Friends II

June 30, 2008

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“We are friends. I like saying that. No one ever said this to me. I like it. We are friends. It’s good!”

Also sprach Friederich Nietzche to Joseph Breuer in the film “When Nietzche Wept” written, directed and produced by Pinchas Perry based on the best-selling novel by the same name by Irvin Yalom. The story imagines a relationship between Nietzche and Dr Breur where the two men make a deal. Dr Breur promises to heal Nietzche “physically” and Nietzche agrees to cure Mr Breuer mentally.

What is so fascinating to follow in the alternate doctor-patient, dominant-passive dance between the two characters. This experience is cathartic to both parties and psychoanalysis is born. In the film (I’m unclear what is fiction and what is true here), Dr Breuer is a mentor to young Sigmund Freud, and everything that the two go through in their ur-co-therapy ultimately shows up in Freud’s philosophy. By the end of their therapy, the two decided they are friends. And Nietzche finally articulates “We are friends. I like saying that. No one ever said this to me. I like it. We are friends. It’s good!” at which points he bursts into tears.

Doesn’t it seem that you never start to really be friends with someone until you’ve had your first fight. To have a friend who is a sounding board, who is honest with you and not afraid to disagree, someone to whom you can be vulnerable to and they to you, is a great gift. I take friendships for granted and I am foolish to do so. Take time to be a friend Roger, it’s worth it.

Ben Cross plays Breur and the amazingly brilliant Arnaud Assante plays Nietzche. The story is inspired by Freud’s “Studies on Hysteria,” the book that launched the Psychoanalytic Revolution.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

citrus July 1, 2008 at 7:23 am

you MUST read Joseph Epstein’s Friendship. Brilliant. Realistic. Funny. Insightful
citrus

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