The Jokes of Sigmund Freud

joke freud

The Jokes of Sigmund Freud: A Study in Humor and Jewish Identity 3rd Edition by Elliott Oring (Author)

The Jokes of Sigmund Freud unravels the intimate connections between Sigmund Freud and his Jewish identity. Author Elliott Oring observes that Freud frequently identified with the characters in the jokes he told, and that there was a strong relationship between these jokes and his own psychological and social state. This analysis offers novel insights into the enigmatic character of Freud and a fresh perspective on the nature of the science that he founded.


The author writes in a highly sophisticated yet lucid and readable style‚Ķ. An interesting investigation of a relatively little studied aspect of Freud’s life that ought to have appeal not only in relation to Freud’s life but as a prototypical study of Jewish identity. (Library Journal)

Oring uses psychoanalytic methods of interpretation and his detective work is uncanny. His novel approach yields a devastating, original portrait of Freud, rich in startling insights. (Publishers Weekly)

The most sustained effort, a well-informed monograph from which I have learned. (Peter Gay)

There is something very bracing in Oring’s ability to find some of Freud’s deepest concerns in something apparently frivolous. (Women’s Wear Daily)

Oring’s book on Freud is meticulous, intelligent, solidly researched, and well written. (Leo Rosten)

Oring’s work is a serious work of psychobiography. He has collected the jokes and compiled other materials in a scholarly, beautifully annotated way. (International Review Of Psychotherapy)

Oring’s analysis is subtle, extremely well-documented, and practically free of conjecture. (Semiotica: Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies)

The author manages to be analytical without denigrating Freud, thus avoiding the negative bent in which so many of his critics seem to delight. It makes enjoyable reading. (L.I.G.H.T.)

The thoroughness of Oring’s scholarship is impressive. He has ferreted through a mountain of writings by and about Freud, and his treatment of the material is highly intelligent and interesting. (The Jerusalem Post)

Professor Oring, an anthropologist, has not told us what Freud has eaten, but his integration of data provides a satisfying treatment of the socio-historical context for what other pathologists have previously uncovered. (International Psychologist)

Oring has made a major contribution to the study of Freud. (Los Angeles Jewish Community Bulletin)

About the Author

Elliott Oring received his Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University in 1974 and is currently Professor of Anthropology at California State University, Los Angeles. He has written extensively about folklore, humor, and cultural symbolism. His books include Israeli Humor (1981), Humor and the Individual (1984), and Jokes and Their Relations (1992), as well as Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction (1986), and Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: A Reader (1989). He served as editor of Western Folklore and is currently on the editorial board of Humor: International Journal of Humor Research. Dr. Oring is a Fellow of the American Folklore Society and a Folklore Fellow of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters.

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