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Rudnytsky, P.L. (2009). Preface. Am. Imago, 66(4):391-394.

(2009). American Imago, 66(4):391-394


Peter L. Rudnytsky

As Franco Borgogno has written in his indispensable book reviewed in this issue, “it is Ferenczi, more than any of its other pioneers, who personifies the essence of psychoanalysis” (1999, 260). Such, at least, is the conviction shared by an ever-increasing number of people in the psychoanalytic community, many of whom converged on the northern Hungarian city of Miskolc, November 27-29, 2008, for the conference “Sándor Ferenczi Returns Home,” selected papers of which I am delighted to be able to publish here.

It is in Ferenczi's spirit that our collection of authors should be international and include renowned senior analysts and scholars as well as exceptionally gifted younger colleagues. We begin with Ernst Falzeder of Salzburg, primus inter pares as an editor of psychoanalytic correspondences, whose “Sándor Ferenczi between Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy” strikes a keynote in judiciously weighing Ferenczi's never fully resolved conflict between “an unqualified dedication to a School, to a Cause” and his “nonconformist, rebellious, and creative spirit,” and in urging prospective disciples to heed the admonition of Nietzsche's Zarathustra in their attitude not only toward Freud but toward Ferenczi as well.

Like Ferenczi himself, historian Krisztián Kapusi is a native son of Miskolc, and in “Toward a Biography of Sándor Ferenczi: Footnotes from Miskolc,” Kapusi treats the reader to some tidbits from his archival forays: the questions answered by Ferenczi in his 1890 final secondary school examinations, the location of the family vineyard “on the emblematic hill of Miskolc,” the fact that Ferenczi left the Jewish congregation of Budapest, a contemporary account of the personality of Ferenczi's mother, and so forth. Kapusi is becomingly modest in his claims for the significance of his discoveries, but one need not idolize Ferenczi to welcome any addition, however small, to our store of knowledge about his life.

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