Maryse Choisy (1903-1979) was a French journalist, writer, and psychoanalyst. She was a patient of Sigmund Freud's in 1922 but stopped abruptly for unknown reasons. After that she hung out with members of the Surrealist movement in Paris, and became a journalist, writing both a palmistry column in a newspaper (in 1930 she would co-found the Association for the Restoration of Traditional Occultism) and what she called the "lived-through" series of columns, starting with experiences of her month harvesting wine grapes in the South of France, continuing with "One month as a taxi driver," "One month as a nurse," "One month as a lion-tamer," and so forth, often later published as books.

Her two most controversial in this series were "One Month Among the Men," for which she went to Greece in 1929. In order to stay at Mount Athos, where women are banned, she cut off not only her hair but her breasts (I couldn't find details on what was meant by this) and wore a prosthetic penis as well as a Charlie Chaplin mustache and a pair of Harold Lloyd glasses. The other most controversial was "One Month Among The Girls" in which she explored prostitution in France by working as a maid in some brothels. My 1960 English translation of this last one has, in large lettering on the cover, "The Book That Closed The Brothels of Paris!" (The book itself, although the author says she is against the brothels, is fairly well-balanced and tells all sides of the story of the straight brothels, though it is rather anti-gay male.)

In 1939 she returned to the Catholic Church under the influence of Teilhard de Chardin (and stopped the sales of the two controversial books mentioned above for 20 years). At this point her writing mostly went into the psychoanalytic field. She founded and edited from 1946-1955 a journal, Psyché: Revue Internationale de Psychanalyse et des Sciences de l'homme, which "was part of a revisionist effort regarding Freud's teachings, of an occultist, meditative, or Orientalist tendency, through which a rather diffuse fidelity to the ideals of the Roman Catholic Church was affirmed" {Roudinesco. Jacques Lacan et Co. p.192} ( By the 1950s, she did things such as giving the Indian guru Shivananda the TAT (Thematic Aperception Test). "This is a ‘projective’ test consisting in interpreting some ambivalent images by putting on the stage personages evoking parents. The last image of the series is blank, void. Seeing it, the yogi began to speak about the Self being nothing else but Brahman penetrating the universe, omnipotent, omniscient, being at the same time both at the centre and at the periphery, everywhere and nowhere... Having heard this, Choisy collected her bunch of tests and, not without wisdom, concluded that a sage of the Himalaya could not be evaluated with the same methods used for school children." (

Her "Psychoanalysis of the Prostitute" and "Sigmund Freud: A New Appraisal" were widely read in English as well as the original French, in which these and other books were quite well-known. (Most of the information about her on the Web is in French.)

Sources: Choisy's preface for the 1960 English translation of A Month Among The Girls, and her 1920s observations in that book.,,,,

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