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Freud and Freudian Slips

“The conscious mind may be compared to a fountain playing in the sun and fall back into the great subterranean pool of the subconscious from which it rises.”
(Sigmund Freud)

How will you ever live this down? You honestly meant to say one thing and blurted out something embarrassingly different. Something you would have never said in your wildest dreams. And deep down you have to admit that your little faux pas was exactly what you were really thinking. But to publicly say such a thing? And you only had one sip of the Vetliner. Truly!

Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions. Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men’s actions.” (Sigmund Freud)

Freud's Couch

Freud’s Couch

Silence spreads through the room faster than a super virus. All faces land on you. Their eyes flash expectancy mixed with Schadenfreude and a slight tinge of pity. After all, they were all thinking the exact same thing that you oh so audaciously blurted out! Unglaublich! Who will utter the witty remark to save you? The large gentleman in the cheap suit with the red nose and striped button down shirt two sizes too small?

“What in the world ever possessed me to say such a thing, Herr Dr. Freud?” You ask curled up in the Berggasse 19 in Vienna’s 9th district on his cozy divan looking out onto the shady quiet courtyard.

First you had run to his favorite hang out, Café Landtmann , but the Oberkellner Johann informed you that the Herr Dr. doesn’t usually arrive until later. So you dodged the trams around the Ring, by-passed the university, onward past the Votiv Cathedral, and then turned down the Berggasse where a carriage almost ended your misery until finally, out of breath with reddened cheeks and an anxious disposition, reached his house and office. You rang the bell, rushed up the beautifully tiled Jugendstil stairs and then pressed the buzzer of the first floor apartment.

“Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” (S. Freud)

“What’s wrong with me, Herr Doktor?” you ask.

Nichts, mein Kind,” he explains. “You are perfectly normal.”

Freud Postcard and Musings

Freud Postcard in which he writes his regret that he hadn’t invented something useful like toilet paper and that it was too late to change careers

He reveals the secrets of the little devil residing in your subconscious. That rascal finally managed to get the upper hand at the most inopportune moment and blurt out what you were really thinking but knew, deep down inside, you could never, would never, say, wish, or openly believe. Oh but that little devil of yours couldn’t resist a little fun. Splash some life into another yawn-invoking Viennese Jour fixe soiree. ‘Not another evening of society socializing and trying to out intellectualize one another!’ That little devil inside of you thought and he really made you pay.

Austrian medical doctor, Sigmund Freud, knows what he’s telling you.

Sigmund Freud's reading glasses and fountain pen.

Sigmund Freud’s reading glasses and fountain pen.

He wondered about the exact same kind of things over a hundred years ago and in 1901 published a book about it entitled The Psychopathology of Everyday Life. And his theories on the subconscious and repression have since become so widely acclaimed that Freud is now known as the Father of Psychoanalysis (the ultimate “lay on the couch and tell me what you’re thinking” guy) and what you did at that party is now called a Freudian slip.

“Everywhere I go, I find that a poet has been there before me.” (S. Freud)

A Freudian Slip when your subconscious (the thinking going on that you are not aware of but is still taking place under the surface) takes the steering wheel of your actions (speaking, writing) and shows the world in big bold letters what you are really thinking but don’t want to admit –publicly and to yourself. Those slips occur when you are repressing often times unacceptable thoughts, beliefs or wishes, keeping them at bay from conscious awareness. But no worries, you are not alone. Some studies show that slips occur twice every 1000 words and in conversations, people slip up between 7 and 22 times each day.

“Properly speaking, the unconscious is the real psychic; its inner nature is just as unknown to us as the reality of the external world, and it is just as imperfectly reported to us through the data of consciousness as is the external world through the indications of our sensory organs.”
(
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams)

Freud Waiting Room

Freud Waiting Room

Famous Freudian Slips:

In 2012, David Cameron meant to tell the House of Commons they were raising more money for the poor when he responded to a question about tax cuts for the wealthy. Instead he said, “We are raising more money for the rich.”

Former US President George Bush, when talking about growing up in Midland, Texas, said: “It was just inebriating what Midland was all about then.” Yep. That’s how it seems if the bottles stack up.

Prince William, in a speech referring to the US news channel CBS meant to call the channel “the Duke of Cambridge” but instead referred to it as, “the douche of Cambridge.”

