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Ferenczi, S. (1916). Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, April 27, 1916. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi Volume 2, 1914-1919, 124-126.

Ferenczi, S. (1916). Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, April 27, 1916. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi Volume 2, 1914-1919 , 124-126

Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, April 27, 1916 Book Information Previous Up Next

Sándor Ferenczi

Budapest, April 27, 1916
Grand Hôtel Royal
Nagyszálloda

Dear Professor,

I hope you have returned home in the meantime and your trip achieved its aim. Oli is still so young; he has time to forget this adventure. Next time he will be more careful in his choice.

I sent the little communication for the “Lecture Room” directly to Sachs.1 I didn't want to touch on the great and difficult theme of the physician's active intervention in the analysis and confined myself to repeating what I learned from you about the “Recommendations.”2

A single thought, which does not, however, seem to be completely worthless, brought some light into the dull brooding in which I am still immersed. I think I can compare the friction in coitus with scratching oneself while itching (in which I assume that a large part of the genitally accumulated organ libido is converted into this stimulus sensation in an erection). But scratching oneself seems to me to be the primal image of the reaction to an external unpleasurable sensation (one which strikes the skin): one acts as if one wanted to tear down [herunterreissen] the irksome part of the body (this being the cause of the corresponding symbol formation): so really the repetition of the autotomy prevalent in animals—the reflex tearing off and letting go of painful parts of the body.—

If a worried person scratches his head, he perhaps removes—symbolically—the uncomfortable thought.—

I will naturally also connect this special part of coitus with the unaccustomed dermal sensations during birth (after the water breaks)—and phylo-genetically with the time in which our animal forebears were “put on dry land” out of the water.

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