Thursday, October 27

Anatole Broyard

"One night after class I spoke to Dr. Fromm. I asked him to recommend an analyst, hoping he would take me himself. But he didn't; he sent me instead to Ernest Schachtel, who taught a course in Rorschach interpretation at the New School.

"Dr. Schachtel looked like Paul Klee--or at least like a photograph I had seen of him. It pleased me to imagine that I was about to be analyzed by Paul Klee. Schachtel was thin, well-dressed, delicate-looking, almost nervous. He impressed me as the sort of man who read Schiller, Heine, and Kleist, who listened to Schubert and Mahler. His expression was melancholy and I supposed he had suffered during the war. What was it like, I wondered, to leave your own country for another, where all you met was the unhappiness and confusion of the people who lived there? Suppose when Americans went to Paris or Florence, the waiters, hotel clerks, and taxi drivers told them their dreams, their fears and nameless angers.

"In Dr. Schachtel's apartment on the Upper West Side, there was just a touch of Bauhaus. His furniture was light, almost fragile, and it occurred to me that when Germans weren't heavy they were often fragile. Like Fromm and Horney, he was a revisionist, and that was what I wanted, to be revised. I saw myself as a first draft."

--Anatole Broyard
fr. Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir
[New York: Random House, 1993]

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