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Freud, S. (1901). Letter from Freud to Fliess, September 19, 1901. The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904, 449-451.

Freud, S. (1901). Letter from Freud to Fliess, September 19, 1901. The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904, 449-451

Letter from Freud to Fliess, September 19, 1901 Book Information Previous Up Next

Sigmund Freud

September 19, 1901
IX., Berggasse 19

Dear Wilhelm:

I received your card a few hours before my departure. I should write to you about Rome now, but that is difficult. It was overwhelming for me too and, as you know, the fulfillment of a long-cherished wish. As such fulfillments are if one has waited too long for them, this one was slightly diminished, yet a high point of my life. But while I was totally and undisturbedly absorbed in antiquity (I could have worshiped the abased and mutilated remnant of the Temple of Minerva near the forum of Nerva), I found I could not freely enjoy the second [the medieval, Christian] Rome; the atmosphere troubled me. I found it difficult to tolerate the lie concerning man's redemption, which raises its head to high heaven — for I could not cast off the thought of my own misery and all the other misery I know about.

I found the third, the Italian, Rome full of promise and likable.

I was frugal in my pleasures, though, and did not try to see everything in twelve days. I not only bribed the Trevi [fountain], as everyone does, I also — and I invented this myself — dipped my hand in the Bocca della Verità at Santa Maria Cosmedin and vowed to return. The weather was hot, but quite tolerable until one day — luckily not until the 9th — the sirocco came up, knocking me out. I did not recover at all. After I returned home, I developed a gastroenteritis which I believe I got on the day of the journey and from which I am still suffering now, though without complaining. My family returned home one night earlier than I; I am still minimally occupied.

Your last letter actually did me some good.

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