Page 303. " we were standing at the windows of our room on the Riva Schiavoni, looking at the blue lagoon "
View of the lagoon from the Riva degli Schiavoni, (2006)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeView of the lagoon from the Riva degli Schiavoni, (2006) - Credit: welleschik

   The Riva degli Schiavoni is Venice's main waterfront promenade, running along the lagoon's northern bank just east of the famous Piazza San Marco.  A hotspot for tourists, the Riva offers one of the city's best known views across the water to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

Google Map


Page 306. " In the analysis the Augean stables, cleared by Hercules, came to my mind at once "

   In Greek mythology King Augeas was a powerful ruler whose famous stables had for many years housed a huge number of cattle but, due to administrative oversight, had never been cleaned.  Washing the filth away in a single day was assigned as one of the less glamorous labours of the hero Heracles (Latinised as 'Hercules'), who accomplished the task by combining his great strength with lateral thinking and diverting two rivers to run through the stables. 


Online overview of mythical sources detailing Heracles' labours, at

Page 306. " Gulliver puts out the great conflagration in Lilliput; though by doing so, it is true, he attracts the displeasure of the smallest of queens "
'Gulliver quenching the Fire', Luis Quintanilla, (1947)
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book Drum'Gulliver quenching the Fire', Luis Quintanilla, (1947) - Credit: Descendants of Luis Quintinilla

   A reference to the episode in Part I, Chapter Five of Jonathan Swift's satire Gulliver's Travels (See note to page 27) in which, while visiting the miniature land of Lilliput, the traveller single-handedly saves its Imperial palace from a blaze by extinguishing it with urine.  In some later editions the book's more risqué passages were censored, and the exact means Gulliver uses to fight the fire were left to the reader's imagination.


Online edition of Jonathan Swift’s ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ (1726)


Gulliver's Travels on Book Drum



Page 306. " Gargantua too, Master Rabelais's superman, takes his revenge on the people of Paris by aiming his stream of urine at the town "

   Freud again refers to an episode in a series of grotesque novels by 16th-century French satirist François Rabelais (See note to page 166).

Online edition of François Rabelais' 'Gargantua', as translated by Thomas Urquhart and Peter Antony Motteux, (1534)

Page 307. " The speedy disappearance of all the excrement alludes to the motto: Flavit et dissipati sunt "

   A second reference to Spain's unsuccessful invasion of England in 1588 (See note to page 165).

Page 313. " All my friends are in some sense incarnations of this first figure, 'who came before my clouded gaze so long ago' "

   A version of two lines from the opening 'Dedication' to Part I of Faust, a metaphysical tragedy by German polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832):


YE wavering shapes, again ye do enfold me,  

As erst upon my troubled sight ye stole;  

Shall I this time attempt to clasp, to hold ye?  

Still for the fond illusion yearns my soul?


Online text of Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy, (first published 1808)

Page 315. " Not even at the bed of his sick father can Shakespeare's Prince Hal avoid the temptation of trying on the crown to see how it suits him "

   A reference to Act IV Scene Five of William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One, in which Prince 'Hal' prematurely dons the crown of England. His excuse, that he momentarily thought his father dead, only enrages the king further:

Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought


Online text of the play at

Page 318. " the thought: 'After all, it's only a dream' while we are still dreaming has the same intention as the one Helen of Troy gives it on the open stage in Offenbach's comic opera "

   Freud refers to a scene in Act II of La Belle Hélène, by German/French composer Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880).  Helen of Troy, finding Paris in her bedchamber, provides him with the perfect excuse for his planned adultery by exclaiming that "Ce n'est qu'un rêve" (It is only a dream).



La Belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach 


Clip from a production at the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet, starring Felicity Lott and Yann Beuron, (2001)


Online text of the libretto, by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, (first performed 1864)

Page 325. " if a few bars of music are quoted (as they are in Don Giovanni), and someone says 'That's from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro' "
'Don Juan and the statue of the Commander', Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard, (circa 1830-1835)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeDon Giovanni meets his end, Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard, (circa 1830-1835) - Credit: Rama

    A reference to the finale of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's comic cautionary opera Don Giovanni (1787). As the doomed scoundrel enjoys a last, luxurious meal, his orchestra plays snatches of popular 18th-century music, including an aria from the composer's own previous work (See note to page 161).



Online recording of the aria from the Act I finale of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's  'The Marriage of Figaro', (1784)

Online recording from the Act II finale of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's  'Don Giovanni' (1784), which quotes the above's melody

Online text of Don Giovanni's libretto, by Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749-1838)