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Brierley, M. (1962). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud: Translated from the German under the general editorship of James Strachey, in collaboration with Anna Freud, assisted by Alix Strachey and Alan Tyson. Vol. III (1893–1899). Early Psycho-Analytic Publications. (London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1962. Pp. vii + 353. £50 the set of 24 vols.; sold only in sets.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:468-471.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:468-471

The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud: Translated from the German under the general editorship of James Strachey, in collaboration with Anna Freud, assisted by Alix Strachey and Alan Tyson. Vol. III (1893–1899). Early Psycho-Analytic Publications. (London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1962. Pp. vii + 353. £50 the set of 24 vols.; sold only in sets.)

Review by:
Marjorie Brierley

This volume fills the last gap between Vols. II and XIV; hence the whole of Freud's work from 1893 to 1916 is now available in authoritative English translation. With the exception of one or two papers included in other numbers of this series (e.g. Vol. II, Studies on Hysteria) and the addition of three hitherto unpublished items, this book contains the papers included in the first volume of Sammlung Kleiner Schriften. It begins with the first English translation of Freud's preface to this work, followed by the obituary he wrote of Charcot; appropriately enough the frontispiece is a reproduction of the signed photograph presented by Charcot to Freud when the latter left Paris in 1886. The obituary gives an admirable and admiring account of this great man's life and work, with only a hint at the end that Charcot's views on the hereditary aetiology of hysteria needed emendation. But it was the period under Charcot which turned Freud's interest definitely from neurology-physiology to psychology, thus constituting 'the turning-point in his career'.

The next paper, 'On the Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena', attests the strength of Charcot's influence in the emphasis it lays on the aetiological importance of trauma. The conclusion reached is that 'hysterical patients suffer from incompletely abreacted psychical traumas'. Memories may become pathogenic when the original trauma is too much for the patient, or when abreaction is impossible or unacceptable. When the patient does not want to react 'the contents of the hysterical deliria often turn out to be the very circle of ideas which the patient in his normal state has rejected, inhibited or suppressed with all his might.

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