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Roazen, P. (1977). Orthodoxy on Freud: The Case of Tausk. Contemp. Psychoanal., 13:102-114.

(1977). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 13:102-114

Orthodoxy on Freud: The Case of Tausk

Paul Roazen, Ph.D.

IN 1969 I PUBLISHED A relatively short book, Brother Animal: The Story of Freud and Tausk. 1 Then in 1971 Kurt R. Eissler published Talent and Genius: The Fictitious Case of Tausk Contra Freud in an effort to discredit my work. 2 My book had been less than fifty thousand words long, whereas Eissler's attack on me took up about a hundred and sixty thousand words. For the sake of future students of the history psychoanalysis it seemed incumbent on me to reply to Eissler's polemics, and so I published a brief rebuttal in 1972: "Reflections on Ethos and Authenticity in Psychoanalysis." 3 Eissler has now attacked my reply with an article again at much greater length than my own efforts. 4 Given Eissler's own lack of succinctness it is odd for him to accuse me of squandering space in my article. It is only because of Eissler's numerous factual errors and the quality of his allegations, as he zealously defends his idealizations of Freud, that I feel obliged to correct the record here.

Eissler maintains that Brother Animal is "the most brutal attack ever directed" at Freud. He then claims that I have written "that Freud was responsible for the suicide of Victor Tausk." No such words were ever written by me, nor can Eissler cite a page reference. Eissler further asserts that I believe that "Freud planned and knowingly drove Tausk to his death." Once again Eissler is wrong, and he offers no supporting evidence. Eissler appears to be puzzled that "most readers and many reviewers have overlooked Roazen's claim of deliberativeness on Freud's part, yet there is no doubt that this is what he does claim." Here Eissler offers a page reference to support his thesis; even reading that page in isolation apart from the rest of my work, I am not surprised Eissler finds that "most" readers and "many" reviewers did not come to the misconception that he foists on me.

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