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Freud, S. (1915). Letter from Sigmund Freud to Sándor Ferenczi, July 12, 1915. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi Volume 2, 1914-1919, 65-66.

Freud, S. (1915). Letter from Sigmund Freud to Sándor Ferenczi, July 12, 1915. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi Volume 2, 1914-1919 , 65-66

Letter from Sigmund Freud to Sándor Ferenczi, July 12, 1915 Book Information Previous Up Next

Sigmund Freud

Vienna, July 12, 1915
IX., Berggasse 19

Dear friend,

In preparing the “Overview of the Transference Neuroses”1 I am dealing with fantasies that disturb me and will hardly be suitable for public expression. So listen:

There is a series of chronological starting points in indivdual cases of illness which runs as follows:

Anxiety hysteriaconversion hysteria—obsessional neurosis—dementia praecox—paranoiamelancholia-mania.

The libidinal dispositions for them run in general in the opposite direction, i.e., fixation in the former sets in in very late phases of development, in the latter in very early ones, although this doesn't hold perfectly true.

On the other hand, this series seems phylogenetically to repeat a historical origin. What are now neuroses were once phases of the human condition.

With the appearance of privation in the Ice Age, humans became anxious; they had every reason to transform libido into anxiety.

When they had learned that propagation was now the enemy of preservation and had to be restricted, they became—still lacking the faculty of speech—hysterical.

After they developed speech and intelligence in the hard school of the Ice Age—essentially the men—, the primal horde developed with the two prohibitions of the primal father, while love life had to remain egoistic-aggressive. Obsessional neurosis is a defense against this return.

The neuroses that followed belong to the new age and were acquired by the sons.

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