Freud and the Child Woman: The Memoirs of Fritz Wittels

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Overview

Fritz Wittels (1880-1950) was a pioneering Viennese psychoanalyst, the first biographer of Freud (1924), and intermittently friend and rival of Freud himself, of Wilhelm Stekel, and of their famous satirical adversary, Karl Kraus. Towards the end of his life, while living and practising as an analyst in the United States, Wittels wrote a two-hundred-page memoir of his early life and career in Vienna. The typescript memoirs, held in the archives of the Abraham Brill Library, New York, are published here for the first time, accompanied by a range of little-known illustrations. Incomplete in places, they have been deftly edited, contextualised and introduced by Edward Timms, whose many valuable explanatory notes include the identification of the 'child woman' of the title. In his memoirs Wittels writes frankly and vividly about the erotic sub-culture of fin-de-siecle Vienna and about early controversies within the Psychoanalytic Society. His picture of the interaction between the two is startlingly original, and will appeal not only to historians of psychoanalysis, but to anyone interested in the Viennese cultural avant-garde. The erotic triangles in which Wittels, Kraus and Freud were involved are shown to have impinged directly on the activities of the famous Society. Freud himself plays a crucial role in the story, and the book as a whole is of exceptional importance for the origins of psychoanalysis.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300064858
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Editor's Preface
Introduction: Wrestling with the Man 1
1 Childhood in Vienna 4
2 Freud and the Vienna Medical School 24
3 Kraus and the Neue Freie Presse 35
4 Spiritual Fathers 45
5 The Child Woman 56
6 The Rupture 76
7 The Scandal 99
8 Reconciliation 111
9 America: Making Amends 128
10 Freud in America 144
Commentary: The Wittels Memoirs in Context 153
Index of Names 185
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