The Freud Journal of Lou Andreas-Salomé

The Freud Journal of Lou Andreas-Salomé

The Freud Journal of Lou Andreas-Salomé

The Freud Journal of Lou Andreas-Salomé

Excerpt

Lou Andreas-Salomé will probably always be remembered best for her friendships, notably for those with Nietzsche, Rilke, and Freud. The sheer weight of the names ensures her vicarious immortality; who else could have been even slightly acquainted with all three? The apposition of the philosopher, the poet, and the psychoanalyst in the life and memories of one woman suggests her uniqueness of character. Hers was no borrowed luster. There existed such interaction between the woman and each of the three men that her spirit may be found to have insinuated itself into the writings of all of them. Hence we turn with interest to the first of her journals to be published and look in it for the fresh record of great meetings.

Even the most intimate of private journals seems to presuppose the eventual attention of a second reader. This one has about it the note of address to an audience which implies that it was designed for publication, at least in part, and we must assume that the author's critical eye attended it. It was kept in a little red loose-leaf notebook which escaped the Nazis, who after her death in 1937 presumed to purge her library. For the most part it is a record of her studies with Freud and his pupils, but the remarkable fact of the record is that the student approached her teacher as a respectful equal, never doubting that the experiences of her own life could serve as criteria for the validity of the findings of the great discoverer.

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