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Andreas-Salomé, L. (1916). Letter from Lou Andreas-Salomé to Freud, July 17, 1916. The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 89:48-50.

(1916). The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 89:48-50

Letter from Lou Andreas-Salomé to Freud, July 17, 1916 Book Information Previous Up Next

Lou Andreas-Salomé

Göttingen, 17 July 1916

Dear Professor,

I received the first of the three parts of the Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis73 a few days ago—very many thanks. As I read the introductory chapter I remembered vividly the very first of your lectures I attended, where your warning and virtually repelling words sounded particularly impressive as a result of the serious, almost sombre tone in which you spoke to us. But it is quite right—and I know this better now than I did then—to give these warnings at the outset, and to give them not just for those who are considering psycho-analysis as a profession. It is right and necessary for everyone that psycho-analysis should be removed out of the sphere of the harmless into that of the fateful, which only brings happiness because it is based on insight, i.e., as that through which life finds its bearings ever anew.

It is specially through ‘slips’ that one first experiences this, since it is with them that people are least unwilling to undertake investigation. If your exposition were to follow the chronological order of your works and begin with the case-histories, then it would be rather the need for sensation that would be excited, whereas in this way curiosity is aroused through the very fact that not only is there nothing sensational, but that apparently there is nothing really there at all. Then one seems to see a few branches bent aside in the dense undergrowth, and one has the feeling that there are narrow little footpaths leading on to something new.

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