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Ferenczi, S. (1917). Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, November 18, 1917. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi Volume 2, 1914-1919, 246-249.
Ferenczi, S. (1917). Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, November 18, 1917. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi Volume 2, 1914-1919 , 246-249
Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, November 18, 1917
Sunday, November 18, 1917
In spite of the lateness of the hour—it is 1:30 A.M.—I decided to get up out of the bed in which I have been sleeplessly tossing and turning and to write to you. After all, you are not only my friend, whom I have to spare my “transformations of libido,”1 but also the physician to whom I owe a report about—the last, I hope—phase of my neurosis.
Now, how should I tell it to you? And how did this come over me? I certainly can't call it “illumination,” since it was able to penetrate with such difficulty—mostly only as a small glimmer, which was soon extinguished, in order to make room for the darkness again. But I don't want to get poetic. Let's rather remain precise.
So, finally, to begin: (and the dry tone of my letters ought to have betrayed this to you)—since our last encounter in the Tátra, I have gone through a peculiar time, which I can't characterize simply. I took it to be a favorable sign that I was getting better and better physically, and also gained weight noticeably. But I was not completely satisfied with myself, mentally. As if mechanically, dutifully, I took care of the tasks which my new position with regard to Frau G. now required of me; it also didn't cost me all too much effort, which I also viewed in a favorable light. But “this was not true love”! In our infrequent intimate encounters, I often became unpleasantly aware of the duty-like character of the execution of this love. A progressive step, in contrast to before, was that I didn't share this with Frau G. (as I had done several times earlier sub titulo “honesty”). You were right again. It was difficult for me to get anything analytically; I had to be really obligated, as I am now, in order to bring about significant psychic progress.
But I still won't stop there. I will continue: the uncertainty of my libido, for which I at first wanted to make coincidental external disturbances responsible, hurled itself mightily onto the undeniable signs of age on Gizella's facial features and forms. Then I had to think—more correctly: brood—about the already (artificially) brought about menopause and the hopelessness of marriage without children. Naturally I worked only on the most necessary things (my hours, the hospital), as if I wanted in this way to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with fate.
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