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Freud, E.L. (1963). Preface to Psychoanalysis and faith: the letters of Sigmund Freud and Oskar Pfister. The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 59:7.

(1963). The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 59:7

Preface to Psychoanalysis and faith: the letters of Sigmund Freud and Oskar Pfister Book Information Previous Up Next

Ernst L. Freud

This volume of correspondence with the Swiss pastor Oskar Pfister is the third collection of Freud's letters to be published. The first consisted of his letters to Wilhelm Fliess from the years 1887 to 1902 and appeared under the title The Origins of Psycho-Analysis. The second contained a selection of mainly personal letters to 102 addressees extending over Freud's whole life-time.

We had hoped to publish his correspondence with Pfister in its entirety but, though Freud's original letters have survived, Pfister's have not. Some were destroyed by Freud at Pfister's wish (see letter dated 1.6.1927), and others perished in the hazards of emigration. However, surviving shorthand notes of Pfister's have made it possible to reconstruct his letters and hence to fill in a number of important gaps.

The correspondence began in 1909 and ended in 1937, two years before Freud's death. It consisted altogether of 134 items by Freud, of which nearly a hundred, mostly unabbreviated, are reproduced here.

The editors thank Anna Freud for her help in the work of selection; Professor Herbert Meng's Working Party for Psycho-Hygiene in Basle University, and in particular one of its members Christine M. Senn-Duerck, for their assistance in preparing the material for publication; and Frau Pfister, Pfister's widow, who was assisted by Pastor Pfenninger, for their work on his letters.

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