Freud Photos - cigar and family

Freud Photos – cigar and family

Mayor Richard Delany of Chicago during civil unrest in the US in the 1960s stated, “The police are not here to create disorder, they’re here to preserve disorder.”

Former US Vice-President (1969 -1973) , Spiro Theodore Agnes resigned from office as a result of tax evasion accusations. During his resignation he said, “I apologize for lying to you. I promise I won’t deceive you except in matters of this sort.”

Where id was, there ego shall be.” (S. Freud) Print This Post

This has to be one of the best all time Freudian slips, Thank you George Bush. Have a look at the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiPzM98h7NA

One of Freud's books - "Beyond the Please Principle" published in 1920.

Maybe George Bush had just read one of Freud’s books – “Beyond the Please Principle” published in 1920.

FREUD MUSEUM
Berggasse 19, 1090 Vienna
(a short walk from Shottenring or Schottentor (U2) subway stations)

Freud Museum Vienna

More interesting reading on Freudian Slips

http://psychology.about.com/od/sigmundfreud/p/sigmund_freud.htm

http://psychology.about.com/od/sigmundfreud/f/freudian-slip.htm

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/best-freudian-slips-linguistic-gaffes-3206919

http://psych-your-mind.blogspot.co.at/2011/12/modern-day-freudian-slips.html

http://collections.wordsworth.org.uk/GtoG/home.asp?page=MSA3FreudianSlipsGame

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/books/review/an-anatomy-of-addiction-by-howard-markel-book-review.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

“Time spent with cats is never wasted.” (S. Freud)

Entrance to the Freud Museum in Berggasse 19, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

Entrance to the Freud Museum in Berggasse 19, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

Apartment and office of Dr. Sigmund Freud. Berggasse 19, Vienna's 9th District. Austria. "Professor Sigmund Freud lived in this house from 1891 - 1938. The creator and found of psychoanalysis."

Apartment and office of Dr. Sigmund Freud. Berggasse 19, Vienna’s 9th District. Austria. “Professor Sigmund Freud lived in this house from 1891 – 1938. The creator and founder of psychoanalysis.”

Entrance to Courtyard of Berggasse 19, Sigmund Freud's residence in Vienna.

Entrance to Courtyard of Berggasse 19, Sigmund Freud’s residence in Vienna.

 

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Saints, Souls, Death and the Viennese – 1 Nov Allerheiligen

Angel Statue in St. Marx Cemetery in Vienna

Angel Statue in St. Marx Cemetery in Vienna

Der Tod muss ein Wiener sein…” (Death must be Viennese)
(Der Tod: Das muss ein Wiener sein , song title of 1969 song by Georg Kreisler)

On All Saints’ Day (November 1)  and All Souls’ Day (November 2) the Viennese pilgrim to the cemeteries to light candles and pray for those who have passed (sometimes hoping to help them out of purgatory (or in German Fegefeuer sweeping fire)).

You don’t have to be here long to recognize that the Viennese have a special relationship with death. “Ein schönen Leich” (a beautiful corpse/ funeral) is as Viennese as the folk songs that cheerfully, acceptingly, ironically lament the inevitable fate of every human. And no blog about Vienna would be truly complete without mentioning death.

YOU CAN RING MY BELL , RING MY BELL…

THE FUNERAL MUSEUM OF VIENNA (Bestattungsmuseum)

For years this museum was listed as one of Vienna’s fun sites to see as in, “Hey, after we visit the Fool’s Tower (Narrenturm), let’s hit the Funeral Museum! Won’t that be fun!” Well, it was indeed interesting but unfortunately, the museum is closed until its reopening in September 2014 at Vienna’s Central Cemetery – a very fitting new home.

Church of Saint Charles Borromew in VIenna's Central Cemetery

Church of Saint Charles Borromew in Vienna’s Central Cemetery

An interactive site at the museum was a bell with a long string attached to corpses in coffins. If someone was buried alive, he or she could theoretically ring the bell signaling the heroic funeral workers to spring to the rescue. The reality was, however, that due to postmortem spasms and unfortunate corpse positions, the bells rang non-stop and the heroic funeral workers not-so-heroically ignored them.

