzheimer'sAn Anthropologist on MarsAn EducationAn Unquiet MindAngela's AshesAngelheadAnna Freud: A BiographyAnnie's GhostsAnother Bullshit Night in Suck CityAnthology of a Crazy LadyApples and OrangesApproaching NeverlandAre You There, Vodka? It's Me, ChelseaAs I Live and BreatheAs Nature Made HimAt Home in the Heart of AppalachiaAt the End of WordsAvalancheBad BoyBad GirlBeautiful BoyBeautiful WreckBecoming AnnaBen Behind His VoicesBequest and BetrayalBereftBertrand RussellBlackoutBlanketsBloodlettingBodies in Motion and at RestBoneBorn on a Blue DayBoyBoy AloneBoyleBrain on FireBreaking ApartBreaking the SilenceBrokenBulimics on BulimiaBuzzCamus and SartreCharles DarwinChasing the HighCheeverCherryCity of OneCluesClumsyComfortComplications Compulsive ActsConfessions of a Cereal EaterConfessions of a Former ChildConfessions of a Grieving ChristianConfessions of the Other MotherConfidingConquering the Beast WithinContesting ChildhoodCrackedCrazyCry Depression, Celebrate RecoveryDamned to EternityDancing at the Shame PromDante's CureDaughter of the Queen of ShebaDavid Sedaris Live at Carnegie HallDays With My FatherDefeating the VoicesDementia Caregivers Share Their StoriesDepression and NarrativeDescartesDetourDevil in the DetailsDiagnosis: SchizophreniaDirty DetailsDirty SecretDivided MindsDivine MadnessDon't Get Too ComfortableDown Came the RainDress Your Family in Corduroy and DenimDrinkingDriving My FatherDrunkardDryEarly Embraces IIIEinsteinEinstein and OppenheimerElectroboyElegy for IrisElijah's CupElliott Smith and the Big NothingElsewhereEnough About YouEpilepticEvery Girl Tells a StoryEverything In Its PlaceExamined LivesExiting NirvanaFaces of Huntington'sFamily BoundFast GirlFearless ConfessionsFind MeFinding Iris ChangFirst Person Accounts of Mental Illness and RecoveryFirst Person PluralFixing My GazeFlanneryFolie a DeuxFor the Love of ItFortress of My YouthFrank Ramsey (1903-1930)Franz KafkaFraudFree RefillsFreudFreudFreudFriedrich NietzscheFrom Joy Division to New OrderFumblingFun HomeFuriously HappyGalileo Get Me Out of HereGirl in Need of a TourniquetGirl Walking BackwardsGirl, InterruptedGirl, InterruptedGirls on the VergeGoing BlindGoing Through Hell Without Help From AboveGraysonGrowing Up JungGuttedHalf a Brain Is EnoughHardcore from the HeartHead CasesHeal & ForgiveHeal & Forgive IIHeavier than HeavenHeinz KohutHeinz KohutHello from Heaven!Hello to All ThatHer HusbandHer Last DeathHigh PriceHole in My LifeHolidays On IceHolidays on IceHope's BoyHouse of Happy EndingsHouse of Happy EndingsHow I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill MeHow to Lose Friends & Alienate PeopleHow to Make Love Like a Porn Starhow to stop timeHumeHunger Makes Me a Modern GirlHurry Down SunshineI Feel Bad About My NeckI Never Promised You a Rose GardenI Remain in DarknessI'd Rather Eat ChocolateI'd Rather LaughIf I Die Before I WakeImagining RobertIn Search of FatimaIn the Realms of the UnrealIn the Wake of SuicideInside TherapyInternInvisible No MoreIt Happened to NancyIt Takes a Worried ManJack Cole and Plastic ManJean-Paul SartreJohn Stuart MillJourneys with the Black DogJust CheckingKafkaKantLa SierraLab GirlLast Flight OutLearning to FallLet Me Make It GoodLife As We Know ItLife InterruptedLife ReimaginedLimboLincoln's MelancholyListening in