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Wolf, E.S. (1977). Aus Freuds Sprachwelt Und Andere Beiträge (Freud's World of Language and Other Contributions): By K. R. Eissler, S. Freud, S. Goeppert, and K. Schröter. Bern, Stuttgart, Wien: Verlag Hans Huber, 1974. 186 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 46:531-533.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:531-533

Aus Freuds Sprachwelt Und Andere Beiträge (Freud's World of Language and Other Contributions): By K. R. Eissler, S. Freud, S. Goeppert, and K. Schröter. Bern, Stuttgart, Wien: Verlag Hans Huber, 1974. 186 pp.

Review by:
Ernest S. Wolf

Since Freud remains a focus of fascination for scholars, it is commendable that on the occasion of publishing some newly discovered Freud juvenilia, the editors have graced this little volume by bringing together four thoughtful and perceptive contributions to the growing corpus of Freud scholarship. The core of this book consists of the earliest extant literary productions of the fifteen-year-old Freud: five aphoristic sentences, Freud's "Absent-Minded Thoughts" (Zerstreute Gedanken). The editor does not tell us whether the title is his or Freud's. This is not a trivial question when one considers the psychological similarity between "absentminded thinking" and "free associations." Did the title prefigure Freud's later preoccupation? The Zerstreute Gedanken were first published on the last page of the Musarion, a school newspaper produced by the sixth form of the high school Freud attended. (Next to nothing is known about the Musarion, but it is intriguing to notice that during the same year, Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy was published by the Musarion publishing house. Were Freud and his schoolmates imagining themselves to be like the publisher of Nietzsche's radical new insights?)

K. R. Eissler's lucid commentary on the five sentences analyzes the adolescent's moral vexations as they are reflected in Freud's aphorisms and as they became transformed and embedded in Freud's mature opus. Eissler's erudition combines with his mastery of the details of Freud's life and work to yield brilliant insights, some speculative, others firmly based on the available evidence.

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