Sunday, September 2, 2012

Grandson of Psychoanalysis

You know you've missed something sometime somewhere when you are reading a newspaper of a beloved or at least well-known figure, and there is a steady use of verbs in the past tense. And it's not an obituary--what's going on here...

Such a thing happened to me the other day, when reading about Lucian Freud, the British figure painter known for jarring portraits, obsessively detailed and full of impasto, paradoxically. Included in any  paragraph about the painter, usually set within the first sentence, would be the note that he was Sigmund Freud's grandson. When I wikied him, I didn't feel too weird about his lateness, seeing that he had died only a year ago.

 (It wasn't like others, such as Ed Bradley, 60 minutes newscaster, who had been gone for eons before I found out about it. As an expat I sometimes experience holes of knowledge, being somewhat removed from my culture, even though I am fairly plugged into the world.)

What jarred me, more than missing the younger Freud's death, was reading that he was 88 years old! My word... I had been laboring under the idea that he was part of that younger generation, the rock stars that had reshaped the world--Beatles, David Hockney, that sort--the mod squad. Sure, all of them are getting older, Mick Jaggerish in their leathered skin... but getting up into the late 80s? The upper years, wherein grandmas survive tenaciously? This age seems more fit for Sigmund Freud's son, but his grandson already? Is the father of psychoanalysis so far back there in the grainy era? Are we not still enjoying all the things Freud made possible or informed--Alfred Hitchcock thrillers, cartoons, surrealism, (photoshopping) Sci-Fi B movies... Time is really marching on!

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