the Silence, Seeing in the DarkLittle PeopleLive For Your Listening PleasureLive Through ThisLiving in the Shadow of the Freud FamilyLiving With SchizophreniaLiving with SchizophreniaLockeLonelyLong ShotLook Me in the EyeLooking for The StrangerLoose GirlLosing Mum and PupLosing My MindLove Is a Mix TapeLove SickLove Times ThreeLove Works Like ThisLove You, Mean ItLuckyLudwig WittgensteinLyingMad HouseMad PrideMadame ProustMadnessMagical ThinkingMalignant SadnessManicMarcel ProustMarcus AureliusMary BarnesMaverick MindMe Talk Pretty One DayMeaningMelanie KleinMemoirMemoirs of an Addicted BrainMemoirs of My Nervous IllnessMen-ipulationMisconceptionsMiss American PieMockingbird YearsMomma and the Meaning of LifeMommies Who DrinkMonkey MindMore, Now, AgainMortificationMy Age of AnxietyMy Body PoliticMy Brain Tumour AdventuresMy DepressionMy Father's HeartMy First Cousin Once RemovedMy Flesh and BloodMy Horizontal LifeMy Life Among the Serial KillersMy Sister LifeMy Stroke of InsightName All the AnimalsNeural MisfireNietzscheNietzsche: The Man and His PhilosophyNinety DaysNo Hurry to Get HomeNo Impact ManNo More ShavesNo One Cares About Crazy PeopleNolaNotebooks 1951-1959NothingOdd Girl Speaks OutOedipus WreckedOf Spirits & MadnessOn Being RapedOn the Edge of DarknessOn the MoveOne Hour in ParisOne Hundred DaysOphelia SpeaksPagan TimePassing for NormalPeople Who Eat DarknessPerfect ChaosPerfect ExamplePermanent Present TensePersepolisPlanet of the BlindPlaying with FirePlease Don't Kill the FreshmanPoisoned LovePollockPOPismPortraits of Huntington'sPoster ChildProzac DiaryPsychiatrist on the RoadPsychosis in the FamilyPuppy Chow Is Better Than ProzacQuitting the Nairobi TrioRaising BlazeReasons to Stay AliveRebuiltRecovered, Not CuredRelative StrangerRescuing JeffreyRestricted AccessRevengeRewind, Replay, RepeatRichard RortyRiding the Bus With My SisterRobert Lowell, Setting the River on FireRoom For JRosemaryRough MagicRunning After AntelopeRunning with ScissorsScattershotSchizophreniaSchopenhauerSecond OpinionsSectionedSeeing EzraSeeing the CrabSet the Boy FreeSex & Single GirlsSex ObjectShakespeareShe Bets Her LifeShe Got Up Off the CouchShut the DoorSickenedSilencing the VoicesSimone de BeauvoirSinging in the FireSkin GameSlackjawSlut!SmashedSome Assembly RequiredSome Kind of GeniusSometimes Madness Is WisdomSongs from the Black ChairSongs of the Gorilla NationSoren KierkegaardSpeak to MeSpeaking Our Minds: Revised EditionSpecial SiblingsSpentStandbyStick FigureStill LivesStretchSunset StorySurviving OpheliaSwing LowTales from Both Sides of the BrainTales of PsychotherapyTalk to HerTell Me Everything You Don't RememberTellingTelling Tales About DementiaThe Accidental BillionairesThe AddictThe Anatomy of HopeThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe BeastThe Bell JarThe Best Seat in the HouseThe Big FixThe Body SilentThe Boy on the Green BicycleThe Boy Who Loved WindowsThe Buddha & The BorderlineThe Burn JournalsThe Camera My Mother Gave MeThe Cancer Monologue ProjectThe Center Cannot HoldThe Chelsea WhistleThe Churkendoose AnthologyThe Day the Voices StoppedThe Devil WithinThe DisappearanceThe Discomfort ZoneThe Doctor Is InThe Eden ExpressThe Family SilverThe Farm Colonies: Caring for New York City's Mentally Ill In Long Island's State HospitalsThe