John Kerr (author)
January 31, 1950 |
Washington, D.C., USA
|Died||July 18, 2016
Portland, Maine, U.S.
John Kerr (born January 31, 1950 - Died July 18, 2016) is an American author raised in New York and best known for his in-depth book examining the relationship between Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Sabina Spielrein, titled A Most Dangerous Method.
Early life and family
Kerr was born in Washington, D.C., to mother Jean Kerr and father Walter Kerr shortly before their relocation to Larchmont, New York. He is one of six siblings, the oldest being Christopher, his twin Colin, and younger Gilbert, Gregory, and Kitty. Raised in a house of writers, his family was the subject of humorous articles scribed by his mother that would be collected into the volume Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1957).
A Most Dangerous Method is the result of an eight-year examination of the relationship between Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Sabina Spielrein, and creates a new narrative of the birth of psychoanalysis. John Kerr not only gives Spielrein her proper recognition for contributions to analytic theory, but gives fresh perspective on the Freud-Jung stalemate that resulted in the two parting ways.
Random House published A Most Dangerous Method in 1993, to the outrage of the psychoanalytical community. In November 1993 Frederick Crews wrote "The Unknown Freud", an essay published in the New York Review of Books, which used Kerr's book review as a platform to attack Freud's methods and practices. The essay would result in the largest influx of letters to the editor in the history of the New York Review of Books.
Soon after publication, talks were opened with production companies to adapt the book to film. Christopher Hampton was brought in as screenwriter. When talks stalled, Hampton adapted the work for stage. Entitled The Talking Cure, it opened in London in 2003.
After a long stint in Brooklyn, Kerr relocated to Portland, Maine, in 1998. He resided in Portland's West End. He passed at Maine Medical Center in Portland, of cardiac complications, while surrounded by friends on July 18th, 2016.