Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Freud's letters

I have self-prescribed a daily dip into Sigmund Freud's letters to Wilhelm Fliess, likely a result of Peter Galison's discovery that Freud gained a crucial insight into linguistics of repression by self-observing letter writing practices under conditions of strict censorship.

Only a few letters in, I am struck by how Freud always uses a piece of the precious compact space to talk about his first daughter, Mathilde. These are touching moments, attesting to the multiplicity of life when one is a researcher, writer, husband and father. As I desperately miss the physical presence of my own first daughter, Sofia (Chofi), Freud's letters provide a gentle and subtle comfort.

But there are little oddities like: "I have at the moment a lady in hypnosis lying in front of me and therefore can go on writing in peace..." 28 May 1888.

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