Fasting GirlThe First Man-Made ManThe First TimeThe Geography of BlissThe Glass CastleThe Good DoctorsThe Hillside Diary and Other WritingsThe Incantations of Daniel JohnstonThe Last AsylumThe Last Good FreudianThe Last Time I Wore a DressThe Liars' ClubThe Lives and Loves of Daisy and Violet HiltonThe Lives They Left BehindThe LobotomistThe Long GoodbyeThe Looked After Kid: Memoirs from a Children's HomeThe Loony-Bin TripThe Madness of Our LivesThe Making of a PhilosopherThe Making of Friedrich NietzscheThe Man Who Couldn't EatThe Man Who Shocked the WorldThe Man Who Tasted ShapesThe Marvelous Hairy GirlsThe Maximum Security Book ClubThe Me in the MirrorThe Memory PalaceThe Mercy PapersThe Mistress's DaughterThe Naked Bird WatcherThe Naked Lady Who Stood on Her HeadThe Night of the GunThe Noonday DemonThe Notebook GirlsThe NursesThe Only Girl in the CarThe Orchid ThiefThe Other HollywoodThe OutsiderThe Philosopher's Autobiography The Philosophical Breakfast ClubThe Philosophical IThe Pits and the PendulumThe Pornographer's GriefThe Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner The Professor and the MadmanThe Psychopath TestThe Quiet RoomThe Red DevilThe Rescue of Belle and SundanceThe Ride TogetherThe Rules of the TunnelThe Secret of LifeThe Shaking Woman or A History of My NervesThe Shared HeartThe Shiniest JewelThe Siren's DanceThe Statistical Life of MeThe Story of My FatherThe Strange Case of Hellish NellThe Summer of a DormouseThe SurrenderThe Talking CureThe Thought that CountsThe Three of UsThe Undoing ProjectThe Vagina MonologuesThe Velveteen FatherThe Winter of Our DisconnectThe Woman Who Walked into the SeaThe Years of Silence are PastThe Yellow HouseThe Yipping TigerThick As ThievesThinThis Close to HappyThomas S. SzaszTiger, TigerTits, Ass, and Real EstateTo Redeem One Person Is to Redeem the WorldTo Walk on EggshellsTransforming MadnessTrue CompassTruth & BeautyTruth Comes in BlowsTuesdays with MorrieTweakTwitch and ShoutUltimate JudgementUndercurrentsUnholy GhostUnlikelyVoices of AlcoholismVoices Of Alzheimer'sVoices of CaregivingVoices of RecoveryVoluntary MadnessWaiting for DaisyWar FareWashing My Life AwayWastedWaveWe're Not MonstersWeather Reports from the Autism FrontWeekends at BellevueWhat Did I Do Last Night?What Goes UpWhat I Learned in Medical SchoolWhat's Normal?When a Crocodile Eats the SunWhen Breath Becomes AirWhen Do I Get My Shoelaces Back?.....When It Gets DarkWhen the Piano StopsWhen You Are Engulfed in FlamesWhere Did It All Go Right?Where is the Mango Princess?Where the Roots Reach for WaterWhile the City SleptWhile They SleptWho Was Jacques Derrida?Why I Left, Why I StayedWhy I'm Like ThisWildWill's ChoiceWinnicottWinnieWish I Could Be ThereWith Their EyesWomen Living with Self-InjuryWomen, Body, IllnessWrestling with the AngelYou Must Be DreamingYour Voice in My HeadZeldaZor
In the history of psychiatry, no other schizophrenic has been investigated as thoroughly as Daniel Paul Schreber (1842-1911). Countless distinguished commentators have tried to find the key to understanding his Memoirs ever since they were first published in 1903. Schreber is endlessly interesting both by the stunning way in which he articulates his own insanity, and by the wealth of interpretations to which his Memoirs have given rise.
