The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud: Years of Maturity, 1901-1919 - Vol. 2

The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud: Years of Maturity, 1901-1919 - Vol. 2

The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud: Years of Maturity, 1901-1919 - Vol. 2

The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud: Years of Maturity, 1901-1919 - Vol. 2

Excerpt

The years here under discussion may fairly be called Freud's years of maturity. He had overcome any personal inhibitions and corrected early mistakes. He had perfected the instruments of research he had devised and was now free to exploit them by exploring in detail the new world of knowledge they had opened to him--in a word, the Unconscious. The perplexities of youth were past and were succeeded by a greater serenity and a more critical judgment.

Freud's emotional life was by now far more contained than it had been in earlier years. The turmoil of those years had largely subsided, though it was to give signs of re-emerging in an intellectual form during the last phase of his life; and events, including personal relationships, did not touch him so nearly as they had in earlier times. His inner life, containing no secrets, was taken up with the further development and application of the ideas he had already formulated, and his outer life proceeded harmoniously in the public eye, or at least in that of a considerable circle.

The technical problem I have found most troublesome in the present volume concerns the matter of Freud's extensive writings, for after all this Biography purports to deal with both his Life and his Work. Yet the writings of this period are so well known and so accessible, both in the original and in numerous expositions of them, that it would seem otiose to offer still another account of them. I have always held that Freud's work is best understood if studied chronologically, though this applies more particularly to his earlier writings. It might be thought that the account of those of this period should best be woven into the chronology of his life in the hope that the . . .

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