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Freud, S. (1924). Letter from Sigmund Freud to Sándor Ferenczi, March 26, 1924. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi Volume 3, 1920-1933, 135-138.
Freud, S. (1924). Letter from Sigmund Freud to Sándor Ferenczi, March 26, 1924. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi Volume 3, 1920-1933, 135-138
Letter from Sigmund Freud to Sándor Ferenczi, March 26, 1924
Vienna, March 26, 1924
IX., Berggasse 191
You request a quick reply, Anna is pounding it out today on a new typewriter of her own.
You accuse me of having a position toward the birth trauma that is vacillating and contradictory. You are correct, but only when you neglect the temporal element. The truth is that I liked the thing much better in the beginning than I do now and that, according to your own quotation, I am on the way from the 66% to the 33%.
Let us divide the matter up into the theoretical, practical, and personal. On the first: your partisanship in favor of the Rankian doctrine naturally makes a strong impression on me. But my own, I can't say judgments, but rather intimations, run in a different direction. I have not gotten over the first fear, which you admit to, that our ingenious etiological construction should be cut loose by the crude birth trauma. I tested the doctrine on a special case, on the dissolution of the Oedipus complex, and found it unsatisfactory. Mind you, Rank does conceive the trauma of birth individually and ontogenetically throughout. He endeavors in general to dispense with the phylogenetic where possible. My objections are directed at that. If the trauma of birth works not onto- but phylogenetically, only then does he have the connection to your theory of genitality, which otherwise eludes him, and then we can talk about that. Here, as in other places, it is the fault of Rank's thoroughly inadequate presentation when such misunderstandings can arise.
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