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The Unconscious

By: Sigmund Freud,Graham Frankland,Mark Cousins
Narrated by: Michael Pennington
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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.   

This Penguin Classic is performed by Michael Pennington, one of the founders of the English Shakespeare Company, known for his stage work with the RSC, and who played Carl Jung in the BBC drama, Freud. This definitive recording includes an introduction by Mark Cousins.  

One of Freud's central achievements was to demonstrate how unacceptable thoughts and feelings are repressed into the unconscious, from where they continue to exert a decisive influence over our lives. This volume contains a key statement about evidence for the unconscious, and how it works, as well as major essays on all the fundamentals of mental functioning. Freud explores how we are torn between the pleasure principle and the reality principle, how we often find ways both to express and to deny what we most fear, and why certain men need fetishes for their sexual satisfaction. His study of our most basic drives, and how they are transformed, brilliantly illuminates the nature of sadism, masochism, exhibitionism and voyeurism.

©2005 Graham Frankland (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Unconscious

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Well-read with a great introduction

I had to go to some lengths to find out who had written the excellent introduction to this book, and don’t know why it’s not mentioned. It’s by Mark Cousins, the architectural theorist.

It’s interesting to have this translation as well as Strachey’s, and great to have an audiobook of it at all. Very impressed.

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Worth reading but...

The Unconscious is Interspersed with rich, interesting ideas, with possibly genius flashes of insight, but it is very difficult to follow. My ability to understand was hindered by the language used and, perhaps moreso, by the detailed sexual inferences and conclusions Freud so often leaps to which seemed to bare little or no resemblance to the idea he had just introduced. I very often had no idea what Freud was talking about. It may have been easier to digest if reading in text form and being able to re-read several times to process. I'm not informed enough around this subject to work out whether this is just my ignorance and lack of intelligence or whether a lot of what was written is nonsense. Having said this, there were definitely a lot of ideas in there of value, in particular the unconscious, precocious and conscious mind and how these may interact, as well as ideas surrounding responses to threat and unsatisfied needs.

Worth reading, if nothing else to gain insight into the mind of Freud.

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Too high brow

Not, what I was looking for. The book is at too high a level for me.😫

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  • Nicholas
  • 03-07-22

Easy classic

Great book but skip the introduction and preface.they are boring and add little to the work. This text provides a great overview on the unconscious, one of Freud’s best ideas.

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  • Walden
  • 05-02-22

Interesting but extremely complex

This is certainly not light reading for the beach. Some kind of background or introduction to depth psychology is likely required. But it is of course classic Freud. Being partial to Jung myself, I take issue with Freud's insistence on hierarchy and structure in his formulations, particularly when dealing with something as unstructured - as Jung later showed - as the unconscious. For example, Freud's obsession with the pleasure principle in describing that psychological drive's components in terms of object, subject, and their determinate effect is far too presumptuous of linear structure for something as nebulous as the unconscious, which Freud himself admitted we know little of. But these are minor disagreements, and Freud was a pioneer. A crucial work for anyone interested in the subconscious or depth psychology in general.