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Andreas-Salomé, L. (1915). Letter from Lou Andreas-Salomé to Freud, January 10, 1915. The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 89:22-26.

(1915). The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 89:22-26

Letter from Lou Andreas-Salomé to Freud, January 10, 1915 Book Information Previous Up Next

Lou Andreas-Salomé

[Göttingen] 10 January 1915
Address from now on:
Suarezstrasse 22


Dear Professor,

This probably somewhat lengthy letter is not intended to intrude as a trouble maker upon one of your working hours. It will be quite content to slip away into some drawer and lie there happily. Moreover I am not sure whether it will succeed in making clear what I want to say about your essay on Narcissism and whether it has been thought out clearly enough. In any case it wants to make its way to you; at least some of it, as all of it would be far too great an imposition. It doesn't really matter where I begin.

On pp. ¾ of your paper you sum up what I knew of the concept of narcissism both from what you have said and from what you have written on the subject: ‘Finally, as regards the differentiation of psychical energies, we are led to the conclusion that to begin with, during the state of narcissism, they exist together and that our analysis is too coarse to distinguish between them; not until there is object-cathexis is it possible to discriminate a sexual energy—the libido—from an energy of the ego-instincts.’

I cannot rid myself of the impression that one should to some extent differentiate the type of narcissism here defined as true narcissism37 from that type which represents a quite definite stage of development, in which the ego consciously chooses itself as object, i.e., it presupposes an object which it prefers to others, as is the case with self-admiration, vanity etc.

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