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Bos, J. Groenendijk, L. (2004). The art of imitation: Wilhelm Stekel's Lehrjahre. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(3):713-729.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(3):713-729

The art of imitation: Wilhelm Stekel's Lehrjahre

Jaap Bos and Leendert Groenendijk

In the early history of psychoanalysis, the work of Wilhelm Stekel (1868-1940) was by and large neglected, even though he wrote a considerable number of psychoanalytic studies, some of which should be considered to have had a major influence on Freud's early thought. Freud, in turn, had much greater influence on Stekel than is commonly believed. In this article, the authors aim to uncover some of these mutual influences, in particular in the field of practice, by focusing on the elements of autobiography and self-analysis. The authors have identified a number of covert autobiographical passages in the work of Stekel, and attempt to link one of these ‘revelations’ to an equally covert response to it by Freud. In the closing section of this article, the authors argue that Stekel's attempt to imitate Freud's self-analysis contributed to the fracture between the two of them.

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