Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To sort articles by author…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

While performing a search, you can sort the articles by Author in the Search section. This will rearrange the results of your search alphabetically according to the author’s surname. This feature is useful to quickly locate the work of a specific author.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Lebovici, S. (1978). Presidental Address in Honour of the Centenary of the Birth of Karl Abraham. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 59:133-144.

(1978). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 59:133-144

Presidental Address in Honour of the Centenary of the Birth of Karl Abraham

Serge Lebovici

Our Congress gives us an appropriate occasion to celebrate the memory of Karl Abraham, one of the pioneers of psychoanalysis, who was born a century ago and died prematurely, at the age of 49, on Christmas Day 1925. Abraham played an essential part in the beginnings of our Association, having been President in 1914 and again in 1925. However, I do not intend to eulogize Karl Abraham here; nor do I want to describe his life or summarize his work.

The importance of ambivalence in mental life, particularly in the work of mourning (as Abraham has abundantly shown) should prevent each of us from repeating Theodore Reik's experience when he was asked by Freud to give the eulogy to the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society after the death of his teacher (Reik, 1953). As you know, Reik had been analysed by Abraham, who did not ask for payment. They remained excellent friends, although Reik, who was not a physician, came up against Abraham's hostility towards the practice of analysis by 'laymen'. This was certainly a cause, albeit perhaps a superficial one, of Reik's ambivalence to the teacher and friend whose funeral eulogy he was instructed to deliver. This situation led him to undertake a very interesting essay into self-analysis which went on for 25 years. Reik wondered why, after learning of Abraham's death during the Christmas holiday of 1925, he was constantly haunted by the recollection of the chorus of the last movement of Gustav Mahler's Second Symphony. It is sufficient here to recall that Reik came to draw a parallel between the relationship of Gustav Mahler and Hans Von Bülow on the one hand, and his own relationship with Abraham on the other—Mahler had been introduced to the Hamburg orchestra by Bülow, whom he then succeeded.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.