Which is probably why an Austrian playwright who was sometimes dubbed the “Austrian Shakespeare”, Johann Nestroy, feared being buried alive so much that he spent much of his last will and testament giving very specific instructions about measures he wanted taken to prevent this possibility. “The only thing I fear about death, is the idea that I could possibly be buried alive.” (January 31, 1861) Nestroy was generally a pretty funny guy but it seems he took being buried alive very seriously.

CEMETERY OF THE NAMELESS (Friedhof der Namenlosen)

“The goal of all life is death.”  – Sigmund Freud

Tombstone "Wiedersehen" in St. Maarx Cemetery Vienna

Tombstone “Wiedersehen” in St. Marx Cemetery Vienna

Vienna boasts over 40 Roman-Catholic cemeteries but those don’t do much good for the “weary of lifers” (Lebensmüde) who have plunged to their untimely deaths into the murky waters of the Danube.  For many of those and others who have died namelessly and whose bodies have washed ashore, there’s the Cemetery of the Nameless. Most of the graves state simply “Unknown” or “Nameless.” Every year in November, the cemetery honors those who have never been recovered and whose remains still grace the Danube floor by launching a wreath down the the Danube towards the Black Sea. This year the ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 10, at 2 pm – gathering at the restaurant by the cemetery

VIENNESE LOVE STATUS EVEN IN DEATH

Helmut Qualtinger Grave in Central Cemetery in Vienna

The honor grave of Austrian musical, theater and comedic legend, Helmut Qualtinger, at Central Cemetery in Vienna

Honorary graves were created in the Central Cemetery to up the prestige of the cemetery in the late 1800s a few years after the cemetery’s creation. Viennese are notorious for their initial skepticism to all that is new and in a brilliant 19th century PR move to increase the new cemetery’s popularity, the city of Vienna moved  most of its prominent dead to “Honor Graves.” These include Brahms, Beethoven and Schubert – graves still popular today. Vienna grants the selected few Honor Graves for the life of the cemetery and assumes the costs for caring for the graves. In an interview in Austrian National Television, (ORF – link below) a reporter asks the man in charge of the grave honor what one has to do get an Honor Grave. His response? “Well, it’s not a very desirable achievement since the first thing you have to do is die.”

BUT DEATH MAKES NO DISTINCTIONS AND THREE TIMES A CHARM – EVEN WHEN YOU’RE DEAD (July 2011, Habsburg and the last Austrian royal funeral)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Grave at St. Marx Cemetery in Vienna

Mozart’s Grave in St. Marx Cemetery in Vienna

“Death as the true best friend of man.” – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Since 1633, Austrian royalty has been buried in the Imperial Crypt under the Capuchin Church in Vienna. Some body parts, however, such as the hearts and intestines are buried elsewhere. Currently over 145 members of the House of Habsburg have their last resting place in the Imperial Crypt. When Otto von Habsburg passed in July 2011, a traditional royal funeral was held with all the pomp and circumstance and is said to be the last time an Austrian royal will ever be buried in the Imperial Crypt.

Open Sesame – watch the link above (July 2011) and here’s what you’re witnessing:

Schubert's Tombstone at the Central Cemetery in Vienna

Schubert’s Tombstone at the Central Cemetery in Vienna

A Herald in a black suit leads the casket procession through the heart of old Vienna up to the Capuchin Church. The Herald knocks upon the iron gates with his long black cane. A Capuchin monk, whose brethren have held watch over the crypt since the 1600s, asks: “Who demands entry?”

After hundreds of years, you would think someone would have written down the right answer but nein. In attempts one and two, the Herald iterates an exhausting list of the the dead royal’s titles and accomplishments. Nearly three whole minutes. But the monks, being monks, are stoic and patient and simply respond, “Don’t know ’em.” (In all fairness to the monks, this seems a very benevolent response. After almost 4 centuries of conducting this ritual, I’d be a bit more testy with such slow students. Or maybe I’d paint a cheat sheet on the iron gate.)

Finally, upon the third attempt, eureka. The Herald responds, “Otto, a sinful mortal.”

Bingo! The gates open and the monks respond: “So then come inside.” (Monkese for, “Why didn’t you say so in the first place?”)

