Friday, July 7, 2017

Madness and the Irish - why are the numbers so high historically?

In 2006, Martin Scorsese’s film "The Departed" was released. It went on to win a multitude of awards and continues to be highly esteemed. However, there is one particular scene which caused amusement among the audience and curiosity among academia. It was a quote attributed to Sigmund Freud about the Irish, that the Irish were "impervious to psychoanalysis." The origin of the quote was the subject of an international research effort which included the Association of Psychoanalysts and Psychotherapists in Ireland, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the Freud Museum of London. Eventually, it was revealed in a private email by William Monahan the screenwriter to Abdon Pallasch, formerly of the Chicago Sun-Times, that it was based on a similar quote (also without an established origin in Freud’s work) which embodied the sentiment he wished to convey in the drama. But beyond the authenticity of the quote, there is resonance.

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