Thursday, April 29, 2021

Birthday Amusements: Cajal Tweets Freud

On the advent of Cajal's birthday (1 de mayo de 1852), I have been amusing myself by imagining Cajal's reaction to two things.

First, the Psychology Department at UofSC commissioned a Founders of Psychology mural  painted by a colleague, Marius Valdes. The mural includes great pioneers from Psychology disciplines. The first time I saw it, I got a good chuckle because included among the featured figures was Cajal, but not Freud. Cajal disliked Freud and disagreed with his theories. He invested a great deal of time recording his dreams to disprove Freud.  Ultimately, Cajal decided that what he had did not merit publishing. 

Founders of Psychology Mural, UoSC Psychology Department, by Marius Valdes:

Second, I recently ran across the interview Freud gave in 1934, where he proclaimed that he was by nature an artist.   It was published in August of 1934. I wonder if Cajal ever saw it. If so, from the perspective of someone who was truly an artist, did he get a good laugh from it before his death in October of that same year? . . . . How, if given the opportunity would he respond in a tweet?

Digitally Fabricated Tweet by Dawn Hunter, Birthday Card Comedy for Cajal, April 29, 2021.  #neildegrassetyson  #steakumms

"Everybody thinks that I stand by the scientific character of my work and that my principal scope lies in curing mental maladies. This is a terrible error that has prevailed for years and that I have been unable to set right. I am a scientist by necessity, and not by vocation. I am really by nature an artist...My books, in fact, more resemble works of imagination than treatises on pathology." -Freud quote from Giovanni Papini interview, August, 1934.

Cajal, I am sure, would be much more gracious than my featured comedy routine above. All too often in our digital age powerful political and business leaders clashing on social media can be daunting, demoralizing, and cringe worthy. It is more fun imagining historical figures from the past colliding in the ether.

If you have not had a chance to see my new web site, please take a moment to check it out.  Here is a link to one of my Cajal Portfolio pages highlighting my experiences at the Cajal Institute as a Fulbright Scholar:  The Fulbright Experience.


antiago Ramón y Cajal, top Dawn Hunter, bottom.

Re-creation of inside back cover of Cajal's first sketchbook from Valencia, Fulbright Espana, Instiuto Cajal, Madrid, Spain.