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Paskauskas, R.A. (1993). Preface to The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Ernest Jones 1908-1939. The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Ernest Jones 1908-1939, vii-xi.

Paskauskas, R.A. (1993). Preface to The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Ernest Jones 1908-1939. The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Ernest Jones 1908-1939, vii-xi

Preface to The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Ernest Jones 1908-1939 Book Information Previous Up Next

R. Andrew Paskauskas

The Correspondence in this volume consists of letters, postcards, and telegrams. Jones's part of the correspondence is in English, with the exception of two postcards written in German. Freud's side is in English and German (about 120 items in German, close to 190 in English), and includes several notes which were translated or summarized by colleagues and forwarded to Jones during the war. Except for these latter pieces, one undated letter from Jones, and approximately 30 missing pieces, the items in this correspondence have been numbered 1 through 671. These numbers, however, do not agree with the count provided by Jones in his biography of Freud. In the American edition, he gives a total of 1,347 items in the Freud-Jones exchange, a figure clearly out of proportion (Jones, 1955a, p. xiii). In the subsequent British edition (Jones, 1955b), on the second page of his preface, Jones gives the total number of items in this correspondence as 898, which suggests that he might be including figures for his own and Freud's Rundbriefe.

Portions of this correspondence are drawn upon in the biographical and historical literature on psychoanalysis. Such use, however, is not extensive and tends to accentuate Freud's letters to Jones. It can be divided into three broad categories: letters to which Jones refers in the appended notes to his biography of Freud (Jones, 1953a, 1955a, 1957a; 1953b, 1955b, Jones, 1957b)—a little less than half of these are quoted directly; important excerpts of the correspondence contained in disparate works such as Letters, Schur (1972), and Steiner (1985); and selections from the correspondence incorporated in major biographical studies (Clark, 1980; Brome, 1983; Grosskurth, 1986; Gay, 1988; Young-Bruehl, 1988). With the exception of Brome, the biographical studies of Jones typically do not make use of the Freud-Jones correspondence (Girard, 1972; Davies, 1979).

The problems associated with Jones's use of this correspondence in his biography of Freud are at times quite marked, especially as regards the alteration of Freud's English.

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