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Freud, S. (1929). Letter from Freud to Ludwig Binswanger, April 11, 1929. The Sigmund Freud-Ludwig Binswanger Correspondence 1908-1938, 196.

Freud, S. (1929). Letter from Freud to Ludwig Binswanger, April 11, 1929. The Sigmund Freud-Ludwig Binswanger Correspondence 1908-1938, 196

Letter from Freud to Ludwig Binswanger, April 11, 1929 Book Information Previous Up Next

Sigmund Freud

11 April 1929
Vienna IX, Berggasse 19


Prof. Dr. Freud

Dear Dr. Binswanger,

I do not remember whether it was in 1912 or 1913 that I came to see you and found you so full of courage1 that you won forever a high place in my esteem. The years since then have, as you know, left me a fairly decrepit old man. I am no longer able to make the trip to come and take your hand.

12 April 1929

My daughter who died would have been thirty-six today. Yesterday I nearly made a serious mistake. I started to read your letter, discovered several kind words I should have been sorry to miss, but was unable to piece together a single sentence, and the further I went the more puzzling your characters became. I considered returning the letter to you with some jocular expression of indignation and the request that you have it copied and sent back to me. Then my sister-in-law came to my aid and told me the shocking news the rest of the letter contained.2 And I realised why, this time, you had preferred not to dictate it to a typist.

We know that the acute sorrow we feel after such a loss will run its course, but also that we will remain inconsolable, and will never find a substitute. No matter what may come to take its place, even should it fill that place completely, it yet remains something else. And that is how it should be. It is the only way of perpetuating a love that we do not want to abandon.

I would ask you please to remember me kindly to your wife.

In unchanging friendship,
Your old Freud

Notes to "Letter from Freud to Ludwig Binswanger, April 11, 1929"

1 Cf. note 1 to 65F and the editorial remarks after 67B.

2 Binswanger had told Freud of the death of his eldest son, Robert, just 20 years old; cf. Binswanger (1956c), p. 84 in the 1957 English edition. Under the date 6 April 1929 he wrote in his diary: ‘the most painful day in my life so far.’ (Diary III, p. 94).

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