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Freud, S. (1901). Letter from Freud to Fliess, May 8, 1901. The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904, 440-441.

Freud, S. (1901). Letter from Freud to Fliess, May 8, 1901. The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904, 440-441

Letter from Freud to Fliess, May 8, 1901 Book Information Previous Up Next

Sigmund Freud

Vienna, May 8, 1901
IX., Berggasse 19

Dear Wilhelm,

You may certainly take my birthday as an occasion to wish for yourself the continuation of your energetic mood and the repetition of such invigorating periods in between, and I shall unselfishly support this wish. Your letter lay on the birthday table with other presents that gave me pleasure and were partly connected with you, though I had asked that the wretched in-between number [of my birthdays] be overlooked. It is too small for a jubilee and much too large for a birthday boy. Your letter gave me by no means the least pleasure, except for the part about magic, which I object to as a superfluous plaster to cover your doubt about “thought reading.” I remain loyal to thought reading and continue to doubt “magic.”

I seem to remember having heard somewhere that only dire need brings out the best in man. I have therefore pulled myself together, as you wished — in fact, even a few weeks before you did — and have made peace with my circumstances. A basket of orchids gives me the illusion of splendor and glowing sunshine; a fragment of a Pompeiian wall with a centaur and faun transports me to my longed-for Italy.

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