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Fortune, C. (2015). Thwarting the Psychoanalytic Detectives: Defending the Severn Legacy. Am. J. Psychoanal., 75(1):19-28.

(2015). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 75(1):19-28

Thwarting the Psychoanalytic Detectives: Defending the Severn Legacy

Christopher Fortune, Ed.D

In 1993, The Legacy of Sandor Ferenczi (Aron & Harris) was published. This groundbreaking volume contained the chapter, The Case of “RN”: Sandor Ferenczi's Radical Experiment in Psychoanalysis (Fortune, 1993), which told the story of “RN”—Ferenczi's code-name in his Clinical Diary for his critically important patient, Elizabeth Severn. The chapter presented biographical details and original research supporting the rich clinical material revealed in Ferenczi's Clinical Diary. Now, two decades later, RN has continued to affirm her place as one of the most important patients in the history of psychoanalysis. On this twentieth anniversary, just past, of the recognition of her story, I would like to reflect back and recount the beginnings of my “detective” work on the Case of RN, particularly my encounter with Severn's daughter, Margaret.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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