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Sigmund Freud, Live! (Sorta)

May 7, 2012

We live in an age of constant monitoring by tiny devices, where our every moment seems at risk of instant dissemination to the digital ether. As a result, it’s sometimes easy to forget how, for the significant portion of human history, the voices and movements of even our most illustrious figures went unrecorded. You might imagine Abe Lincoln reading the Gettysburg Address in deep, sonorous tones; but his actual voice (at least, based on the accounts of those who knew him) was apparently quite high and reedy.

Those voices are lost to us, at least in terms of actual recordings. However, some icons of the late 19th and early 20th centuries lived long enough to commit their spoken words to a recording medium. As a result, we have a few seconds’ worth of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, discussing his methods. And for all you Cronenberg fans out there, I’m sorry to break it to you: the real Freud sounds absolutely nothing like Viggo Mortensen.

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