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The Legends Speak

We take the words right out of their mouths as Cigar Aficionado imagines what it would be like to have a face-to-face with history’s most famous cigar smokers.
P.J. O'Rourke
From the Print Edition:
Cigar Aficionado's 20th Anniversary, September/October 2012

(continued from page 7)

CA: A lot of people have their best thoughts while they’re smoking a cigar. I understand that your everyday smoke was the Trabuco mentioned by Mark Twain. To be frank, Mr. Twain is not a man noted for his good taste in cigars.
FREUD: Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

CA: I also understand that, when you could get them, you preferred Don Pedros and Reina Cubanas. These are brands that, alas, disappeared in the nationalization of the Cuban tobacco industry after the revolution. But I assume they were of much higher quality than Trabucos.
FREUD: We are so made that we can derive intense enjoyment only from a contrast and very little from a state of things.

CA: Would you therefore suggest an occasional “change of pace” for the avid cigar smoker?
FREUD: What we call happiness in the strictest sense comes from the (preferably sudden) satisfaction of needs which have been damned up to a high degree.

CA: Then—from a psychological point of view—we should stop smoking completely in order to have the pleasure of starting again?
FREUD: An unrestricted satisfaction of every need presents itself as the most enticing method of conducting one’s life, but it means putting enjoyment before caution, and soon brings its own punishment.

CA: Sounds to me as though you aren’t as big a proponent of cigar smoking as I’d always thought you were.
FREUD: Worldly wisdom will advise us not to look for the whole of our satisfaction from a single aspiration.

CA: Yes, but…
FREUD: Look into the depths of your own soul and learn first to know yourself.

CA: Still, isn’t there something about smoking a good cigar that…
FREUD: Where id was, there shall ego be.

CA: You aren’t going all New Age on us, are you? I mean, next you’ll be telling me that there are environmental arguments against the love of cigars.
FREUD: When a love relationship is at its height there is no room left for any interest in the environment.

CA: Spoken like a true cigar cognoscente!
FREUD: Life as we find it is too hard for us; it entails too much pain, too many disappointments, impossible tasks. We cannot do without palliative remedies.

CA: That being the case, why don’t women, generally speaking, enjoy cigars as much as men?
FREUD: The great question which I have not been able to answer, despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul, is: What does a woman want?


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