Freud cigar quote : LUSENET : History & Theory of Psychology : One Thread

I hear it quite often, but did Freud ever actually say "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar"?

-- John Zimny (, August 30, 2003


Ray Fancher, who has written extensively on Freud, has told me that it does not appear in his writings. The actual origins of it I do not know, but my guess is that someone said something along the of "even for Freud, a cigar must have sometimes been just a cigar," and it got picked up as an actual quote rather than a (completely plausble) speculation.

-- Christopher Green (, August 30, 2003.

Good question. Bartlett's Familiar Qoutations lists it as "attributed" rather than providing a source, which suggests it is part of the Freudian folklore.

-- Hendrika Vande Kemp (, August 30, 2003.

I've done some research on this attributed quotation in the past. The best I was able to come up with is that it was attributed to Freud by one of his students (in an interview). However, I don't have the source of that information available. Now if anyone could trace that elusive quote about the mind being an iceberg (etc etc), that would make my day -- the iceberg reference comes up _everywhere_ and I've never been able to find it.

-- Casper H. (, September 12, 2003.

No source for this - it just came from a page I read, and I quote

"Sigmund Freud was once asked about the psychoanalytic significance of his smoking a cigar, to which he replied that a good cigar was merely a smoke."

This is the closest thing that I have seen, but I haven't looked in to it that much.

-- Jeff Christian (, September 15, 2003.

I don't have a source for this either, but I recall hearing that this statement came from Freud in response to a question during a the famous Clark University lectures. Freud had been describing the latent sexual meaning and significance of dream symbols, when someone asked, "You seem to smoke a lot of cigars, what does *that* symbolize?" Thus issued the famous but apparently unsubstantiated, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Even we don't have an exact reference, it sounds like Freud (to me), and is consistent with his persistant refusal to analyze his addition.

Scott Greer

-- Scott Greer (, September 17, 2003.

supposedly whilst giving a talk on oral fixation someone noted his cigar smoking and asked if he might have an oral fixation,and he is supposed to have replied "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar"

-- john martin (, October 10, 2004.

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