Partner of the Sigmund Freud Lecture 2018: UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG
Welcome: Monika Pessler
Einleitung: Carlo Strenger
Let Me Tell You a Story Narrative Selves in Times of Turmoil
Stories shape our thoughts, our feelings our deepest reflexes. Through them we become members of a particular family, a culture, a class, a generation - through them we become ourselves. Human beings appear to have a powerful need for projected meaning, for a plot, for beginning, middle, and end, for a sense to all the things happening around us, and to us. We use stories to impose meaning on the randomness of experience.
But what is our relationship to the stories that form us and to our need for them? Does our attitude to stories have a particular significance in an age of fake news? In this Sigmund Freud Lecture I will explore the meanings storytelling in face of a crisis of language and factual reporting from the perspective of a historian, a professional storyteller whose task it is to create meaning out of facts. In the company of Denis Diderot and Sigmund Freud I will investigate how it is possible to live with our urge for the counterfactual, the good yarn, the great narrative, a constant temptation to suspend our disbelief. The power of stories, after all, is deeply ambivalent.
(Philipp Blom, 2018)
Philipp Blom, born in 1970 in Hamburg, studied philosophy, history and Jewish studies in Vienna and Oxford. He lives in Vienna and works there as an author and historian. He received numerous awards, for example the Prize NDR Nonfiction Prize or the Getty Reseach Institute scholarship in Los Angeles. His latest publications include: The Vertigo Years. Europe 1900 – 1914 (2008), A Wicked Company (2010), Fracture: Life and Culture in the West, 1918-1938 (2015), Die Welt aus den Angeln. Eine Geschichte der Kleinen Eiszeit von 1570 bis 1700 sowie der modernen Welt, verbunden mit einigen Überlegungen zum Klima der Gegenwart (2017) and the novel Bei Sturm am Meer (2016).
Carlo Strenger is an existential psychoanalyst, philosopher and public intellectual and serves as Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at Tel Aviv University. He is a member of the Scientific Board of the Sigmund Freud Foundation in Vienna, of the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles and is on the Terrorism Monitoring Panel of the World Federation of Scientists. He is a columnistat Israel’s leading Newspaper Haaretz and Neue Zürcher Zeitung among others. His latest publications include Zivilisierte Verachtung. Eine Anleitung zur Verteidigung unserer Freiheit (2015), Freud’s Legacy in the Global Era (2016) and Abenteuer Freiheit. Eine Anleitung zur Verteidigung unserer Kultur (2017).