Von Unwerth, Matthew 1970–

views updated

Von Unwerth, Matthew 1970–

PERSONAL: Born 1970.

ADDRESSES: HomeNew York, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Publicity Department, Riverhead Books, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014.

CAREER: New York Psychoanalytic Institute, New York, NY, director of Abraham A. Brill Library; Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of the Imagination, New York, NY, communications coordinator; also in private practice in New York, NY.


Freud's Requiem: Mourning, Memory, and the Invisible History of a Summer Walk, Riverhead Books (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Sigmund Freud's 1915 essay "On Transcience," in which the renowned father of modern psychoanalysis contemplates topics such as death, mourning, and the meaning of life, was based in part on a discussion he had with two friends while walking through the countryside. Ninety years later, the nonfiction work Freud's Requiem: Mourning, Memory, and the Invisible History of a Summer Walk, written by psychoanalyst Matthew von Unwerth, examines this fairly obscure essay, as well as Freud's life and relationships. The work explores concepts such as the influence that death and mourning have on humankind's appreciation of art, beauty, and our capacity to love.

In the New York Times Book Review, Hugh Eakin wrote that "von Unwerth's unconventional approach is refreshing, and his literary fluency brings vitality to a well-worn subject." Library Journal reviewer E. James Lieberman described von Unwerth's writing as "delicate, powerful, and full of beauty," with "prose that floats like music," while a Publishers Weekly contributor lauded the book as a "lyrical meditation" and "accessible, intriguing and daringly speculative." Writing for the History News Network, Leslie Kitchen called Freud's Requiem "warmly humanistic, lyrical, elegiac, and profound—a haunting examination of what Freud and psychoanalysis can teach us about death, mourning, memory, love, and creativity." Kitchen added, "It is to Matthew von Unwerth's everlasting credit that his book about Freud's strange, eloquent little essay has managed to take on the qualities of its subject while remaining a significant contribution to the history of ideas."



Library Journal, July 1, 2005, E. James Lieberman, review of Freud's Requiem: Mourning, Memory, and the Invisible History of a Summer Walk, p. 102.

New York Times Book Review, August 7, 2005, Hugh Eakin, review of Freud's Requiem.

Publishers Weekly, May 23, 2005, review of Freud's Requiem, p. 70.


History News Network, http://hnn.us/ (October 6, 2005), Leslie Kitchen, review of Freud's Requiem.

Penguin Group, http://us.penguingroup.com/ (March 13, 2006), profile of Matthew von Unwerth.

About this article

Von Unwerth, Matthew 1970–

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article