Tribute to Freud (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
Tribute to Freud Cover Image
By Hilda Doolittle, Norman Holmes Pearson (Afterword by), Adam Philips (Introduction by)
On Our Shelves
1 on hand, as of Dec 2 6:03am
1 on hand, as of Dec 2 1:33am
1 on hand, as of Dec 2 6:03am
Downtown Brooklyn
4 on hand, as of Dec 2 6:03am

Staff Reviews

Backed with oblique wartime detail, H.D.'s account of her analysis with Freud is little concerned with an assessment of his thought or with anecdotes of her literary milieu. Rather, the narrative gathers from the dream life of its author, whose revelation is stalling, gradual, and cumulative. The portrait of Freud that emerges is less foreboding than magnanimous; the doctor gives his visitor gifts, he gossips and inveighs tempestuously, he frets, he listens. An adept's depiction of the love-transference, suitably gorgeous and particular.

— Cam


A classic of American literature, now with a new introduction by iconic author and psychotherapist Adam Phillips.

“My bat-like thought-wings would beat painfully in that sudden searchlight,” H.D. writes in Tribute to Freud, her moving memoir. Compelled by historical as well as personal crises, H.D. underwent therapy with Freud during 1933–34, as the streets of Vienna were littered with tokens dropped like confetti on the city stating “Hitler gives work,” “Hitler gives bread.” Having endured World War I, she was now gathering her resources to face the cataclysm she knew was approaching. The first part of the book, “Writing on the Wall,” was composed some ten years after H.D.’s stay in Vienna; the second part, “Advent,” is a journal she kept during her analysis. Revealed here in the poet’s crystal shard-like words and in Freud’s own letters (which comprise an appendix) is a remarkably tender and human portrait of the legendary Doctor in the twilight of his life. Time double backs on itself, mingling past, present, and future in a visionary weave of dream, memory, and reflections.

About the Author

H.D. (1886-1961) (the pen name of Hilda Doolittle) was born in the Moravian community of Bethlehem, PA in 1886. A major twentieth century poet with “an ear more subtle than Pound’s, Moore’s, or Yeats’s” as Marie Ponsot writes, she was the author of several volumes of poetry, fiction, essays, and memoirs. She is perhaps one of the best-known and prolific women poets of the Modernist era. Bryher Ellerman was a novelist and H.D.’s wealthy companion. She financed H.D.’s therapy with Freud.

Adam Phillips, whom John Banville called “one of the finest prose stylists in the language, an Emerson of our time,” was born in 1954 in Cardiff, Wales. A child psychotherapist, he is the author of On Balance and The Beast in the Nursery.

Praise For…

A warm and revealing portrait of H.D.’s mentor and friend.
— Philadelphia Inquirer

The book, with its appropriate title, is surely the most delightful and precious appreciation of Freud’s personality ever likely to be written. Only a fine creative artist could have written it…I can only say that I envy anyone who has not read it, and that it will live as the most enchanting ornament of all the Freudian biographical literature.
— Ernest Jones, Author of The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud
Product Details
ISBN: 9780811220040
ISBN-10: 0811220044
Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date: June 12th, 2012
Pages: 144
Language: English