Schreber's father Moritz Schreber was famous for his many books on health, medical gymnastics and education. Schreber Jnr had his first mental breakdown at the age of 42, after a Quixotic and unsuccessful candidacy for the Reichstag. Fifteen months later he had recovered sufficiently to resume his brilliant legal career. His second mental breakdown followed in 1893 at age 51, shortly after he was appointed presiding judge (Senatspräsident) of the Saxon supreme court. For help he turned to Paul Flechsig, the psychiatrist who had treated him after his first breakdown. Schreber was at first admitted to Flechsig's psychiatric hospital as a voluntary patient, but eventually placed under tutelage, so that his stay became involuntary. The Memoirs were intended partly to make his behavior and world-view comprehensible to his wife and family, and partly to aid his attempts to have his tutelage rescinded. (In an appendix, Schreber gives a masterly legal analysis of the involuntary detention of those considered insane). His counsel having lost the initial case, he decided to handle his appeal himself. Despite the debilitating fact that Schreber was still labeled "insane" by the institutionalized psychiatry of the day, the court was able to see the cogency of his arguments, and thereby accept his claim that his delusions did not render him irrational or unfit to manage his daily affairs. Until recently, most of his commentators were not as generous; they invariably ignored his legal appendix as well as his struggle to regain his liberty. Having won his appeal case, Schreber was discharged from the asylum in 1902. He did not enjoy his liberty for long; after his wife suffered a stroke in 1907, he had a relapse and was again institutionalized until his death in 1911.
However, the bulk of the Memoirs is concerned not with these legal matters, but with Schreber's cataclysmic vision of the universe as revealed to him during his nervous illness. In this universe, Schreber takes center stage. "Everything that happens is in reference to me". (233) Apart from Schreber, no real human beings remain, their place taken by simulacra - "fleetingly-improvised-men". Schreber has obtained more insight (though still incomplete) into the hidden nature of reality than any human being before him. This is part of the reason he pens these Great thoughts of a nervous patient (Lothane's alternative translation of Schreber's title).
There is a crisis in God's realms, because God's attempt at committing soul murder on Schreber is contrary to the Order of the World (and thus also doomed to failure). In typical paranoid fashion, Schreber is the never-ending subject of observation and persecution; he is plagued by voices repeating inane phrases. He is the constant witness or victim of "miracles"-supernatural events designed to ruin him. His life, bodily integrity, manliness and reason are under incessant attack from heavenly quarters. Through these attacks God attempts to stop the fatal attraction Schreber exercises on him - fatal because the rays out of which God consists lose their separate existence once they have been attracted into Schreber's body. This irresistible attraction occurs whenever and for as long as Schreber imagines himself to be a woman in the throes of "voluptuosity".
The fate of the cosmos does not lie in God's hands as much as in Schreber's. Physically, Schreber is gradually being transformed into a woman-a process that may take centuries. Only when this process is complete, will salvation come. Inseminated by God, Schreber will then give birth to a new race of men.
Throughout, Schreber presents us with a God who strikes us as thoroughly irrational. God is the laughing stock of his victims; he does not learn from experience; he "did not really understand the living human being ... because ... he dealt only with corpses" (162). But only Schreber may scoff at God, because God in other respects shows eternal wisdom and goodness.
This summary does little justice to the intricacies of Schreber's Baroque vision. His psychiatrist Flechsig shatters into legion Flechsig souls. God is split into an upper and lower God, and also into the posterior and the anterior realms of God. A myriad chattering souls throng around him.
Schreber's vision is invariably bizarre, often beautiful in a surrealist way, mostly painful-and intermittently comical. (Perhaps not even inadvertently so-one of the big questions facing the reader is the extent to which Schreber may be a conscious ironist). It evokes a huge loneliness and a huge loss-the loss of all meaningful human relationships and the recognition they entailed. The megalomania of this vision seems to be a compensation for Schreber's losses. The greater the loss of real recognition, the more grandiose the role in the fantasized cosmic order required to counterbalance it-something Dinnage's Introduction brings out well.
Nobody will be able to read Schreber's Memoirs without asking what on earth the meaning of all this can be. And there is no lack of authors willing to supply an answer. If reading Schreber is in itself fascinating, a second, equally fascinating journey begins when one starts reading his commentators. Among those who have shone their spotlight on Schreber are such luminaries as Jung, Bleuler, Freud, Jaspers, Kraepelin, Klein and Lacan. In this review I will however focus on a few recent commentators.
The more one reads about Schreber, the more one realizes how much one has previously taken for granted. Retrospectively, one marvels at the ease with which one made assumptions about the case (and "madness" in general), and at the apparently obvious questions one failed to ask.
