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Breuer, J. Freud, S. (1956). On the Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena (1893). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 37:8-13.

(1956). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 37:8-13

On the Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena (1893)

Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud

Editorial Introduction

The Breuer and Freud 'Preliminary Communication' was published in a Berlin periodical, the Neurologisches Centralblatt, in two instalments on 1 and 15 January, 1893. (It was immediately after-wards reprinted in Vienna in the Wiener medizinische Blätter, of 19 and 26 January.) The lecture which is printed below was delivered by Freud, before the second instalment had been published, on 11 January of the same year. A shorthand report of the lecture (revised by the lecturer) was printed in the Wiener medizinische Presse, once again in two instalments, on 22 and 29 January. Though, as will be seen, the lecture is headed with the names of both Breuer and Freud, and though a few of its phrases are borrowed directly from the 'Preliminary Communication', its contents show that the actual composition was by Freud. It seems never to have been reprinted, and this English translation is, so far as can be discovered, the first to appear.

Gentlemen, —I am appearing before you today with the object of giving you a report on a work the first part of which has already been published in the Centralblatt für Neurologie under the names of Josef Breuer and myself. As you may gather from the title of the work, it deals with the pathogenesis of hysterical symptoms and suggests that the immediate reasons for the development of hysterical symptoms are to be looked for in the sphere of mental life.

But before I enter further into the contents of this joint work, I must explain the position it occupies and name the author and the discovery which, in substance at least, we have taken as our starting point, although our contribution has been developed quite independently.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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