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Andreas-Salomé, L. (1914). Letter from Lou Andreas-Salomé to Freud, July 5, 1914. The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 89:18.

(1914). The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 89:18

Letter from Lou Andreas-Salomé to Freud, July 5, 1914 Book Information Previous Up Next

Lou Andreas-Salomé

Göttingen, 5.vii.1914

Dear Professor,

No: I was not trying to suppress any objections—even the completest candour on my part would probably have appeared in a highly unrepressed form once I had committed it to paper, so little do I believe that candour between us could lead to dissension. Only the fact that the mass distribution of this important work will inevitably involve replies en masse, and the thought of the distress which this will cause you, impelled me to be as laconic as possible in my reply.

On reading your essay my thoughts ran almost with excitement along these lines: all true revolutions are subject to abuse, but from its very nature Freudian psycho-analysis calls forth this abuse in a completely new fashion, so that there is no way of avoiding all these ‘unmaskings’, ‘accusations’ and most painful discussions. For the truths of psycho-analysis lie hidden behind a series of resistances (in all of us!), and we have lost the old childish joy in the game of hide-and-seek, where it is precisely what has been deliberately hidden which is discovered in its hiding place with an uninhibited shout of joy. One cannot convince anybody of this, unless he is inwardly prepared to accept it—but it is precisely this combination of experience and knowledge which is most attractive and impressive in this new science, and it is this which gives a special drama to all the tensions which arise from it.

Certainly no one can foresee whether outside the real core of psycho-analytical investigation, in its wider implications, philosophic and otherwise, opinions will always agree; for it is just in such spheres that people are most influenced by personal attitudes, however much they may strive to divest themselves of them.

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