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Sklar, J. (2016). Sandor Ferenczi-Ernest Jones: Letters 1911-1933 Edited by Ferenc Erős, Judit Szekacs-Weisz and Ken Robinson Karnac, London, 2013; 246 pp; £ 23.99. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(2):538-544.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(2):538-544

Sandor Ferenczi-Ernest Jones: Letters 1911-1933 Edited by Ferenc Erős, Judit Szekacs-Weisz and Ken Robinson Karnac, London, 2013; 246 pp; £ 23.99

Review by:
Jonathan Sklar

The years 1911 through to 1933, the time of this correspondence between these two members of the first generation inner circle, published here for the first time, are of historical importance for understanding the developing field of psychoanalysis.

The letters, often tersely written and mainly from Ferenczi, are added to by their comments to one another in the Rundbriefe, as much of Jones's correspondence is lost. Letters, to Freud and to others from the two of them, adds a deeper dimension discernible beneath the manifest crust of the correspondence. Much of what is disputed between them stands, not on theoretical-political positions but the clash of their underlying character.

Early comments on the external psychiatric attackers of psychoanalysis, such as Kraeplin, then move on to the more substantial internal schisms created by Stekel, Adler, Jung, and Maeder, and show Ferenczi and Jones shoulder to shoulder with Freud in the effort to protect and guard the analytic project in which they are more than willing to see themselves implicated. When criticized by Jones, Ferenczi replies on 14 November 1911, “Freud is likely to be right … that a personal complex has played a role for me”. Both our correspondents can thus be seen working as analysts although neither has yet availed themselves of a personal analysis. Rather, as of the time, they follow Freud's path of supposed self-analysis.

[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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