The Adolescent Diaries of Karen Horney

The Adolescent Diaries of Karen Horney

The Adolescent Diaries of Karen Horney

The Adolescent Diaries of Karen Horney

Excerpt

THESE DIARIES were discovered after Karen Horney's death in 1952. Out of respect for the privacy she always cherished, they were not examined closely at that time. By happenstance they remained in the possession of Karen Horney's youngest daughter, Renate, and gathered dust in her bookshelf for twenty years. Then one day Renate, who had emigrated to Mexico from Germany in the late thirties, was sitting in her living room, looking past the tiled patio into her luscious garden of bougain‐ villas, musing. Her mind turned to a tale about buried treasure in her garden. This was not a new line of thought, since she had absorbed much Mexican folklore and was by temperament inclined to believe in the more mysterious forces that shape our destinies. Where could this treasure be? Her eye fell on five slim volumes in a large bookcase, the five diaries of her mother. Immediately she knew this was the treasure. She took them off the shelf and read them with growing absorption. Her mission took form: with care, she transcribed the neatly handwritten documents ; the English translation saw many revisions, the main credit going to Mrs. Crena de Iongh. Renate's eldest sister, Brigitte, helped to fill in a large gap by unearthing a bundle of letters written by Karen Homey to her future husband, Oskar, which Brigitte had been given by Oskar Horney's second wife after his death.

The diaries required very little editing. Only a few entries were omitted in consideration for the flow of the narrative. While the diaries that follow speak for themselves, a few facts describing the family, its setting, and some highlights of Karen's career may help to locate the reader.

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