Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud Library Guide

Sigmund Freud, born to Jewish parents in 1856 in the Austrian Empire, is universally recognized as one of the most influential and authoritative thinkers of the twentieth century and the father of psychoanalysis.  Upon graduation from the University of Vienna, he began his medical career at Vienna General Hospital, focusing his research in cerebral anatomy, then in private practice specializing in “nervous disorders,” and eventually leading to his most significant contribution – the conception of the unconscious.  Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality maintains that human behavior is the result of the interactions among three component elements of the mind:  the id, ego, and superego.  A primary emphasis of Freudian theory is that the unconscious mind controls behavior to a greater degree than people suspect, confirming that the goal of psychoanalysis is to make the unconscious conscious.  Freud believed that studying dreams provided the easiest road to understanding of the unconscious activities of the mind.

Salvador Dalí’s connection with Sigmund Freud is well-documented, beginning with his reading of Interpretation of Dreams, which Dalí regarded as one of the “capital discoveries” of his life.  Well-versed in Freud’s theories of evaluating the subconscious for surreal and artistic inspiration, Dalí regarded dreams and imaginations central to human thought.  In 1938, he finally met Freud, who recognized Dalí’s technical mastery, in his London home, sketching Portrait of Sigmund Freud, which hangs in the last home of the psychoanalyst in Hampstead, England.  Along with other surrealists, he used Freud’s ideas about dream analysis as a source for his paintings to develop his renowned style of combining precise realism with dream-like images as seen in Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate One Minute Before Awakening (1944).  Dalí explained the painting as a way “to express for the first time images Freud’s discovery of the typical dream.”

Many of Dalí’s masterpieces reflect a surreal, unconscious, dreamy quality, such as, Persistence of Memory (1931), in which the message is that our subliminal unconscious mind is present in what we do in our daily lives and has more power over us that man-made objects of the subconscious world.  Dalí’s extensive body of work has many interpretations of Freud’s psychology as fixation, complexes, and psychosexual development.  To illustrate, several paintings and visual productions display all his instincts and use of Freud’s ideas to emulate his personality, fears, and sexual obsessions.  For example, Le Grand Masturbateur and the Spectre of Sex-Appeal are categorized by psychologists as representations of his fantasies and fears such as sex, his father, animals, and more.  Although Dalí’s perspective and work were deeply influenced and submerged in Freud psychoanalysis, he managed to establish his own unconventional approach and technique to think and represent art.


Sources in The Dalí Museum Library:

Freud, Sigmund. Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood. W.W. Norton, 1989.

This book represents Freud’s first sustained, though informal, venture into biography from a psychoanalytical perspective. It is a detailed reconstruction of Leonardo’s emotional life from his earliest years, tracing one route that homosexual development can take.  The volume remains among the most fascinating, speculative works of Freud’s entire writings.

  • Call Number: ND 623 .L5 F819 1989


Freud, Sigmund. Moses and Monotheism. Vintage Books, 1967

This volume reflects Freud’s commentaries on various aspects of religion, specifically his explanations of certain characteristics of the Jewish people in their relations with the Christians. Based on an extensive study of the Moses legend, Freud arrives at the startling conclusion that Moses was an Egyptian, bringing from his native country the religion he gave to the Jews. Freud develops his general theory of monotheism, providing insight on the connection between Judaism and Christianity.

  • Call Number: BS 580 .M6 F7 1967


Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. Oxford University Press, 1999.

First published in 1899, this signature work is the originator of concepts such as the Oedipus complex and the idea, now taken for granted, that our daily lives are governed not only by conscious decisions but by unconscious pressures. While the book inaugurated the new practice of psychoanalysis, its most enduring impact has been on our social and cultural outlook and on how we interpret literature and art, and on the language. Joyce Crick’s translation is the first to be based on the original text and captures the lightness and pace of Freud’s style, freed from the jargon and Victorian elaborations of James Strachey’s famous version.

