Today when we address the subject of literature in psychoanalysis, we are reconsidering a relationship which, in fact, reaches back to the beginnings of psychoanalysis. 1 One could well date its origin with Freud's letter to Fliess of 15 October 1897 (Freud, Letters) and arrive at results which may still strike us as surprising. I shall give a summary of this letter, then cite several passages from it. Initially, Freud reports upon the continuation of his self-analysis and in the process begins to talk about his old nursemaid, who was discovered to be a thief and was therefore discharged. He then reflects upon a dream of his own which concerns taking money from the mother of a doctor. He conjectures that, as a small child, he must have heard that the nursemaid was a thief but then forgot this information. Her disappearance must have had some effect on him. What happened to the memory of her disappearance, he asks himself in that letter to Fliess. At this point he recalls a thought which from time to time takes possession of him: "I can't find my mother. I cry in despair.... Brother Philipp, twenty years my senior, who was evidently supposed to take care of me, opens (probably to satisfy my demands) a locked wardrobe, Kasten in Austrian parlance, and not finding mother here either, I cry even harder until she comes through the door, slim and beautiful."
Subsequently, Freud explains this sequence of memories as follows: "I must have been afraid that mother had disappeared just like the old nurse-maid. I must have also heard something to the effect that the latter was locked up because of her stealing—'eingekastett' [Austrian dialect,