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Masson, J.M. (1977). Cocaine Papers: By Sigmund Freud. Edited by Robert Byck. New York: Stonehill Publishing Co., 1974. 416 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 46:336-339.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:336-339

Cocaine Papers: By Sigmund Freud. Edited by Robert Byck. New York: Stonehill Publishing Co., 1974. 416 pp.

Review by:
J. Moussaieff Masson

The book under review is one more example of a publishing syndrome: the bringing together of previously published articles in one volume. This is not in and of itself particularly reprehensible, but one should expect the editor or the publisher to acknowledge the fact. In this volume of four hundred sixteen pages, only the brief (twenty-two pages) and undistinguished introduction by the editor is previously unpublished. The publisher claims on the book jacket that the book "presents for the first time the complete and authoritative versions of Sigmund Freud's important and heretofore unavailable texts… Cocaine Papers includes a wealth of previously unpublished and unavailable writing both by and about Freud."

However, the Cocaine Papers themselves were previously published in a 1963 volume. The same translations have been used by Robert Byck in the book under review, although we are told that Frederich C. Redlich has made "additions to the translation" (p. 48). What these additions consist of is difficult to ascertain. On page 112 we are given the peculiar information that the translator of Freud's 1885 paper, "Uber die Allgemeinwirkung des Cocaïs," is "unknown." Prominently displayed after the title is the information: "Notes for this edition by Anna Freud." These notes are in fact only the one-paragraph introductions to four of Freud's papers. They contain no new information or even speculation. In all, they come to two pages. The letters of Freud included in the volume all come from the 1961 edition of Freud's letters; the comments on the cocaine episode are from Jones's biography; the excellent paper by Koller's daughter, Hortense Koller Becker, is from this Quarterly (XXXII, 1963, pp.

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