  • Call Number: BF 1078 .F72 1999


Molnar, Michael. The Diary of Sigmund Freud 1929-1939. Scribner, 1992.

Published for the first time in its entirety, this voluminous document presents a comprehensive overview of the last decade of Freud’s life. The diary delves into the major themes of this period: Freud’s agonizing battle with cancer; the rise of Nazism in Austria and the political upheaval in Europe, which led to his exile in England; his increasing reliance on Anna, his daughter: and the continuing decline of his powers. This record represents an insightful snapshot and introspective look at Freud’s dying years, complete with hundreds of photographs never before published.

  • Call Number: BF 109 .F74 A3 1991


Gay, Peter. The Freud Reader. Norton, 1989.

This compilation of Freud’s most influential writings is the first single-volume work to capture his wide-ranging ideas as scientist, humanist, physician, and philosopher. Fifty-one texts are included in this collection, spanning Freud’s entire career from early case histories through his research on dreams, essays on sexuality, and continuing to his late writings, such as Civilization and its Discontents. Gay’s carefully chosen selections provide a full panorama of Freud’s thought with clear introductions to the selections guiding the reader’s journey through each work.

  • Call Number: BF 173 .F6255 1989


Suprenant, Celine. Freud: A Guide for the Perplexed. Continuum, 2008.

This book in Continuum’s series on thinkers, writers and subjects is a tribute to Freud’s thought, providing an ideal guide to the important and complex ideas of this key twentieth century figure. The guide introduces some of the fundamental Freudian concepts and themes as well as examining the ways in which they intersect with issues in philosophy and literary theory. This presentation provides a compelling and reliable roadmap into some of the most important debates connected to specific psychoanalytic concepts and their applicationoutside the clinical domain.

  • Call Number: BF 173 .F85 S795 2008


Freud, Sigmund. Leonardo da Vinci – A Study in Psychosexuality. Random House, 1947.

This study of Leonardo da Vinci is considered Freud’s most famous single analysis, complimented by a substantial, interpretive introduction. This work includes information regarding every available element of da Vinci’s life, widely considered the most noteworthy person of the Renaissance. Through all of his resources, Freud provided insight into da Vinci’s psychosexual evolution of childhood and how it may lead to other psychological conditions.

  • Call Number: ND 623 .L5 F8 1947a


Badcock, Christopher. Essential Freud. Basil Blackwell, 1988.

This volume is an introduction to the topics and concepts that characterize the contribution Freud’s psychoanalysis has made, not only to psychology but to the contemporary view of the world. A full and engaging scientific treatment of psychoanalysis, is presented in clear and simple terms with access to Freud’s actual words. By using examples from everyday life, the reader is afforded the chance to challenge several disparaging critiques of Freud’s scholarship.

  • Call Number: BF 173 .B147 1988


Hine, Hank. Persistence and Memory – New Critical Perspectives on Dalí at the Centennial.  The Salvador Dalí Museum, 2004.

In March 2004, the Salvador Dalí Museum organized a conference to provide a forum for perspectives on the work of Dalí. Two generations of curators and writers delved into major questions about the meaning of Dalí’s art, about its evolution, its relation to the work of others, and its legacy. The contributors to the conference offered new perspectives of Dalí in relation to Surrealism and psychoanalysis, but also in relation to Catalan mysticism, Marcel Duchamp, Abstract Expressionism, and to performance and conceptual art among other topics.

  • Call Number: ND 813 .D3 P47 2004


Appignanesi, Richard and Zarate, Oscar. Freud for Beginners. Pantheon, 1979.

The cartoon-style format of this book offers a perfect introduction to everything you need to know about Freud and his discovery of psychoanalysis, including neurosis, libido, ego, and id. With its comic book approach, the volume documents Freud’s life from the world of late-nineteenth century Vienna to his early background in science and work as a therapist to his theories on the unconscious, dreams, the Oedipus complex, and sexuality. It’s all here – family, friends, enemies, patients – as the creative art and complimentary, probing text simplify the essence of Freud without trivializing him.

