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Yorke, C. (1991). A Revised Standard Edition. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 18:457-461.

(1991). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 18:457-461

A Revised Standard Edition

Clifford Yorke

It is generally recognized that the student of Freud who works and writes in English is heavily indebted to two major works: James Beaumont Strachey's Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works (1953–1974), and Ernest Jones's fine biography (1953–1957). To these Wollheim (1971) rightly added The Origins of Psychoanalysis. Letters to Wilhelm Fliess, Drafts and Notes: 1887–1902(Freud, 1954), edited by Marie Bonaparte, Anna Freud & Ernst Kris; and although a great deal about Freud and his work has since been published in English these three works remain, in all but name, the indispensable trilogy for the serious study of Freud in English. And the general reader, too, is well served. The Pelican edition of the Strachey translations, organized on the basis of subject rather than chronology, omits the detailed notes demanded by the scholar but is a uniquely accessible disseminator of Freud's psychological thinking.

All three works have attracted criticism. Jones, though acclaimed, was in some quarters accused of idealization: if there be any truth in this, his work is still unmatched. Criticism of the Origins was muted: it was impossible to deny the book's historical importance, but the fact that the Fliess letters were carefully edited, and a large number omitted altogether, prompted hints of something to hide: Masson's publication of all the letters in full (1985) showed that the selection had not done violence to science, and that the omissions concealed no murky family secrets.

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