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Roazen, P. (2006). Recollecting Freud by Isidor Sadger, Alan Dundes (Ed.), Johanna Micaela Jacob-sen and Alan Dundes (Trans.) University of Wisconsin Press, 2005, 196 pp., $ 26.95. ISBN 0-299-21100-2. Psychoanal. Psychol., 23(2):452-455.
(2006). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 23(2):452-455
Recollecting Freud by Isidor Sadger, Alan Dundes (Ed.), Johanna Micaela Jacob-sen and Alan Dundes (Trans.) University of Wisconsin Press, 2005, 196 pp., $ 26.95. ISBN 0-299-21100-2
Review by: Paul Roazen, Ph.D.
A review of this fascinating new little book needs, I think, to come in 2 parts: (1) an examination of its merits and limitations, and (2) an explanation of how a text 1st written in the late 1920s came to be published now for the first time.
The author, Isidor Sadger (1867-1942), was a Viennese neurologist who first heard Freud lecture in September 1895, and then later joined (1906)
Freud's Wednesday Psychological Society. The name of that organization was later changed to the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, and Sadger remained in it until 1933. The book itself contains, he tells us, “nothing other than what I personally experienced, and the impressions that Freud's character, his actions and writing made on me. In no place have I sought to present biographical details that I did not myself witness” (p. 5).
At those 1895 lectures on the psychoneuroses where Sadger first heard Freud, there were only 2 other young medical auditors. Since Freud subsequently repressed the memory of that series of talks, erasing them from his 1914 “On the History of the Psychoanalytic Movement,” Sadger comments rather eloquently on what it tells us about Freud's characteristic way dealing with his professional beginnings:
For a great man who has worked his way up from humble origins, there are 2 possibilities: Either he places his tattered boots with which he marched into town under a glass dome and tells everyone, “In these tattered boots I came into town and now I am a great man!” or he never had to wear torn boots in the 1st place.
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