I usually read fiction. So when Mathias B. Freese wrote to me asking if I would like to review his book, I agreed because of two words that he used to describe his book, ‘memoir’ and ‘psychotherapist’. What’s not be intrigued about!? I wasn’t disappointed. This book is a collection of essays, a wide variety of topics, from relationships to blogging, from Holocaust to Freud… each essay was a bit of a jolt really…
It is a harsh read. There are works like those of Freud’s, scientific and calculating, cautious even. There are works like Paulo Coelho’s, which give you deep mantras in sugar coated easy to read stories. And then there is this man, who calls a spade a spade, and gives you facts and truth to your face. He is critical of people, of habits, of the system, of the world around him. Above all, he is critical of himself. He was a therapist; therapists have issues too!
A book that begins with a quote by Hemingway can hardly go wrong in my eyes! I once read Freud, a lot of him, I liked frequent references to his work. On the other hand, I didn’t enjoy the references to other things as much, ones I did not know about… “How will I ever read so much!?” reads my note to self on the margin.
Reading a lot of the essays made me feel like I was encroaching into really personal territory. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read on. Did I really wish to know? I don’t know how much courage and general faith it takes to bare to the world… Also, the essay on bloggers made me ask questions as to my own purpose… Why do I blog? Why about books? Am I a true critic? Am I needy? If so, aren’t we all? A book that makes you introspect is, in my opinion, a brilliant read, challenging and scary, but worthwhile.
It’s the kind of book one can come back to. It is not a cheery happy read, but I like them that way. It is like an old friend, who was a cynic a long time ago, but now is just an old friend…
Quotes: “Like the sad genius of the schizophrenic, allow me to find a nether place, to rest in sweet shadow, to come away from what I plainly see.”
“The task of each one of us is to be free of the other and ultimately free of one’s own inner constraints. All else follows.”
“I self-publish to announce I am here, for I will soon be gone.”