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Cotti, P. (2005). Isidor Sadger, Recollecting Freud. Edited and introduced by Alan Dundes. Translated by Johanna Micaela Jacobsen and Alan Dundes. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005. lvii + 138 pp. $26.95.. Am. Imago, 62(4):493-498.

(2005). American Imago, 62(4):493-498

Book Reviews

Isidor Sadger, Recollecting Freud. Edited and introduced by Alan Dundes. Translated by Johanna Micaela Jacobsen and Alan Dundes. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005. lvii + 138 pp. $26.95.

Review by:
Patricia Cotti

Although Alan Dundes's presentation starts with an error— Vienna was never “beloved” (vii) by Freud, who hated the city—this book undoubtedly represents a major discovery in the history of psychoanalysis. Recollecting Freud is the English translation of Isidor Sadger's Sigmund Freud: Persönliche Erinnerungen, published in 1929. Yet a rumor perpetuated the idea that the work, which had scandalized the members of Freud's circle, especially Ernest Jones, was never published. The manuscript is believed to have been lost. Unfortunately, Dundes fails to make it clear how, after this seventy-year hiatus, Sadger's title appeared in his “data base” (xlii). One would like to know who had the temerity to refer to such an ostracized text. Since no copies were available for borrowing from any European libraries, Dundes eventually tracked it down in the library of a Japanese university.

As Dundes recounts in his introduction, Isidor Sadger was born in Galicia in 1867, completed his medical training in Vienna in 1891, and died in 1942 in a concentration camp. Although he was much less famous than Jung, Adler, or even Stekel, Sadger pioneered in introducing the concept of narcissism into psychoanalysis. We also owe to Sadger the discovery of the importance of the relationship to the mother in the etiology of male homosexuality. Without adequately dwelling on these issues, Dundes tries to understand Sadger through Freud's correspondence and through the testimonials of those who participated in the early meetings of the Wednesday evening circle.

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