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G., R. (1946). Freud: Master and Friend: By Hanns Sachs. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1944. 189 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 15:104-106.

(1946). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 15:104-106

Freud: Master and Friend: By Hanns Sachs. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1944. 189 pp.

Review by:
R. G.

From the turn of the century, as psychoanalysis intruded itself into the awareness of thinking men, the inevitable detractors, from a multitude of motivations, hoped to discover that Freud was a degenerate libertine whose alleged discoveries were a pseudoscientific justification of his dissolute habits. They found, in fact, a serious scholar, and exemplary father, husband and citizen. Dr. Sachs' intimate account of three and a half decades of close association and collaboration with Freud presents nothing to alter the bare outline of this fact, but it brings to life the personality and spirit of a great man.

Many people have never given up their fond hope that the man whose works created sensation after sensation, whose very name had become a catchword of offense to their tender moralities, would someday be found living in the midst of stirring adventures—adventures, of course, in the erotic line. They have so far been cruelly disappointed and neither this nor any other truthful book will begin to alleviate their feelings. All I have to offer are some character traits which are too human for the storybook pattern, just a few of those peculiarities by which a face is distinguished favorably from a plaster cast.

This volume is a work of love. The author states his position with disarming candor.

In a certain sense this could be called a piece of my autobiography since it concerns the personality of the man who was, and still is, a part—and certainly the most important and absorbing part—of my life. The rest of my life, whatever I may think of it, would hardly seem important to the world in general. My first opening of the Traumdeutung … was the moment of destiny for me—like meeting the femme fatal, only with a decidedly favorable result. Up to that time I had been a young man who was supposedly studying law but not living up to the supposition—a type common enough in Vienna at the turn of the century. When I finished the book, I had found the one thing worth while for me to live for; many years later I discovered that it was also the only thing I could live by.

The words 'master' and 'disciple' as applied to friendly association, professional study and collaboration with a great man, have a strange sound to American ears.

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