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Analysis and Exile

Boyhood, Loss, and the Lessons of Anna Freud

Date/Time
Venue
Online (registration will be opened soon)
Admissions
General: Free

Analysis and Exile: Boyhood, Loss, and the Lessons of Anna Freud is the story of the childhood and youth of Peter Heller, one of the first children to be psychoanalyzed by Anna Freud and one of the 20 students invited to attend her experimental school in 1920s Vienna. While Anna tries to teach him how to overcome his fears, Peter’s native Vienna slides into fascist barbarism and he is forced to navigate an increasingly dangerous world. When he is eighteen, he flees to England only to be deported to Canada, where he is interned as a German-speaking foreign national; here Jewish refugees and Nazi P.O.W.’s live cheek by jowl. To tell this story, Vivian Heller draws on a wealth of primary sources, including her father’s case history and his internment diary, using novelistic techniques to bring the past alive.

About the Speaker

Vivian Heller received her Ph.D. in English Literature and Modern Studies from Yale University. She is the author of Joyce, Decadence, and Emancipation (University of Illinois Press) which won the Choice Book Award, and The City Beneath Us: Building the New York Subway. Her essays have appeared in New Observations, the Journal of Literature and Medicine, and The Georgetown Review; her short fiction has been published in Confrontation, Bomb, and Fence. She works at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and the Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia University.

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