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Balint, M. (1968). Letter to the Editor. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 49:99.

(1968). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 49:99

Letter to the Editor

Michael Balint


My attention has been called to a passage on page 207 in Vincent Brome's book, Freud and his Early Circle. In this passage the author reports that I told him that I am in possession of "a collection of two thousand letters from Ferenczi to Freud" and "that the correspondence ends on an exchange in which both men are revealed as being in a 'bloody-minded state'." Of course this is untrue. The facts are:

(i) that I am in possession of the complete correspondence between Freud and Ferenczi from 1908 until Ferenczi's death in 1933, consisting of 539 letters written by Freud and 697 letters written by Ferenczi; (ii) that the relationship between the two men ended in a disagreement which caused both of them profound disappointment, sorrow, and regret. This is quite clear from the letters and equally clear that there was no sign of any "bloody-minded state". The same is true about Freud's Obituary Notice on Ferenczi and exactly the same will emerge from Ferenczi's Scientific Diary, written in 1932 which is being prepared for publication.

I think it is imperative to rectify the author's misrepresentation, the more so because there have been many misguided and distorted reports about the tragic ending of this friendship and it is highly desirable that any further increase of the confusion already existing should be prevented.

Yours faithfully,


(1935). "The treatment of the functional speech disorders in a medical-social clinic: implications for the treatment of functional disorders in general.

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