  • Call Number: BF 173 .F85 A63c 1979


Freud, Sigmund. On Murder, Mourning and Melancholia. Penguin, 2005.

Shaun Whiteside translated and compiled four works of Freud – Totem and Taboo, Timely Reflections on War and Death, Mourning and Melancholia, Why War?  All of these essays were written against a backdrop of brutal conflict and rising racism across Europe, exploring the underlying forces of modern neuroses and war. Maud Elman’s Introduction strikes at the essence of Freud’s works on war, asking the question why the human race inflicts loss on itself and how society responds to loss, especially through disturbances of memory.

  • Call Number: BF 109 F74 A43 2005


Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and Its Discontents. Dover, 1994.

This prominent study explores the guilts that surface when our personal needs and desires come into conflict within society, and remedies used to resolve them. These guilts are among the building blocks of civilization, maintaining humanity’s aggressive and selfish instincts within bounds, and allowing society to function. Freud analyzes in depth many of the ways we deal with guilt, whether in art, in science, in drink and drugs.

  • Call Number: BF 173 .F682 1994


Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. Avon, 1965.

James Strachey’s translation of Freud’s seminal work of psychoanalysis was considered the definitive one, incorporating all the alterations, additions, and deletions that he made throughout a thirty-year period. The detailed commentary and meticulous cross referencing enable the reader to understand clearly the development of Freud’s thought process. This work is viewed to have revolutionized the patterns of twentieth century thinking and scientific inquiry.

  • Call Number: BF 1078 .F713 1965


Freud, Sigmund. Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Norton, 1961.

This essay is part of the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud under the general editorship of James Strachey and the only English translation authorized by Freud himself. In reasoned progression, Freud outlined core psychoanalytic concepts, such as repression, free association and libido. This 1920 work marks a major turning point in Freud’s theoretical approach.

  • Call Number: BF173 .F65 1961


Freud, Sigmund. Totem and Taboo. Norton, 1950.

While widely acknowledged as one of Freud’s impactful cultural works, when the essay was first published in 1913, it stirred outrage. Both thorough and thought-provoking, Totem and Taboo remains the fullest exploration of Freud’s most famous themes. Family, society, religion – they are all analyzed and put on the couch here.

  • Call Number: BF733 .F7135 1950


Freud, Sigmund. Delusion and Dream and Other Essays. Beacon Press, 1956.

This volume is comprised of four essays on daydreaming, poetry, fairytales, etc.,  as potential dream material, including the full text of W.Jensen’s “Gradiva,’ a short novel which is analyzed in the title essay. Freud’s work is his first effort to focus explicitly and systematically with literature and aesthetics. Freud analyzes the role of dream and delusion in Jensen’s story.

  • Call Number: BF173 .F6255 1956


Written by Ira Piller

About The Dalí Museum
The Dalí Museum, located in the heart of picturesque downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, is home to an unparalleled collection of over 2,400 Salvador Dalí works, including nearly 300 oil paintings, watercolors and drawings, as well as more than 2,100 prints, photographs, posters, textiles, sculptures and objets d’art. The Museum’s nonprofit mission, to care for and share its collection locally and internationally, is grounded by a commitment to education and sustained by a culture of philanthropy.

The Dalí is recognized internationally by the Michelin Guide with a three-star rating; has been deemed “one of the top buildings to see in your lifetime” by AOL Travel News; and named one of the ten most interesting museums in the world by Architectural Digest. The building itself is a work of art, including a geodesic glass bubble, nicknamed The Enigma, featuring 1,062 triangular glass panels, a fitting tribute to Salvador Dalí’s legacy of innovation and transformation. Explore The Dalí anytime with the free Dalí Museum App, available on Google Play and in the App Store. The Dalí Museum is located at One Dalí Boulevard, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701.