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Description - The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi by Sigmund Freud

Volume 1 of the three-volume Freud-Ferenczi correspondence closes with Freud's letter from Vienna, dated June 28, 1914, to his younger colleague in Budapest: "I am writing under the impression of the surprising murder in Sarajevo, the consequences of which cannot be foreseen". "Now", he continues in a more familiar vein, "to our affairs!" The events of World War I form a canvas for "our affairs" and the exchanges of the two correspondents in Volume 2 (July 1914 through December 1919). Uncertainty pervades these letters: Will Ferenczi be called up? Will food and fuel - and cigar - shortages continue? Will Freud's three enlisted sons and son-in-law come through intact? And, will Freud's "problem-child", psychoanalysis, survive the war? At the same time, a more intimate drama is unfolding: Freud's three-part analysis of Ferenczi in 1914 and 1916 ("finished but not terminated"); Ferenczi's concomitant turmoil over whether to marry his mistress, Gizella Palos, or her daughter, Elma; and the refraction of all these relationships in constantly shifting triads and dyads. In these, as in other matters, both men display characteristics contradictions and inconsistencies, Freud restrained, Ferenczi more effusive and revealing. Freud, for example, unswervingly favours Ferenczi's marriage to Gizella and views his indecision as "resistance"; yet several years later, commenting on Otto Rank's wife, Freud remarks, "One certainly can't judge in these matters ...on behalf of another". Ferenczi, for his part, reacts to the paternal authority of the "father of psychoanalysis" as an alternately obedient and rebellious son. The letters record the use - and misuse - of analysis and self-analysis and the close interweaving of personal and professional matters in the early history of psychoanalysis. Ferenczi's eventual disagreement with Freud about "head and heart", objective detachment versus subjective involvement and engagement in the analytic relationship - an issue that would emerge more clearly in the ensuing years - is hinted at here. As the decade and the volume end, the correspondents continue their literary conversation, unaware of the events ahead.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674174191
ISBN-10: 0674174194
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 162mm x mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-1996
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Sigmund Freud

Ernst Falzeder, a psychologist in Liezen, Austria, has published widely on the history of psychoanalysis. Eva Brabant is a psychoanalyst and historian in Paris. Patrizia Giampieri-Deutsch is a psychoanalyst and a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Vienna. Peter T. Hoffer teaches German Language and Literature at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. Axel Hoffer, M.D., a practicing psychoanalyst in the Boston area, is on the faculty of the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, East, and of the .Harvard Medical School.

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