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Andreas-Salomé, L. (1916). Letter from Lou Andreas-Salomé to Freud, April 9, 1916. The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 89:40-43.

(1916). The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 89:40-43

Letter from Lou Andreas-Salomé to Freud, April 9, 1916 Book Information Previous Up Next

Lou Andreas-Salomé

Göttingen, 9 April 1916

Dear Professor,

I am grateful that fate has not let anything of yours get lost in the post, and at your suggestion I now send you another copy of my letter on the subject of your paper on the Ucs. It will in fact be a different letter, in so far as I have read your paper, which is so rich in content, many times in the interval and shall continue to do so in the future. Nevertheless while reading I am impatiently expectant of the remaining chapters, whose content I feel able to surmise in every line. This way of acquiring the content of your work bit by bit has almost too great an attraction, but an attraction it has, without any doubt; something like looking for eggs in the garden at Easter. One keeps on finding a new egg, which one has perhaps already foolishly passed by several times, and at the same time one sees the Easter bunny in the background laying more eggs.

The first point which struck me and which gave me particular pleasure was your introduction of the concept of anticathexis. On the question of primal repression, I had thought of it something like this: although not produced by ‘withdrawal’, it is nevertheless closely related to repression proper, in so far as it involves a primordial outline, delimitation, a contour, which expresses an individual as such. Just as to me the ego seems to attain to its ego-feeling only through reaction against the instinctual mass which fills it, the reactive element in the anticathexis would seem to be that in which quantity can express itself to some extent permanently in qualitative form.

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