A recently announced, as-yet-uncast Netflix series centering on the exploits of young, crimefighting Sigmund Freud, tracking a serial killer in 19th-century Vienna, has been causing great excitement.
Though as Chelsea Steiner points out in the Mary Sue, Freud’s equation of clitoral orgasms with sexual immaturity and mental illness could put a damper on any sex scene in which a female character takes an active role.
Perhaps the youthful Father of Psychology won’t be hooking up with his female sidekick—a medium (always so helpful in cases involving serial killers!)
Perhaps instead the real love interest will be the intriguingly named Kiss, a testy war veteran cop. As Freud wrote in a 1935 letter:
Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation; it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function, produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them. (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime –and a cruelty, too. If you do not believe me, read the books of Havelock Ellis.
The eight-part German-language series will be directed by a Marvin Kren, who seems, in the translated press release, as if he might be equal to the task.
I more or less grew up underneath Sigmund Freud’s original sofa, meaning: in the same district in Vienna where he had his office. The difference: When I was born the world already profited from Sigmund Freud’s groundbreaking discoveries for almost a century. We, the modern human beings, live in post-Freudian times. It is very appealing and challenging for me to imagine a world in this series in which the ‘self’ was just a blind spot on the map of cognition, a world that hasn’t seen Sigmund Freud yet. I would like to emerge with ‘Freud’ into Vienna’s dark alleys before the turn of the century, to discover the reflection of the labyrinth of the human soul inspiring his life’s work. Abysmal, dubious and dangerous!
The series will debut on Austrian television. Netflix will control international streaming rights. Production is due to begin this fall.
Sigmund Freud, Father of Psychoanalysis, Introduced in a Monty Python-Style Animation
Sigmund Freud Speaks: The Only Known Recording of His Voice, 1938
Download Sigmund Freud’s Great Works as Free eBooks & Free Audio Books: A Digital Celebration on His 160th Birthday
Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Follow her @AyunHalliday.
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