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Ornston, D. (1985). Freud's Conception is Different from Strachey's. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 33:379-412.

(1985). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 33:379-412

Freud's Conception is Different from Strachey's

Darius Ornston, M.D.

SOME DISTURBING QUESTIONS HAVE COME UP about James Strachey's Standard Edition, and it will take some time before anyone is prepared to answer them.

The complete English edition of Freud's works had been eagerly awaited and these books were warmly received. They were well made, richly annotated and yet easy to read. The few reviewers who could see differences between Freud's German and Strachey's translations politely muffled their cautions in compliments (Kris, 1954); (Brierly, 1965) as did Anna Freud (1969), (1974). James Strachey's version flowed smoothly and, though he sounded different from Freud, Strachey usually sounded right. Psychoanalysts and others took to building on Strachey's wording as if it were Freud's own.

We wanted to accept Strachey's (1963), (1966) bold assumption that he could set his own opinions aside, and we needed to believe that Strachey knew what he was up to. He renewed his vow several times: "We must fall back on square brackets and footnotes, for we are bound by the fundamental rule: Freud, the whole of Freud, and nothing but Freud" (1966, p. xix).

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