ST. MARX CEMETERY

“The biggest effort in life is not getting accustomed to death.” – Elias Canetti

Angel on Tombstone at St. Marx's Cemetery

Angel on Tombstone at St. Marx’s Cemetery

I had never been to St. Marx and always wanted to go so this past weekend I went. Finally I managed to visit the place where Mozart’s bones are said to be buried somewhere in a mass grave. And I was not disappointed. Again, just when I thought I knew every single one of her little secrets, Vienna sprung a beauty on me. A wonderful surprise and a trip I highly recommend. I love this place. (Take bus 74A from the road that passes in front of Wien Mitte/ Landstrasse (on the U4 and U3 lines) to the station Hofmannsthalgasse – just a short hop and skip from there.)

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Central Cemetery, Vienna, one of the biggest cemetery's in all of Europe

Central Cemetery, Vienna, one of the biggest cemetery’s in all of Europe

Cross marking Austrian Artist, Max Weiler's burial place, Central Cemetery

Cross marking Austrian Artist, Max Weiler’s burial place, Central Cemetery

Tombstone of Johannes Brahms in Vienna's Central Cemetery

Tombstone of Johannes Brahms in Vienna’s Central Cemetery

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Vienna and her Coffeehouses – Sit Back and Smell the Coffee

Cafe Museum

Einspänner (small mocca with whipped cream) at Cafe Museum

“The Viennese go to coffeehouses, because they do not want to stay at home but also don’t want to be outside, because they want to be alone, but in the company of others.”
– Jörg Mauthe

Vienna and her coffeehouses are inseparable and it’s one of the things I love most about this city.

At the turn of the century Vienna boasted over 600 coffeehouses. Today many of these traditional places still thrive and provide a living room away from home for Vienna’s business people, students, artists, intellectuals and international guests in the same way they did over one hundred years ago. Many Viennese then and now, have one particular coffeehouse they like to frequent, their so-called Stammcafé and sometimes even a particular table where they like to sit, their Stammtisch.

Not only do the waiters, dressed in a black coat and tails, even today, look the picture of etiquette and grace of a bygone age, they still act it too. If you want a quick coffee and to get on your way again, be sure to ask for the tab once the coffee is brought, otherwise you might wait a while because in a Vienna coffeehouse, no one expects you to drink and run.

In today’s world of multitasking, fast food, speedy service, instant delivery, finding a retreat in the middle of the city that not only allows you but expects you (!) to take a few hours to sit back and smell the coffee is balsam to the soul.

Some of my favorite coffeehouses:

Bräunerhof: especially on a Sunday afternoon when they often host musicians around 4 pm. I love it here because you walk in and feel like you have stepped back in time and could look over at the neighbor table and see Thomas Bernhard scribbling notes for his next novel in his beloved Stammcafé  . You can sit in Bräunerhof for hours reading the papers, a book or writing and no one would ever dream of hurrying you along.

Cafe Central

Palais Ferstel, Home of Cafe Central

Café Central: for a lunch menu during the week (the food is wonderful) or for a late afternoon dessert. The Klimt Torte is particularly decadent. And I love bringing out-of-town guests here and watching their faces light up in tormented indecision as they study the savory contents of the dessert vitrine. Usually I end up suggesting desserts for the table so everyone can try a bit of everything. Café Central can get crowded especially at lunchtime so reservations are recommended. But once you are seated, you no longer notice the hustle and bustle. In fact, it adds to the experience.

Don’t overlook Peter Altenberg who keeps vigilant watch by the door. When my book finally gets out, English-speaking readers will learn more about the beloved poet who used Café Central as his home address.

If walls could speak!

Café Central has been host and Stammcafé  to so many philosophers, writers, poets, politicians and artists over the years that it is almost impossible to list them all. A few: Adolf Loos, Sigmund Freud, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Hugo von Hofmannsthal…And the list goes on and on.

Once when a coffeehouse waiter asked Peter Altenberg if he knew who died, Herr Altenberg responded, “Everyone is fine by me.”

Café Diglas: Years ago, I used to frequent Café Diglas rather often. Nowadays less so but it hasn’t lost any of its ambiance or charm and has a great location right across from the book store Morowa on Wollzeile. It is open 365 days a year, from 7 am till midnight. Now the place is famous for its funky toilet doors. They are transparent until you close them, then they cloud over. Don’t take my word for it, see the youtube video here: Cafe Diglas’ Magical Doors

Café Landtmann: Now a place for politicians and business people have meetings, they have a wonderful breakfast selection and you might be interested in knowing that this was once Sigmund Freud’s Stammcafé.

