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Masson, J.M. (1985). Note on Method to The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904. The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904, xiii-xviii.
Masson, J.M. (1985). Note on Method to The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904. The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904, xiii-xviii
Note on Method to The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
This Translation of Freud's letters to Fliess is based on a completely new German text, and it is important to understand the derivation of both the German and the English versions.
Anna Freud made available to me the original transcript of the German holograph of all the letters, as corrected by her and Ernst Kris and published, with omissions, in Sigmund Freud, Aus den Anfängen der Psychoanalyse. I obtained photocopies of all the original letters that are housed in the Library of Congress, and of several that are among the papers of the late James Strachey. My colleague Marianne Loring then compared these 284 original letters with the transcript. She and I made many corrections in the transcript, a number of which I discussed with Anna Freud. Later Gerhard Fichtner, director of the Institute for the History of Medicine at the University of Tübingen and a noted authority on Freud, went through the entire set of letters once again and uncovered further errors, both in Anfänge and in the improved transcript. Fichtner prepared a new transcript, which Loring and I again reviewed and corrected. Fichtner compared this with the original letters a third time and prepared a final transcript. It is that document from which the present translation derives.
Lottie Newman prepared the first draft of this translation, which Marianne Loring and I revised several times before reaching the present version. Except for occasional amendments, I have followed Strachey's excellent revisions for the first volume of his Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud.
A comparison of this translation with those previously published in The Origins of Psycho-Analysis and in the Standard Edition will show that mine often varies in ways that suggest more than a different understanding of the German (although this too is sometimes the case).
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