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Freud, S. (1920). A Note on the Prehistory of the Technique of Analysis. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVIII (1920-1922): Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Group Psychology and Other Works, 261-265.

Freud, S. (1920). [SER261a1]A Note on the Prehistory of the Technique of Analysis. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVIII (1920-1922): Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Group Psychology and Other Works, 261-265

Shorter Writings (1920-1922)

[SER261a1]A Note on the Prehistory of the Technique of Analysis Book Information Previous Up Next Language Translation

Sigmund Freud

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[SER261a2]A Recent book by Havelock Ellis (so justly admired for his researches into sexual science, and an eminent critic of psycho-analysis), which bears the title of The Philosophy of Conflict (1919), includes an essay on ‘Psycho-Analysis in Relation to Sex’. The aim of this essay is to show that the writings of the creator of analysis should be judged not as a piece of scientific work but as an artistic production. We cannot but regard this view as a fresh turn taken by resistance and as a repudiation of analysis, even though it is diguised in a friendly, indeed in too flattering a manner. We are inclined to meet it with a most decided contradiction.

[SER261a3]It is not, however, with a view to contradicting him on this point that we are now concerned with Havelock Ellis's essay, but for another reason. His wide reading has enabled him to bring forward an author who practised and recommended free association as a technique, though for purposes other than ours, and thus has a claim to be regarded as a forerunner of psycho-analysis.

[SER261a4]‘In 1857, Dr. J. J. Garth Wilkinson, more noted as a Swedenborgian mystic and poet than as a physician, published a volume of mystic doggerel verse written by what he considered “a new method”, the method of “Impression”. “A theme is chosen or written down,” he stated; as soon as this is done the first impression upon the mind which succeeds the act of writing the title is the beginning of the evolution of that theme, no matter how strange or alien the word or phrase may seem.

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