Letters of Sigmund Freud

Letters of Sigmund Freud

Letters of Sigmund Freud

Letters of Sigmund Freud

Excerpt

As a letter writer, my father was unusually prolific and conscientious. He dealt with his voluminous correspondence unassisted and in longhand. He answered every letter he received, no matter from whom, and as a rule this answer was in the post within twenty- four hours. His evenings he devoted to scientific writing, but every spare minute between analyses was dedicated to his correspondence. In the course of his long life strict observance of this routine resulted in the composition of many thousands of letters.

A considerable proportion of this great body of manuscript has been traced and inspected during the past few years. A far greater proportion is lost, some of it irretrievably. Letters to my father's many patients are jealously guarded by them--and rightly so--as their private property. Complete collections of letters, such as those to my father's half brother, Emanuel, and his nephew John, have obstinately refused to come to light; others, including those to my brother Oliver, have vanished in the upheavals of emigration. Through the kindness of friends and occasionally by some happy coincidence, approximately four thousand of the letters still extant have been made available to me for the purpose of this selection. Some long, others short, some sketching a mere outline . . .

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