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Sandor Ferenczi - Ernest Jones

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The Ferenczi-Jones correspondence presented here is an important document of the early history of psychoanalysis. It spans more than two decades, and addresses many of the relevant issues of the psychoanalytic movement between 1911-1933, such as Freud's relation to Stekel, Adler and Jung; the First World Wa;, the debates of the 1920s regarding the theoretical and technical ideas of Rank and Ferenczi; problems of leadership, structure, and finding a centre for the psychoanalytical movement; as well as issues related to telepathy and lay analysis. It includes thirty-seven letters and six postcards, as well as original documents waiting to be found for eight decades; these belong to the 'private', personal history of psychoanalysis and help to decode diverse aspects of the experience preserved in these documentary memories of former generations.Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this correspondence is how it allows us to build up a far more nuanced picture of the development of an extraordinary relationship between Ferenczi and Jones. It could hardly be termed harmonious, and was not devoid of rivalry and jealousy, sometimes even of hidden passion and outright hostility. Nevertheless, friendship, sympathy, collegiality and readiness for cooperation were just as important for Ferenczi and Jones as rivalry, mistrust and suspicion. This volume celebrates the 100th anniversary of the foundation in 1913 of both the British and the Hungarian Psychoanalytical Societies.

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Challenges of Honesty

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Challenges of honesty

Gábor Szőnyi

There was one thing to which Sándor Ferenczi was committed more than to Freud: psychoanalysis. Above all others, he took the method extremely seriously, not in a descriptive sense, but by following its spirit and exploring it in its totality.

Freud proposed taking mental phenomena as facts that can be studied, and practised self-analysis. He experienced the pain of honesty towards oneself, and said that self-analysis has limits.

Nowadays, self-analysis is seen as one of the most important tools of an analyst; however, Freud did not place self-analysis among the central prerequisites in undertaking psychoanalysis, and, in the period before the IPA organised training, we do not find it as a requirement for future analysts. Training analysis was introduced, and then supervision. From that point on, honesty was taken for granted. The requirements demanded more and more analysis, because any failure or incompetence of an analyst—both in conducting therapy and participating in analytic organisations—were seen as failings of their personal analysis.

 

Around this Correspondence

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Around this correspondence

André Haynal

Si duo faciunt idem non est idem (if two (people) do the same, it is not the same) says the Latin proverb. The letters in this book show a beautiful example of two men, both interested in one's inner life, exploring ways to help other human beings and also, possibly, themselves. With this purpose, they both strive to be part of Freud's inner circle: two men so similar, but, nevertheless, so different.

Sándor Ferenczi's family originated from territories belonging to Austria (now Poland) in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Habsburg Empire). He considered himself Hungarian, although he spoke Yiddish, a German dialect, with his mother, and studied medicine at the Vienna University.

He was part of the light-hearted Budpest bohème, for whom inner freedom was one of the highest ideals and fantasy an important value. His professional life took place close to literary and artistic circles. Developing rich mutual relationships through what he called introjection, he considered cementing solidarity as the best possible achievement of human development. Central to this was what he called “sincerity” with others and himself—what would later be called authenticity. It was a way of life where the inner person should match the outer conduct. He conceptually opposed this to “hypocrisy”, meaning, to him, hiding one's true personality.

 

Letters

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LETTERS

 

Appendix: The Ferenczi–Jones correspondence (list)

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APPENDIX

The Ferenczi–Jones correspondence

Entries in italics refer to letters solely between Ferenczi and Jones, except for 11 April 1914. Those in square brackets, also in italics, represent missing letters to which a date may reasonably be attached. Other entries refer to Rundbriefe by the two men which contain passages addressed more or less directly to each other.

 

 

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