Freud alludes to his early intellectual accomplishment, by claiming as childhood reading a lengthy series of historical volumes by two-time French prime minister Adolphe Thiers (1797-1877). André Masséna was one of Napoleon Bonaparte's most prominent military commanders during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars which Thiers chronicled.
Reference to a simple form of the 'magic square' mathematical trick which has served both recreational and superstitious purposes for thousands of years, originating amongst the scholars of ancient China.
Online history of the 'magic square' at Dr Mike's Math Games for Kids!
Der Graben (The Trench) was and remains a famous shopping street in Vienna's city-centre. Despite growing in respectability and profitability throughout the 19th century it was, as Freud alleges, a famous haunt of high-class prostitutes nicknamed the grabennymphen.
Freud refers here to the historical novel Hypatia by English author Charles Kingsley (1819–1875), recounting the fictionalised adventures of a Christian scholar named Philammon in 5th-century Alexandria. Freud's recollection of the novel's ending is decidedly less than vivid: the hero becomes not a madman but a widely respected abbot before his death, and mingles into his prayers the names of the two women he loved, not three. Falsely remembering a third enables Freud to continue his interpretation with a leap to the three Fates of classical myth (See note below).
Online edition of Charles Kingsley's 'Hypatia; or New Foes with an Old Face', (1853)
In Greek myth the Fates, or Moirae, were variously described as being a single being or many, descended from the gods or superior to them. Their number ultimately became fixed at three: one to spin, one to measure, and one to cut the thread of life. The first is named Clotho, whose responsibility for birth makes her a mother to all, as Freud implies by comparing her to his own.
Online overview of the Fates' mythical evolution, at Theoi.com
A line from Part I of Faust, a metaphysical tragedy by German polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). Like most of the lines Freud quotes it is spoken by the demon Mephistopheles, who speaks and acts on behalf of Satan (See note to page 65).
Online text of Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy, (first published 1808)
Reference to Ernst von Fleischl-Marxow (See note to page 88).
Reference to an anecdote in Book Ten of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's autobiography. He recounts how his friend, the poet Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803), sent him a note which played on the similarity between his name and the German words götter (god), Goten (Goths), and kot (dung).
Wien Westbahnof is a major Austrian railway station, one of the two largest in Vienna, and the point of departure for trains to many other parts of Europe. Bad Ischl is a town in upper Austria with rich salt deposits which made it a fashionable spa resort during the 19th century, when the medicinal properties of brine baths were widely touted. In the mid 1800s it became the summer residence of Austria's imperial family.
Franz Anton von Thun und Hohenstein (1847-1916) was an Austro-Hungarian nobleman who briefly served as Austrian prime minister between 1898 and 1899, resigning after his Czech sympathies gave rise to diplomatic tension with Germany.
The aria Freud recalls is from a recitative between the Countess, Susanna and Figaro in the satirical opera The Marriage of Figaro, one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's most famous works. It was adapted from The Follies of a Day, or The Marriage of Figaro, a successful stage comedy of 1778 by Pierre Beaumarchais (See note to page 276).
Online recording of the recitative from Act II, Scene One, of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro', (1784)
Online text of the libretto, by Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749-1838)
1848 saw a number of political uprisings in numerous European nations, incited by the 'June days' workers' revolt in Paris (See note to page 23). Viennese physician Adolf Fischof (1816-1893) was a leader of the Academic Legion, an organisation of university students who were a powerful revolutionary force in the city until they were crushed by the Austrian miliary, which placed Vienna under martial law.
A reference to William Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part I which chronicles the build up to the Wars of the Roses, a series of late 15th century conflicts for the throne of England between the houses of Lancaster and York. In Act II Scene Four the two opposing leaders, Richard Plantagenet for York and the Duke of Somerset for Lancaster, select white and red roses respectively as symbols of their causes.
Online text of the play at MaximumEdge.com
A reference to the first line, rather than the title, of The Roses on the Terrace by Alfred Tennyson (Demeter, and Other Poems, 1889):
ROSE, on this terrace fifty years ago,
When I was in my June, you in your May,
Two words, ‘My Rose,’ set all your face aglow,
And now that I am white and you are gray,
That blush of fifty years ago, my dear,
Blooms in the past, but close to me to-day,
As this red rose, which on our terrace here
Glows in the blue of fifty miles away.
Zola's novel chronicles the poverty and growing radicalism of French miners in the 1860s, often considered his masterpiece and certainly amongst his most successful. In Chapter Four a child is ordered to gather for dinner a salad of dandelions, called hufflatich in German and, in French, pisse-en-lit - literally 'wet-the-bed', a reference to the plant's diuretic properties.
Émile Zola's La Terre (1887) chronicles the decline of a farming family, depicting the squalor and poverty of rural life in 19th-century France (including, as Freud suggests, recreational farting competitions). Freud's determination to preserve his errors of thinking in his dream accounts indicate the importance of so-called 'slips' for his psychological theory.
Online edition of Émile Zola's 'La Terre', as translated by Henry Vizetelly, (1888)
The late-16th century conflict between Catholic Spain and Protestant England came to a head in 1588 when Philip II of Spain launched a full-scale naval invasion of Britain. After being temporarily repelled by English forces, the Spaniards retreated around the west coast of Ireland, where a combination of the current and unusually powerful gales destroyed what remained of their fleet's invasive prospects. This event was seen by many in England as a sign of the nation's divine righteousness, and was commemorated in a number of medals bearing inscriptions such as flavit et dissipati sunt ('He blew with His winds, and they were scattered').
Amongst the many works of French physician and satirical writer François Rabelais (circa 1494-1553) are a series of five novels which chronicle the comically grotesque Life of Gargantua and of Pantagrue, a father-and-son pair of giants. Freud alludes to a scene in Chapter XVII of the second volume, in which the elder of the two drowns over a quarter-of-a-million inhabitants of Paris with a flood of urine.
Online edition of François Rabelais' 'Gargantua', as translated by Thomas Urquhart and Peter Antony Motteux, (1534)