Books, neurologist Sorrentino: “My interview with the brilliant storyteller Freud”

“But don’t you realize that even today keeping a person 20 years old in a gilded living room talking about mom, dad, uncle and aunt means precluding that person from freedom? It can be treated differently. Why condemn him?”. This is one of the key questions of the impossible interview carried out by neurologist and science popularizer Rosario Sorrentino in his latest book ‘Exclusive Interview with Freud. From neurologist to neurologist ‘, (Vallecchi Florence edition – pages 184, € 14), which arrived in bookstores from May 1st. An imaginary dialogue, a sometimes harsh confrontation with the father of psychoanalysis that puts the dark sides but also the complexity of Freud’s thought under the lens, together with the whole social and cultural system that has been forever influenced by it.

“Freud created a rift between neuroscience and psychoanalysis – says Sorrentino – but psychoanalysis, and I told this to Freud who did not take it well – says the neurologist, remaining in the playful and ‘theatrical’ key of the book – is not a science but, to put it like Michel Onfray, an autobiographical literary psychology or a humanistic philosophy. And Freud should be returned once and for all to philosophy because there has been nothing of what Freud said – Sorrentino argues – that is scientifically evaluated as such. He was a brilliant storyteller, an acrobat of language capable of creating a cultural, political and social totalitarianism “. To Freud, by virtue of his charisma and the influence he still has on all disciplines, Sorrentino therefore asks to “engage in neuroscience” abandoning what he defines “a dogmatic attitude” made up of “rigidity and subjectivity” before being inevitably “destined for objec lio and the inability to affect and influence. Because – affirms the neurologist – if the twentieth century was the century of the unconscious, the twenty-first is that of consciousness: we are trying to understand where it emerges from, what it is, what matter consciousness is made of. One could say it just exists, but it is not acceptable for science, science goes beyond “.” Freud was a great thinker and, although it was not he who discovered the unconscious that was already being talked about at the time in the field both philosophical and scientific, he was very witty – Sorrentino emphasizes – in understanding that this dimension of thought that lies behind the scenes actually played a central role in our flow of consciousness and thought. And nevertheless, thanks to him, a beacon was lit on the mind and the mental discomfort from then on has acquired a different meaning than before “. But there is one thing that Sorrentino does not go down and that in his dialogue unconscious with Freud prompted him to write this book: “I am tired of seeing people who come to me after years and years of psychoanalysis when they could, with adequate drug therapy and brief cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, get out of their own profound mental distress. This is why I tell Freud that I think that all the cases he solved were actually invented and that they were all a construction to bring up a legend that still lives today. So much so – Sorrentino insists – that his grandchildren, much less educated than him, actually want to make people believe, and it is the most painful thing, that 100 years have not passed since then. But in reality they have passed and today we know many more things, neuroscience is revealing many things to us. Today the thing that will bring to light so many mysteries is the connectome, that is the mapping of the mind, of a new geography of the mind circuit by circuit, neuron by neuron, synapse by synapse. Through this wiring of the brain we will understand how to cure some terrible diseases such as Alhzeimer, autism, schizophrenia “.” Psychoanalysis is a very fascinating intellectual experience, but it is an intellectual experience that can go well – says Sorrentino – for people who want to retrospectively navigate their life. But it is a shame for those people who do not accept to suffer from mental distress, who should have a diagnosis and who could have a cure and return to life and who instead remain to suffer for years and years in vain hoping to solve them. ” an appeal also to all psychoanalysts “to accept an integration with drug therapy and finally question themselves because the ethics of science is that of doubt. The brain is an organ like all the others, speaking of soul and spirit is neither of my own nor of Dr. Freud’s relevance, let us leave them to those who use these terms otherwise a series of misunderstandings and confusion are created and when there is confusion the smart people do business “.