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Israƫls, H. (1997). Het geval Freud. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 78:815-817.

(1997). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 78:815-817

Het geval Freud

Han Israëls

Dear Sir

The October issue of your journal contained a ‘Book review essay’ by Mark Solms about my Dutch book Het geval Freud (The Freud Case). According to Solms, my scholarship is ‘extremely poor’ and the book is ‘riddled with errors and half-truths’. In order to illustrate my ‘lack of respect for the truth’, Solms criticizes five passages from the book. Since most of your readers are not able to check Solms’ comments because they do not read Dutch, I would like to show that his criticism is nonsensical.

1.Solms quotes from my book:

‘Freud’s [1934] letter to Meller clearly contradicts the image created by Bernfeld [1953] and Jones [1953] to the effect that Freud reacted without rancour to Koller’s discovery [of the local-anaesthetic property of cocaine]. So it is therefore quite understandable that Eissler wanted to keep the letter secret.’

Solms comments:

‘Israëls does not present any evidence to support his assertion that Freud reacted with rancour to Koller’s discovery.’

Solms carefully avoids mentioning what I quote from this letter, which Freud wrote spontaneously in response to a certain Professor Meller who had published about Koller’s discovery of half a century before:

‘K. Koller … was—and probably still is—a pathological personality, a self-tormenting quarreller, who was generally disliked because of his disputatiousness and his continuous aggressiveness.

[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.]

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