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Kanzer, M. (1973). Comment on the Letter of Professor Marius Tausk. Am. Imago, 30(4):336-339.

(1973). American Imago, 30(4):336-339

Comment on the Letter of Professor Marius Tausk Related Papers

Mark Kanzer, M.D.

I can well understand the distress of Professor Tausk that the important discoveries about his father in recent years (to which he himself contributed much data) have become so unsuitably a source of polemics. I believe that this phase will subside and the intrinsic historical and scientific position of Victor Tausk will be enhanced. He must forever be cast in the role of a brilliant, romantic and tragic figure in the early group of pioneers that formed about Freud.

In fact, my own part in the unravelling of the Tausk story followed from studies I had been making for the 1970 Nunberg lecture, which has since appeared in part as “Freud: The First Psychoanalytic Group Leader”; (Kanzer, 1971 A). This led to the third, hitherto unpublished, volume of the Nunberg-Federn material on the Minutes of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society being placed at my disposal. From this, I extracted data which, together with facts about Tausk that were published by Paul Roazen (1969), made it possible for me to identify and validate two of the former's “case reports” as autobiographical.

How rare and unexpected it must be in the history of analytic research to have a hypothesis validated by the original figure after sixty years! This proves to be the case with respect to my inference that the study of a ten year old boy, which appeared first in 1913, was an account of the analysis of two dreams of Marius Tausk by his own father; (1924), Professor Tausk acknowledges this basic fact, for which I am grateful. I believe that there is also historical significance in this affirmation, for the study is among the earliest in child analysis and, as a depth psychology revelation of symbiotic interrelations between a father and son, is of unusual interest.

There are some minor corrections offered by Professor Tausk which are not surprising, since he can fall back upon his memories where I had to use plausible inferences that I regard as quite different from speculations.

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