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Birksted-Breen, D. (2019). 100 years of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 100(1):1-6.

(2019). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 100(1):1-6


100 years of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis

Dana Birksted-Breen

Unperturbed by a letter from a London publisher (1924), saying that the latest news from America suggested that “psycho-analysis was in decline already, the subject having suddenly gone ‘flop’”, Dr. Jones set the course by which the International Journal and the Library became highly respected means of communication and worthy archives of psycho-analytic development. (Payne 1958, 308)

Although the idea of an English language journal had first been mentioned in 1913, it was not until after World War I that the idea came to fruition. Jones tells Freud that the time is ripe for an English language journal in the same letter in which he mentions his grief for the recent death of his young wife. Coming not long after the devastation of the First World War, the new journal becomes a sign of survival and of life over death, of creativity and action in the wake of mourning.

You see I can look forward in life, although I have been through hell itself these last three months. It has been an indescribably terrible experience, signifying more even than a tremendous loss—owing to my inner psychical situation and the poignant circumstances of my wife’s death. But I am surely winning through, and have learnt very much by it. (Jones 1918, 326)

Freud replies on 22 December 2018: “Needless to say we are all impatient to get your contributions to the Zeitschrift and see you taking an active part in the new career, opening for ‘her’.”

Different agendas, personal rivalries and financial issues were at stake.

[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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