Sigmund Freud

This week we reveal the identity of April’s mystery man and announce the names of the four winners who will receive small prizes from Radio Prague. Listeners quoted: Josef Vyvoda, Colin Rose, Tomas Kuca, S. J. Agboola, Harold Yeglin, David Eldridge, Bob Boundy, Charlie Cockey, Yukiko Tsuji-Maki, Colin Law, Ian Morrison, Charles Konecny.

Hello and welcome to Mailbox. Today being the first Sunday of May, it is my duty to disclose the identity of our April mystery man and at the end of the programme announce the names of the four winners who will receive small gifts from Radio Prague. Last month’s question was quite easy and there were no incorrect answers. Josef Vyvoda who follows Radio Prague in Ohio even visited the house where our mystery man was born:

“Driving near Příbor a few years ago, the road sign said – Sigmund Freud was born here. The house he was born in was not imposing, but it had a nice commemorative plaque. The Freud Museum in London is not a large building. It’s located in the same house where Freud briefly lived after leaving Vienna in 1938.”

Colin Rose from England, too, visited the town of Příbor:

“Zámečnická ulice. You can visit the house. I remember the town when it made Tatra cars. Still under the old regime. My reason was the Tatra factory NOT Sigmund! The factory which was built for the T613 has now gone. When I visited production was on a low level with an astonishing lack of motivation from the women who did most of the assembly work. Quality control there was not! However the engine assembly side had a far more dedicated air about it.”

Tomas Kuca from the United States enclosed a sentence Freud wrote late in his life:

“…one thing is certain: somewhere deep inside me, buried under the welter of many other strata, there still lives the happy child of Příbor, the young mother’s first-born son whose mind received the earliest ineffaceable impressions from the climate of the native land…”

S. J. Agboola from Nigeria wrote:

“He was at the same time a neurologist, a philosopher, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a psychotherapist and a psychoanalyst as well as a literary giant. Undisputedly, he was the father of psychoanalysis, a prolific writer and one of the most influential and authoritative thinkers of the 20th century.”

Bob Boundy listens to Radio Prague in New Zealand:

“Sigmund Freud was the first person to suggest that the subconscious affects a person’s behaviour. He was often ridiculed about his beliefs and he also got negative publicity. He died in London in 1939 (that was the year I was born).”

Harold Yeglin follows our programmes in Virginia:

“The fame of Freud in the field of psychiatry is self-evident. Need more be said of this world giant?”

David Eldridge from England sent in a detailed answer as every month:

“This month's mystery person is Clement, oops!, I mean Sigmund Freud. Please excuse the Freudian slip! Sir Clement Freud, grandson of Sigmund Freud, was a prominent English broadcaster, writer, politician, academic and chef and died within the term of this competition on 15th April 2009, but that is another matter. [...] Sigmund originally intended to study law, but his first work was in the medical faculty of the University of Vienna where he studied the life cycle of eels, which at that time was still unclear. He failed to make progress in understanding the mystery of how eels bred which caused him to refocus his work onto researching the unconscious mind, particularly of a sexual nature, and it is that work for which he is most remembered together with the ‘Freudian slips’ that, I suppose, we all make from time to time.”

Charlie Cockey from Brno sent in an answer full of those:

“Is it really a quiz? Or just a giveaway? I'm a Freud I can't answer that, but ID – sorry, I'd – like to answer the question, if possible without overexposing my ego in the process... So let me Sig, mund, if I can come up with the right answer – is it, oh, you know, (how to Couch this appropriately... ) – Sigmund ‘Fearless’ Freud? If I'm correct, you *will* libido? Er, let me know?”

Yukiko Tsuji-Maki writes from Japan:

“I learned his psychosexual theory at college, and at that time, I remember that it was a very difficult concept for me to understand. But I am sure that he was the most revolutionary and extraordinary psychologist of all time.”

Colin Law from New Zealand again sent in an elaborate answer of which we can only quote a short bit:

“In 1896 Sigmund Freud first used the term ‘psychoanalysis’ and in 1906 he corresponded with Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology. [...] Between 1900 and 1930 Freud published numerous books and essays, including: The Interpretation of Dreams, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Three Essays on Sexuality, Totem and Taboo, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, The Ego and the Id and Civilization and its Discontent. In 1930, Freud received the Goethe Prize in appreciation of his contribution to psychology and to German literary culture. Three years later when the Nazis took control of Germany, Freud's books were among those burned and destroyed by the Nazis. In 1938 following Anna Freud's arrest and interrogation by the Gestapo, Freud and his family left Vienna and moved to London.”

Ian Morrison follows Mailbox in China:

“Your April mystery man is the great Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychology. As a youngster I was actually more familiar with his grandson, Clement Freud, who died recently, as Clement was quite a celebrity in Britain. He was a famous writer, wit, raconteur and politician. But the reason I remember Sigmund Freud's grandson more than anything else was that he used to appear in a TV commercial for dog food in the 1970s. His doleful expression perfectly matched that of the bloodhound (Henry) that he appeared alongside. Anyway, I digress.”

And finally this answer from Charles Konecny from Ohio who contributes regularly to this programme:

“Freud was a very brilliant man who took psychology to a higher level and became the plumber of the human mind. He delved into the conscious and unconscious mind and said in the end, ‘life isn't easy’. In reading about him I was very intrigued by a picture of his couch. I wonder how often he used it. And no offense ladies, but my favorite Sigmund Freud quote is when he said... that despite my thirty years of research, the question I have not been able to answer is, ‘What does a woman want?’. Anyway he was the best known and influential psychologist of the twentieth century as who hasn't heard the name of Sigmund Freud?”

Thank you all very much for your well researched and witty entries, including the Freudian slips, stories about cars, eels, dogs and couches. The lucky four who can expect parcels from Prague in the coming days are: Ramana Rao and Paritosh Chattopadhyay, both from India, Mezbahuddin Bhuiya from Bangladesh and Charlie Cockey from Brno. Congratulations!

And we still continue in the series of Moravian-born greats in our little quiz.

This month we would like to know the name of the world-renowned physicist who was born in Brno in 1905 and died in 1955 in Zurich and apparently was the only Czech-born person involved in the US WWII Manhattan Project.

As usual, your answers need to reach us by the end of the month at [email protected] or Radio Prague, 12099 Prague. Until next week, take care.