Like you, I read Freud in college. I’m not sure exactly which Freud but probably The Interpretation of Dreams. All that talk about sex  and childhood as if that had any importance. I also remember wondering why my dreams were so nondescript compared to the dreams he analyzed; they still are;  and not intellectually buying the theory that the overt content of a dream wasn’t what a dream was about. But like you, whether I agreed with Freud or not, I’m steeped in Freud. A world without Freud is a world without Woody Allen.
To prepare for the Civilization and Its Discontents whatever it was, I read Civilization and its Discontents. Understanding the book took a reading and some selected re-readings but I got it. Part of what threw me is the title; another part is the sound-bite that it’s about man’s aggressive instinct.
Freud had a great imagination; Freud could write. But his writing is not linear. Civilization and its Discontents begins as a response to a response to his previous book on religion. He displays an endearing modesty; every chapter begins with an apologetic coda for wasting words on the obvious.  He also uses homey examples making you feel like he’s your grandfather and not your  therapist. The book also leaves a big hanging moral question; if civilization causes discontent by restraining man’s aggressive instinct, that’s good right.

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