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Roazen, P. (2006). Two Interviews with Reik. Psychoanal. Psychol., 23(4):676-683.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 23(4):676-683

Two Interviews with Reik

Paul Roazen, Ph.D.

I first saw Reik on October 26, 1965, as part of my interviewing about the history of psychoanalysis; by then I was already fairly well along in getting to meet those who had known Freud. I was at the time 29 years old and teaching full-time in the Government Department at Harvard, and Reik was around 77. I would have read some, but by no means all, of Reik's books before the interview. Although the subject does not appear in my notes, I can never forget the white coat he wore in seeing me; I had already met a rare analyst, in a hospital setting dressed that way, but it had to be striking to me that for Reik to present himself that way appeared paradoxical. given his position in the history of lay analysis.

Somehow I had right at the outset brought up Anatole France, a now relatively neglected writer who was then unfamiliar to me, but was someone both Freud as well as Reik, as he had indicated in From Thirty Years With Freud, seemed unexpectedly at home with (Reik, 1940, p. 15). He confirmed that Freud had liked France “very much,” as did Reik himself. He singled out for admiration France's “irony.” Reik thought that France could succeed “rather like Mozart” in the way his work “induces peaceful feelings.”

I am trying faithfully to record here the record of the transcript I wrote up immediately afterwards, probably on the basis of what I had first jotted down in Reik's presence. Although my notes require some reorganization to be comprehensive as well as sequential, it appears that almost immediately Reik had proceeded to mention a clinical story that he thought was “unpublished.

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