Dr. Stekel is a character right out of Nabokov, and I can almost see him wandering the churchyards of “Uncle Silas.” He has a genius for making everything sordid and vile; he believes that the fundamental human emotion is hatred. I collect his monographs for their gemlike oddities. Here is my favorite Stekelism, which I hope someday to use in a short story: “The former picture of a working together of all the organs in the human body can no longer be retained. We must conceive of an ever-persisting struggle of cells and of organs. ... We still know very little as to how the liver and the spleen think.” ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope

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