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Varvin, S. (2013). Letter from Prague. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 94(3):431-435.

(2013). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 94(3):431-435

Letter From

Letter from Prague

Sverre Varvin, M.D.

Prague 1969

I was a young student hitchhiking in the eastern part of Europe and arrived in Prague early one morning. Wandering around in the centre of Prague was a ghost-like experience. Few people in the street and very difficult to orient oneself. Most of the street signs were gone.

It was as if empty eyes stared at me from the wall of the buildings where it should have said Linhartska, Kaprova, Platnéřská.

The atmosphere was depressed and I wondered whether it was me, after a long journey on the road from Budapest, or if the scene was really depressing. A bus trip to my student hostel made a deep impression. It was an old bus without suspension. Impossible to sit without feeling stabbed each time the bus hit the many holes in the road. The young woman collecting tickets at the back sat there and burst out crying as if everything had become too much. I did not spend a long time in Prague then.

Prague 1989

A joyful trip with my wife and two children in Eastern Europe. We arrived in Prague and walked around the beautiful old town. And suddenly, in the early sunshine, Beatles was in the air. A group of young boys had rigged their gear and played with astonishing enthusiasm the Beatles songs we all knew. My children were fascinated - and a bit surprised, as this seemed to them to be quite ‘old’ music. The young boys had obviously been practising a lot - in a cellar or some similar place, and now they could play in public. What a pleasure!

Prague 1989

Czechoslovakia is again part of Central Europe. Psychoanalysis is free again, emerging from its more or less hidden existence. Psychoanalysis had existed ‘underground’ for more than 40 years and several of the important members of the Czech Psychoanalytic Society had received their training in this period (Sebek, 2013).

Prague 1993

The psychoanalysts of Czechoslovakia became a study-group once again.

Prague 2004

At the IPA New Orleans Congress the psychoanalytic society was established.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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