Picks and Pans Review: Sex as a Sublimation for Tennis

updated 08/12/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/12/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Theodor Saretsky, Ph.D.

Anyone who has ever suspected that Sigmund Freud was crazy to come up with all those notions will find pleasure in this funny book. Written by a clinical psychologist who teaches at Adelphi University, it contains "excerpts" from Freud's writings on his Tennis Instinct Theory, which included such papers as Resistance to the Lob, Penis Envy and the Prince Racket, Patricide and Losing Service, and Rough or Smooth? Even at 128 pages the paperback is long, yet Saretsky's wit is notable in a sometimes humorless profession. Other factions may counter by "discovering" Jung's papers on jogging and analytical psychology, but for now it is sufficiently moving to read Sigmund's 1938 letter: "As for me, I am no longer able to play singles with sufficient ardor. A crust of indifference is slowly creeping up on me, a fact I state without complaining. It must be connected with a decisive turn in the conflict between the two instincts (life vs. death) postulated by me, or it could be that I simply have trouble now with deep shots to the corner." (Workman, $4.95)

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