Most of those writing on Schreber are engaged in a debate with Freud's epoch-making interpretation of the case. Freud reads Schreber as an exemplary case of persecutory paranoia. Persecutory delusions, Freud thinks, can be traced back to repressed homosexual wishes. After repression the subject no longer perceives the previously desired person as a love object, but as a feared persecutor. The Schreber case instantiates this general structure. His breakdown derives from a fixation at an infantile (narcissistic, to be precise) stage of development.
In the fifties the psychoanalyst William Niederland revolutionized Schreber studies by tracing Schreber's delusions back to the sadistic treatment he had allegedly undergone at the hand of his father. According to Niederland, Schreber senior had applied to his son Daniel Paul the various infernal devices he had invented for correcting unwanted postures and behaviors in children; given one of Schreber's delusions, Niederland would typically read it as a distorted representation of one or more of these machines. Again a key to unlocking the mysteries of the case seemed to have been found.
In his 1981 dissertation the Dutch historian Han Israëls defended the Schrebers, father and son, against what he perceived as the calumnies of Freud, and Niederland. The son was not queer, and the father not a sadist. Israëls' work is just one of the many strands Zvi Lothane utilizes in his book In defense of Schreber: Soul murder and psychiatry -to me the most comprehensive and convincing psychoanalytic reading of Schreber. If I had to recommend a single book on Schreber this would be it, despite its length and price. Lothane, a New York psychoanalyst, supplies a rich context for reading the Memoirs and the main commentaries on it. He rereads the case from the perspective of recent psychoanalytic theory, gives a critical survey of the secondary literature and adds a wealth of new historical material on Schreber, his father, mother and brother, and, crucially, his psychiatrists. He doubts that Schreber was schizophrenic. Lothane more or less confirms Israëls's exoneration of Schreber's father, seeing little reason to believe that Daniel was actually subjected to Moritz's orthopedic devices to any major extent. Lothane chides Freud for misreading Schreber's transsexual fantasy (being turned into a woman who will be inseminated by God) as a homosexual fantasy (having same sex intercourse with God). What Freud traces back to Schreber's sexual deprivation, Lothane traces to his loss of love. But above all Lothane shows up the neglect-retrospectively almost a willful neglect-by Freud and most other commentators of the effects on Schreber of his involuntary detention, and the lack of therapeutic interventions on the part of the asylums and psychiatrists he was delivered over to. His first psychiatrist, Paul Flechsig, had a purely mechanistic, organic conception of psychiatry-in fact, he was the local standard bearer for this new approach, so different from the old moral approach still espoused by Schreber senior. Treating the patient as a disturbed organism rather than as a person in distress was part and parcel of this view. In fact, like some evil scientist from a horror movie, Flechsig interviewed Schreber against the reassuring backdrop of jars containing the brains of deceased former patients in formaldehyde! Guido Weber, Schreber's second psychiatrist, was not much better.
Lothane made me empathize with Schreber: how would I have felt in this situation? At one level, Lothane argues, Schreber's story needs no decoding; it is simply the story of freedom lost and regained. He surmises that a talking therapy and a more humane regime could have made a big difference for Schreber, whose system of delusions was only elaborated during, and probably in response to, his prolonged detention.
Two other books on Schreber deserve special mention, Louis Sass's brilliant The paradoxes of delusion, and Eric Santner's My own private Germany: Daniel Paul Schreber's secret history of modernity.
Louis Sass, a psychiatrist teaching at Rutgers University, gives a radically original reading of the case. He does not à la Lothane compare Schreber to the standard view of schizophrenia, and then deny that he was a schizophrenic. Instead, he challenges the standard psychiatric view that the schizophrenic experiences her delusions as possessing the same reality as the everyday world. Citing Jaspers, he emphasizes that to the schizophrenic her "delusions", though very real and very important, do not belong to the everyday reality shared with others. (Schreber himself tells the court that his unconventional ideas do not lead him to any actions that clash with the "normal" view of reality, except for his harmless habit of sometimes standing in front of the mirror in female attire-hardly grounds for depriving a man of his liberty). Moreover, Sass challenges the view that schizophrenia represents a regression to a more "primitive" level, both in time and in level of organization. Instead, he draws out a fascinating parallel between Schreber's world-view and the philosophical position known as "solipsism". Solipsism claims that there is no proof for the reality of the external world and the other people apparently inhabiting it. For all I know, reality does not extend beyond the limits of my consciousness. Sass sees Schreber's world of "fleetingly-improvised-men" as essentially that of solipsism. As with the philosophers, Schreber's solipsism results when the "higher" intellectual functions go into overdrive, rather than when they are disabled in favor of more primitive modes of mental functioning. Because the philosophy of Wittgenstein is precisely a battle against the temptations of solipsism, it can throw light on where Schreber goes wrong, and why.
