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Pfeiffer, E. (1972). Postscript to Sigmund Freud and Lou Andreas-Salomé: Letters. The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 89:241-242.

(1972). The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 89:241-242

Postscript to Sigmund Freud and Lou Andreas-Salomé: Letters Book Information Previous Up

Ernst Pfeiffer

Postscript

The editor of the correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Lou Andreas-Salomé is immediately confronted with the problem of the kind of public he has in mind.

It is a correspondence between the creator of psycho-analysis and an authoress of note, who became his pupil and collaborator. Psycho-analysis is the main theme of the letters, and if the reader were only concerned with this aspect of things, a few biographical and bibliographical data would be enough for his understanding of the background. Freud's correspondence with others of his collaborators has rightly been edited in this way.

But the dialogue which Freud and Lou A.-S. carry on with each other in these letters is more comprehensive, both in its personal quality and in the less exclusively technical nature of its contents. Freud writes to her, not exactly as a professional colleague, and, when his letters take on an increasing warmth, not merely as a friend. And in exactly similar fashion Lou A.-S. does not write as if to a revered teacher, whom one strives to emulate, but neither does she write as to an equal. It is clear that it was precisely Freud's reserve in entering into Lou A.-S.'s comments on his writings, and the fact that he confined his remarks to her understanding and perceptive recognition of his aims, which enabled her to give uninhibited expression to her views —all the more so as she was never tempted to depart in any degree from the firm basis of his fundamental position. The tone and attitude of Freud's letters is characterized by his remark about ‘the heights from which you descended to us’.

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