Reprinted with permission from Uexpress.
Decades later, I can still recall exactly where I was sitting when I first realized that the prevailing psychological dogma of the day was bunk. As a graduate student taking a course in literary criticism, I’d been assigned Sigmund Freud’s 1928 essay “Dostoyevsky and Parricide.”
Basically, Freud treated the Russian novelist as a patient, his novels as raw material for therapeutic speculation. Dostoyevsky’s lifelong epileptic seizures, he deduced, were a hysterical reaction to his parents: demanding father, shrill, neurotic mother, a classic Oedipal conflict. You know, kill the father, seduce the mother, a bisexual tangle.…