In Crowds and power (1962) the German novelist and essayist Elias Canetti had read Schreber as a proto-fascist. He claimed that the outlines of German National Socialism could already be seen in the Memoirs-especially the image of Schreber as the only living being left after the (that is: his) destruction of the world. In My own private Germany Eric Santner, who teaches German literature at Princeton University, also links Schreber to the Nazis, but now in the negative. Schreber and the Nazis reacted to the same stresses of modernity, but with a totally different outcome. Schreber's delusions represent a creative and socially benign attempt to come to term with these stresses; Nazism a lethal one. The stresses in question center on what Santner calls "the crisis of investiture". Every society has procedures and rituals whereby certain individuals become invested with authority. In pre-modern Germany, these were generally successful, so that those in a position of authority experienced themselves as legitimate. But the advent of modernity led to a breakdown in these procedures and rituals. That is why Senatspräsident Schreber is catapulted into a crisis when he attains a position of authority: the old rituals no longer succeed in making people like him feel that they are real authorities.
"The crisis of investiture" is a fascinating and useful notion. But can it carry the explanatory burden Santner wants it to? Despite the enthusiasm of several distinguished reviewers of this book, its central thesis does not quite convince me. On the other hand, this hardly makes Santner's book less interesting. He for instance informs us that "Luder" (wretch, scoundrel, slut), the term with which God addresses Schreber at one point, was the original form of Martin Luther's name; and that the discoveries on which Flechsig's reputation rested were made on an infant named...Martin Luther!
With my brief, necessarily caricatured account of Schreber and some of his commentators I wish to suggest that in cases like these no single, simple, deeply convincing interpretation is likely to be forthcoming. On the one hand different readings seem to suggest bits of a larger truth-very many of them seem to be "onto something valid". On the other, it is unlikely that they can be synthesized into a single coherent account. While they seem to supplement each other to some extent, they also contradict each other, often fundamentally. The Schreber case thereby becomes a fascinating example of the nature of interpretation and the conflict between interpretations.
The design and typography of this edition of Schreber's Memoirs are a real pleasure. Rosemary Dinnage's Introduction (new to this edition) is very good at setting the stage for the Memoirs and at conveying their tone and mood, without being too academic for the general reader. For those who want to consult the secondary literature as well, this edition has some drawbacks. Unlike the original 1955 edition and its later reprints, the page numbers of the original German edition are not supplied in the margins. Moreover, because the new typography has led to a change in page numbers, existing references to previous editions of the English translation are of little use. I suggest that readers interested in pursuing the secondary literature get hold of a used copy of a previous edition (which is a cinch, using the Internet). And for those who want to consult the German original, I suggest getting a copy of the out of print Ullstein edition, rather than the atrocious recent one by Kadmos, which does not give the original page numbers, and worse still, has simply omitted the-crucial-legal appendix and addenda. Inexcusably in this day of electronic word processing, both the latest editions of the Memoirs, the English and the German one, lack an index. These editions therefore do not cater for the needs of those who will want to study Schreber's Memoirs closely, and read it in conjunction with the secondary literature. Let us hope that the day is not far when we will have a CD-ROM containing both the English and the German texts, cross-referenced to the various editions that are available.
Andries Gouws teaches philosophy at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa. His Master's thesis and doctoral dissertation both dealt with Freud and philosophy. He is currently completing a book on Freud's theory of sexuality, and has previously published on welfare policy, literary theory and postmodernism. Before studying philosophy in the Netherlands, he attended various art schools in South Africa and Europe. He recently had his first one-man show as a painter.