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Ferenczi, S. (1915). Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, April 21, 1915. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi Volume 2, 1914-1919, 57-58.

Ferenczi, S. (1915). Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, April 21, 1915. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi Volume 2, 1914-1919 , 57-58

Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, April 21, 1915 Book Information Previous Up Next

Sándor Ferenczi

Pápa, April 21, 1915

Dear Professor,

I must maintain the comparison with Goethe, and, in fact, not only in relation to the identity of the tool with which you both work. As we are accustomed in psychoanalysis rather to accept the correctness of the interpretation of a symptom (or a piece of a dream), if in addition to large, also small points of agreement later confirm the assumption, similarly, I could also point to very fine correspondences in comparing both personalities. I will mention a few at random: the great significance of Italy in the course of your development; the meaning of archaeology (with Goethe for paleontology, with you more for ancient history and art [more recently also for phylogenesis!]); the completely analogous position with regard to religious questions [great—also emotional—interest in it, however aversion to all dogma, and metapsychological conception of these things]; the benevolent and yet strict treatment of young initiates; the ability to maintain long friendships, but also ruthless breaking-off of relations as soon as their lack of utility has been demonstrated (as to the Swiss (!) preacher Lavater,1 to Herder,2 etc.); the cool rejection of all metaphysics, unshakable faith in causality; the fatalistic submission to the necessity of death. But above all: respect for the independent ripening of one's own ideas—etc.—etc.—I notice that the analogy has not by any means been exhausted with these remarks.—

Ignotus's rejection was useful to the extent that I am—after lengthy inhibition—indeed forced to review the matter and in so doing—I believe—to find a better foundation for my assumptions.

I am returning to you here the paper on death. Very impressive! I find that in some popular works (as in the little work on dreams) you are able to grasp certain things more precisely; in the latter, e.g., the question of ambivalence.3

Perhaps I will come to Vienna next week. I hope my being there won't complicate the visit of another (Pfister).4


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