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Freud, S. (1882). Letter from Sigmund Freud to Martha Bernays, August 18, 1882. Letters of Sigmund Freud 1873-1939, 25-28.

Freud, S. (1882). Letter from Sigmund Freud to Martha Bernays, August 18, 1882. Letters of Sigmund Freud 1873-1939, 25-28

Letter from Sigmund Freud to Martha Bernays, August 18, 1882 Book Information Previous Up Next

Sigmund Freud

Vienna, at night
August 18, 1882

Why do I o'er my paper once more bend?

Ask not too closely, dearest one, I pray:

For, to speak truth, I've nothing now to say;

Yet to thy hands at length 'twill come, dear friend.

Since I can come not with it, what I send

My undivided heart shall now convey,

With all its joys, hopes, pleasures, pains, today:

All this hath no beginning, hath no end.1

My beloved girl

A friend, normally a hardened sinner with whom I am fond of commiserating on the absurdity of this world, suddenly turned soft today; and, striding into the next room, took from the bookcase Master Goethe's incomparable poems and read out to me some lines of such ardent emotion (which had more meaning for me than for him) that I had to run away in order not to betray myself and to be alone with my thoughts. This afternoon I could not return to work and soon ran into another friend whom I used to know at the University and who since then has been diverted by a sad misfortune from his original aims. Contact with friends holds for me nowadays a special charm-the seriousness of life seems to have disclosed itself to us almost simultaneously; what in the beginning seemed to us dear and desirable, but easily accessible, has now withdrawn into the far distance although still remaining dear, and perhaps some of them carry, as I do, a new cherished aim locked up in their hearts. Dejected as I am, weary and looking as I do with so little hope into the future, I nevertheless cannot think of a soul with whom I would like to change places; I still haven't lost faith in myself, and as for Marty, my Marty, what could anyone have to offer in her stead?

We are all poor and promise to help one another whenever we can.

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