The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank: Inside Psychoanalysis

The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank: Inside Psychoanalysis


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Sigmund Freud’s relationship with Otto Rank was the most constant, close, and significant of his professional life. Freud considered Rank to be the most brilliant of his disciples. The two collaborated on psychoanalytic writing, practice, and politics; Rank was the managing director of Freud’s publishing house; and after several years helping Freud update his masterpiece, The Interpretation of Dreams, Rank contributed two chapters. His was the only other name ever to be listed on the title page. This complete collection of the known correspondence between the two brings to life their twenty-year collaboration and their painful break.

The 250 letters compiled by E. James Lieberman and Robert Kramer humanize and dramatize psychoanalytic thinking, practice, and organization from 1906 through 1925. The letters concern not just the work and trenchant contemporaneous observations of Freud and Rank but also their friendships, supporters, rivals, families, travels, and other personal and professional matters. Most interestingly, the letters trace Rank’s growing independence, the father-son schism over Rank’s "anti-Oedipal" heresy, his surprising reconciliation with Freud, and the moment when they parted ways permanently. A candid picture of how the pioneers of modern psychotherapy behaved with their patients, colleagues, and families—and each other—the correspondence between Freud and Rank demonstrates how psychoanalysis developed in relation to early twentieth-century science, art, philosophy, and politics.

A rich primary source on psychiatry, history, and culture, The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank is a cogent and powerful narrative of early psychoanalysis and its two most important personalities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421403540
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 01/31/2012
Edition description: 20
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.38(w) x 9.18(h) x 1.13(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

E. James Lieberman, M.D., is a clinical professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington University School of Medicine. He has written, edited, and translated a number of books, including two by Otto Rank Psychology and the Soul and The Myth of the Birth of the Hero, both published by Johns Hopkins. Robert Kramer, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized authority on action learning and consults on leadership development worldwide. He is the editor of A Psychology of Difference: The American Lectures of Otto Rank.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction 1

1 The Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, 1906-1910 4

2 Alfred Adler Departs, 1911 11

3 Judging Jung, 1912-1913 20

4 The Committee, 1913-1914 27

5 War, 1914 37

6 Limbo, 1915-1916 47

7 Krakow, 1916-1918 61

8 Active Therapy and Armistice, 1918 75

9 Eros Meets Thanatos, 1919 and 1920 91

10 Rising Tension, 1921 102

11 Favorite Son, January to July 1922 118

12 Fratricide, August to December 1922 132

13 Birth of the Mother, January to June 1923 151

14 Under the Knife, June to December 1923 161

15 Crisis, January to April 1924 181

16 New York, May to October 1924 200

17 About-face, October to December 1924 221

18 Reunion and Ending, 1925-1926 232

19 Willing, Feeling, Living, 1926-1939 255

Epilogue 275

Acknowledgments 291


A Minor Letters 293

B A Precocious Dream Analysis 315

C Major Figures in the Freud-Rank Correspondence 324

D Family Chart of Sigmund Freud in 1905 328

E Otto Rank Family Tree 329

Notes 331

Bibliography 347

Index 351

What People are Saying About This

Robert A. Segal

"James Lieberman and Robert Kramer are among the most distinguished authorities on Otto Rank. Instead of producing a critical edition of the Freud-Rank letters, as would have been commonplace, they have used the letters to reconstruct the early ‘life’ of the psychoanalytic movement. A gem of a book."

David G. Winter

"Publication of the Rank-Freud correspondence in this important book fills a major gap in our knowledge and understanding of the early years of psychoanalysis and of Rank himself. Lieberman and Kramer have nicely interleaved the surviving letters with biographical material on Rank, relevant excerpts from Freud’s letters to others, and description of the historical context, including World War I and the difficult years that followed."

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