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Katan, M. (1959). Schreber's Hereafter—Its Building-Up (Aufbau) and its Downfall. Psychoanal. St. Child, 14:314-382.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 14:314-382

Schreber's Hereafter—Its Building-Up (Aufbau) and its Downfall

M. Katan, M.D.


Schreber's Denkwürdigkeiten has a peculiar structure. He wrote the main portion of the book between February and September 1900. The book begins with a Preface dated December 1902, an Open Letter to Flechsig dated March 1903, and an Introduction which obviously was written in February 1900. Because the Preface and the Open Letter were written so much later, a discussion of them can take place only after we have studied the entire book.

The book itself may be divided into three parts. In this article I shall deal only with the first part, which consists of a brief introduction and three chapters, but the last of these three chapters has been deleted by the censor. In the fourth chapter Schreber finally begins with a chronological account of his illness, which he follows for the remainder of the book.

One may regard this first part as an informative account of how Schreber became ill. The first chapter, which he entitles "God and Immortality," pictures the organization of the hereafter. The second chapter deals with the opposing force which caused the hereafter eventually to lose its organization.

Schreber tells in his Introduction why he wrote the autobiography of his illness. In the beginning of 1900 he was in the midst of a struggle to regain his freedom after he had been hospitalized for more than six years.

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