Freud's Correlation with Joseph Popper Lynkeus. Fritz Wittels. Pp. 492–498.
This witty sketch contains three dreams of a man who boasted that he 'never dreamed anything nonsensical'. Brill comments on the remarkable fact that the author actually showed that dreamdistortion will not occur if there is compatibility of the impulses raging in the psychic life.
The story was written prior to Freud's DreamInterpretation, and Freud himself did not read Dreaming Like Waking until several years after 1899. It then prompted him to study Popper's other writings. Joseph Popper was a physicist, poet and social reformer, a contemporary of Freud, with a similar Viennese background. Ten years after Popper's death, Freud paid tribute to this original thinker with whose idealistic reformative ideas he could sympathize but not agree. In My Connection With Joseph Popper Lynkeus, Freud explained that the absence of dreamdistortion evidences a high degree of inner harmony, since distortion is the result of a compromise between the repressing forces and the unconscious. He suggested that such harmony might well characterize the personality of Joseph Popper as well as the ideal social order which he so passionately advocated.
Fritz Wittels, author of a book on Popper which he once sent to Freud, discusses the relationship of these two men. He quotes parts of a letter from Freud in which we find thoughts later expressed in My Connection With
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Joseph Popper Lynkeus. Freud stated that though he admired Popper for his understanding of the mechanisms of the dream, he felt no desire to meet him personally. Too often, Freud said, he had felt rejected by men whom he admired but who were unable to understand his lifework. Wittels confirms the correctness of Freud's expectation by relating how, at the age of eighty-three when reading Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Popper could only appreciate the quotations from LeBon. However, Wittels points at other motivations which Freud might have had for avoiding Popper, the scientist and fatherimage, until it was too late and in Freud's own words, he could 'but salute his bust in the park in front of our City Hall'.
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Van Der Heide, C. (1949). Psychoanalytic Review. XXXIV, 1947. Psychoanal. Q., 18:259-260