Because Freud was my first, and you never forget your first, I always feel a degree of comfort when teaching him. While the material hasn’t changed, I still find ways to keep the material fresh, probably for my own sake so that I don’t go mad. For example, when talking about his psychosexual stages, I show pictures of me as a kid at each stage, which gives me a chance to show off my cuteness, which peaked at about age seven.
Because some of his ideas are so ridiculous and extreme, I do marvel that they gained traction. No one else was willing to write about sexuality so openly during his Victorian time, so there is that. And he was prodigious; sometimes we pay attention to sheer volume. But I do wonder if there was some obscure Viennese psychologist working on a street just behind Freud’s who outlined his own theories of personality that no one else will ever read because he came on the heels of Freud or because he was too polite or too shy or not ambitious enough. When we examine the past, it’s tempting to view one event after another as inevitable. But it’s illusion, I think. Freud could have been the obscure one, and we could have played out our Oedipal conflicts in our unconscious, where they belong. Right, Sigmund?