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Balint, M. (1954). Géza Róheim 1891–1953. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 35:434-436.

(1954). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 35:434-436

Géza Róheim 1891–1953

Michael Balint

Géza Róheim had the good and bad luck to be born the only child of fairly well-to-do parents. Their house was well known throughout Budapest for its hospitality, excellent kitchen, and still more excellent wines, grown in their own vineyards.

He was an over-protected and rather spoilt child, as is illustrated by an anecdote which he related on many occasions of an incident which, he said, had a considerable influence on the choice of his life-interest. When he was in his early teens, his father opened an account for him at one of the oldest bookshops in Budapest. The old assistant there, recognizing Róheim's insatiable avidity for reading, directed his interest towards folk-tales, myths, and first-hand records of primitive tribes. Thus, at an age when fairy tales are usually read for amusement, Róheim laid the foundations of his magnificent library, and of his almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the original sources of what, on the continent, is called ethnology. While still a student at a grammar school in Budapest he was invited to give a lecture to the Hungarian Ethnological Society (the Hungarian equivalent of the Royal Anthropological Society), and in 1911, when not yet 20, he published his first paper in the Journal of that Society, on 'Dragons

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