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HYSTERIA: Book Launch



The latest graphic novel by Oscar Zarate and Richard Appignanesi – Hysteria

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, was launched at the Freud Museum in London on 14 October 2015. This was a lovely occasion, organised by the museum and comics devotee Emma Hayley, the editor of  Self Made Hero, the book’s publisher. This was an opportunity for comics readers to hear about the new book, see some original pages from it, and visit an exciting museum, situated at the house where Freud moved to in 1939 (after being warned to escape the oncoming Nazi regime and its consequences) and died in, but his daughter lived there till 1982.



Freud house in Hampstead is now a museum


Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is called ‘the father of psychoanalyses’, which is a method of treating psychopathological problems without medications or surgery, only through discussions with patients. His museum in London is a large family house on three floors, close to the reputable Hampstead Heath. There are  1,600 books inside which Freud brought with him from Austria, many of his artefacts from different ages and countries, his work desk and, of course, his infamous psychoanalysis couch, which he used for his work with patients.


The infamous couch at Freud’s house

Oscar Zarate, art, and Richard Appignanesi, script, have been intellectuals and longterm collaborators on several graphic novels including Lenin for Beginners (1977), Introducing Existentialism (2001) and, of course, Freud for Beginners (1979). The new book Hysteria (in Latin, hysteria means womb) tackles with in-depth knowledge and humour serious psychological problems, originally associated with females, but we are sure that many males can recognise the symptoms in themselves. The book is lavishly painted in black, white and grey tones using the water colour technique and deserves attention of any serious comics fan.


Zika having his copy signed by Zarate at the book launch

Self Made Hero’s Synopsis of the book:

“Hysteria follows the early career of Sigmund Freud, from his training in neurological research to his establishment of a therapeutic practice in Vienna. Taking in the psychoanalyst’s earliest clinical experiences, his studies alongside Charcot at La Salpêtrière and his interest in the work of his friend and colleague Joseph Breuer, Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate introduce the characters and case histories that inspired the development of a revolutionary new clinical therapy.”


A page from Hysteria the graphic novel

Here’s what people are saying about it:

“What a wonderful book: clear and witty; beautifully drawn; by turns both disturbing and enlightening. Whether you know Freud or not, this will speak to your inner shrink.” Rachel Cooke, The Observer

“Dark, delightful and deep, this brilliant graphic novel not only brings Freud’s case history to life but also raises crucial questions about contemporary approaches to human suffering. An inspiring and thought-provoking book.” Darian Leader

“[An] incredible graphic novel, magically brought to life with delicacy and complexity in the drawings of Oscar Zarate.” Deborah Levy


About Tijana Tamburic