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Falzeder, E. Haynal, A. (2002). Introduction to The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Karl Abraham 1907-1925. The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Karl Abraham 1907-1925, xix-xxx.
Falzeder, E. and Haynal, A. (2002). Introduction to The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Karl Abraham 1907-1925. The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Karl Abraham 1907-1925, xix-xxx
Introduction to The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Karl Abraham 1907-1925
Ernst Falzeder and André Haynal
Karl Abraham was a central figure in the early history of psychoanalysis. He succeeded in making his own views the prevalent ones, sometimes even against those of Freud, leaving his imprint on the development of psychoanalysis for decades to come. He prevailed over all his opponents and competitors within the movement: Alfred Adler, Wilhelm Stekel, Carl Gustav Jung, Otto Rank, Sándor Ferenczi, Ernest Jones. He succeeded Jung as president of the International Psychoanalytic Association and as editor of its official journal. He contributed important elaborations of Freud's ideas, and he systematized and formulated them in a way that seemed more exact and could more easily be taught to others. He actively sought to establish relations with other disciplines and institutions—sexology, academia, psychiatry, pedagogy, general medicine—or public opinion in general, and in Berlin he developed and implemented, with Max Eitingon and Ernst Simmel, the so-called tripartite model of psychoanalytic training (personal analysis, seminars, supervision) that is still in existence today. Among his pupils and analysands one can mention Helene Deutsch, Edward Glover, James Glover, Melanie Klein, Sándor Radó, and Theodor Reik.
Nevertheless, Abraham's life has aroused relatively little interest so far, and there is no full-scale biography of him.1 Abraham may not have the appeal of the enigmatic Max Eitingon, the charming, original, generous character of Sándor Ferenczi, Otto Rank's deep humanistic culture and immense dedication to the chores of “the Cause”, or the masterful proficiency in institutional matters of Ernest Jones. But he impressed his colleagues with his rigour, his earnestness, his precision in scientific matters, his unrelenting work, and his deep conviction of the truth and the importance of the Freudian theory and Cause [die Sache]—of all of which this correspondence gives a faithful image.
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