Peter Altenberg and Lina Loos adorn the frontpage of Cafe Museum's Cake for the Ball of the Coffeehouseowners

Peter Altenberg and Lina Loos adorn the frontpage of Cafe Museum’s Cake for the Ball of the Coffeehouseowners

Café Museum: Last time I stopped by for an in-between hour at Café Museum, when I asked the waiter for the bill, he started reciting the damage: “a bottle of champagne, a serving of caviar” and he stopped and I smiled. “Just a mélange” I replied. And he raised his eyebrows as if sharing a secret. “Ahh yes. Perhaps we’ll save another day for the rest then.” I love Café Museum and not just because it was once designed by one of the main characters of one of my books – Adolf Loos.

I love it because you come here and feel relaxed and welcome. As soon as you take your seat, you feel a integral part of the place rich with history and culture and you know you can sit for hours without a hurry or worry.

Cafe Hawelka

Table free outside of Cafe Hawelka

Hawelka: Right off of Graben is where all the actors and artists loved to hang out. Amazing Austrian authors like Friedrich Torberg, HC Artmann and Hans Weigel liked to come here. Famous for its legendary Buchteln (sweet pull apart rolls often filled with jam and served with vanilla sauce), they are still made fresh in-house. The tables are situated in such a way that you feel like you are being discreet when you come here.

Cappuccino at Kleines Cafe

A Cappuccino at Kleines Cafe at Franziskanersplatz

I had the good fortune one day several years ago of spending a few hours with Leopold Hawelka, who opened the coffeehouse in 1939 with his wife, Josefine. I walked over to his Stammplatz, situated by the entrance where many an out-of-town visitor moseyed on by him unaware of who had just welcomed them in and I asked if he would mind if I asked him some questions about the Café Hawelka. I think I made his day. He clambered his 93-year old body down from his stool and fetched some books and photo albums and joined us at our table. As his wife, Josefine, buzzed around their guests, still directing the workings of the coffeehouse at age 91, Herr Hawelka proudly shared with us pages upon pages of newspaper clippings, photos and articles about their coffeehouse. And every few minutes, his stories would revert back to tales of his wife as he lovingly looked up at her who had no time to waste for such idle talk. Though both Josefine and Leopold have since passed away, their son has taken over the coffeehouse and still makes the Buchteln according to his mom’s famous recipe.

Kleines Cafe

Kleines Cafe at Franizskanersplatz

Kleines Café: What’s not to love about Franziskanerplatz? In summer, Kleines Café moves its table onto the square and though you are just steps from the busy Kärntnerstrasse you feel like you are in another world. “Kleines Café” means “Little Café” and the place is indeed small. Fans of the Ethan Hawk  and Julie Delpy film “Before Sunrise” (which I definitely recommend) will be happy to know that this is the place Jesse and Celine were having a coffee when a gypsy woman came along and read Celine’s palm and then told them not to forget that they are both stars.

Coffeehouse quotes:

The Viennese go to coffeehouses, because they do not want to stay at home but also don’t want to be outside, because they want to be alone, but in the company of others.
– Jörg Mauthe

People go to the coffeehouse to rest, to read newspapers, to work, to speak about important things, to see friends, to finish correspondences, to be close to beloved beings and those who should become such, people go for these and countless other reasons and go above all quite mechanically, out of habit, as a constitutional condition, as a reflex, without a particular occasion (which according to Karl Kraus proves signs of “nomadic domesticity”), occasionally people even drink a coffee in a coffeehouse, but that’s not the reason one goes there.
– Hans Weigel

The coffeehouse is a home with all the advantages and none of the disadvantages. You can leave it anytime. That is why you like to go there and hate to leave it. You have social possibility, so many, that you do not need to engage in them all. Company is available, talk, and you are a poised gentleman over chance. If you get bored, you can pay and leave –try doing that once when you are a guest or host in a home.
– Hans Weigel

 Auf Wiedersehen in Cafe Central  If you are Viennese and want to share the coffeehouse experience with a guest to the city, sign up to participate in the Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations from the end of September 2013 until the end of November 2013.

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Check out this cool post on the Vienna coffeehouse from Nicholas Parsons, October 2012, “The Ballad of the Wiener Kaffeehaus” as an ode to Vienna’s cafe culture.

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