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Schacht, L. (1995). Zurück zu Freuds Texten. By Ilse Grubrich-Simitis. Frankfurt: Fischer Verlag, 1993, 399 pp.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 43:583-585.

(1995). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43:583-585

Zurück zu Freuds Texten. By Ilse Grubrich-Simitis. Frankfurt: Fischer Verlag, 1993, 399 pp.

Review by:
Lore Schacht

In our increasingly hectic and insecure times, characterized by unforeseeable change, where many aspects even of cultural and scientific life are manifestly at risk of being drawn into the maelstrom of transience, the publication of this unique book constitutes an intellectual event that will profoundly move and stimulate all who come into contact with it. By presenting and commenting on unexpected textual material—namely, hitherto unknown manuscripts of Freud's—Ilse Grubrich-Simitis insistently urges us to stop for a while, collect ourselves, and listen carefully, for here she has provided us the opportunity for a novel encounter with Freud's work. Freud writing, thinking, making corrections and additions, Freud reflecting, jotting down notes and ideas, meticulously crafting his manuscripts, pausing, taking up or rejecting older material—the Freud whom the surprised reader meets here is Freud at work.

Out of a sense of responsibility toward Freud's oeuvre that has developed over many years, and drawing on a rich store of knowledge extending into its furthest reaches, Grubrich-Simitis, who is equally at home with the techniques of preparation of authoritative editions, with contemporary cultural scholarship, and with psychoanalysis, has produced a book that brings together familiar and hitherto unfamiliar Freudian texts, relating them so that they converge in newly discovered ways. This vast treasure trove of research, an outstanding individual accomplishment, is the fruit of three decades of hard editorial work by the author, during which she deployed all her creative curiosity in following up the chance discovery of discrepancies and variants between a manuscript of Freud's and the final printed version.

The relentless tenacity of her research combines the fearless and uncompromising pursuit of the unknown—the process of writing in Freud—with the utmost respect for his written words.

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