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CHAPTER FOURTEEN: “Poor Konrad”: the body and the soul seekers

Tom Keve Karnac Books ePub

Ferenc Eros

In a letter dated 27 April 1910, Sandor Ferenczi reacted with embarrassment to Freud’s suggestion to invite Abraham Brill to their planned common vacation in Sicily. Ferenczi was far from happy about this plan, which, as he wrote, “immediately aroused my slumbering brother complex” (Ferenczi, 1910, p. 167). He continues:

I can’t raise any objection to the invitation other than the unjustified infantile desire to be the first and only one with the ‘father’. I like Brill very much and [am] in complete agreement that you should invite him. But between the two suggested modalities I would still like to choose the one that states the three of us make only a part of the journey. That is not only a small concession to my complexes (which I usually handle as badly as Spitteler does his ‘poor Konrad’), but also has its logical foundation. There are questions (of both personal and scientific nature) which we can settle much more economically alone than in Brill’s presence; these should also get their due. (Ferenczi, 1910, p. 167)

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CHAPTER EIGHT: Thrills and progression: Hillary, a philobat on Mount Everest

Tom Keve Karnac Books ePub

Catherine Reverzy

Balint and Ferenczi inspired me to write my book Femmes daven-ture (Reverzy, 2001) about risk-taking, motivation, and self-realisation. Intended for a broader public, it draws on my personal encounters with, and readings of, renowned female navigators, climbers, pilots, and explorers. In this chapter, I examine both the attraction to, and the fear of, adventure and the unknown. I am also looking at one’s capacity for facing danger and returning unharmed to share the experience.

What is the spirit of adventurousness? To understand such a state of mind, it seems necessary to go far back into early childhood, where our primitive yet determining attitudes towards the world are shaped. I have chosen a psychoanalytic viewpoint—though other perspectives could be equally valid. Within this context, I have looked to Balint, whose original and fascinating work presented in Thrills and Regression (1959), was a great help in my explorations. Balint mentions outdoor sports, and climbing in particular. Several times he quotes Hillary, who conquered Mount Everest in 1953, only a few years prior to the publication of Balint’s book.

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CHAPTER ELEVEN: “In more favourable circumstances”: ambassadors of the wound

Tom Keve Karnac Books ePub

Rachel Rosenblum (pour Henri Danon Boileau)

This chapter starts with an empirical question. Why is it so dangerous for survivors of major traumas to tell their story? Why do they often pay the price of telling the “ghastly tale” by committing suicide? Look at Jean Amery, Primo Levi, Paul Celan, Piotr Rawicz; look also at more ambiguous cases like those of Romain Gary, Georges Perec (illness), G. Sebald (accident). What do these writers share besides the intensity of their traumatisation and the decision to confront their past? What are the gestures that increase the dangers inherent in addressing past traumas? Are there safeguards against such dangers?

Those who return to past traumas often succeed in not returning alone. Sometimes, they return with psychoanalysts as travelling companions. Sometimes, they do so with companions they had never actually met, but encountered in literature, philosophy, or art. In the first case, facing the past trauma might become a shared experience. In the second case, the experience might also be shared, but indirectly: it takes place via screen texts, narratives of the traumas endured by others. In the first case, the sharing occurs in the same physical space, in the same room. In the second case, the sharing is distant, oblique. In both cases, companions act as “ambassadors” in charge of connecting victims to their wounded self, making it easier for trauma victims to address an unbearable past. Thus, some psychoanalysts became “ambassadors” of the wound, companions of the trauma victims. Was it their role? If not so, what should be their role?

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CHAPTER FOUR: Ferenczi in context

Tom Keve Karnac Books ePub

Edith Kurzweil

Much has been written about Ferenczi’s and Freud’s relationship, their close personal friendship and theoretical disagreements, but not much attention has been paid to the influence on them of their surrounding milieu, the contradictions within the Kaiserreich, its rampant anti-Semitism and hypocrisy hidden beneath a veneer of politeness and Gemütlichkeit, which they took for granted. Of course, both Freud and Ferenczi were delving into individuals’ psyches to reach their unconscious, but I am wondering to what extent Ferenczi’s subsequent influence, or neglect, by psychoanalysts—on the European continent, in the UK, and the USA—has been due to cultural factors. Therefore, I am using my sociologist’s viewpoint, that is, a so-called “scientific bird’s eye perspective”, that requires a knowledge of psychoanalysis but focuses on the differing cultural circumstances.

So, when asking, for instance, “Why were Ferenczi’s innovative techniques forgotten or even maligned?”, I cannot zero in on the validity or the details of the disagreements between him and Freud, on the rivalry between the disciples for succession, or on unconscious motives for these. Instead, I have to examine the social context within which these questions arose. This is not to say that sociologists know more than psychoanalysts: they are just as tempted to go beyond their professional expertise, as are psychoanalysts.

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CHAPTER ONE: From patient to founder of a psychoanalytic school: Ferenczi’s influence on the works of Melanie Klein

Tom Keve Karnac Books ePub

Gábor Flaskay

Nobody within the psychoanalytic community doubts that Melanie Klein was one of the most influential contributors to our discipline after the first great generation of psychoanalysts. Her findings on the early mental development of the child and the derived theoretical conclusions have had a great impact on general psychoanalytical theories and practice.

Life and work of Melanie Klein (1882–1960)

Melanie Klein was born in Vienna in 1882. She married in 1903 and moved to Rózsahegy (Rosenberg, Ruzomberok), a small town in the region of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy with a Hungarian, Slovak, German, and Jewish population. She became acquainted with the languages spoken there. She had an unhappy marriage, with significant periods of separation, and she divorced in 1922.

Klein moved to Budapest in 1910 and enjoyed the intellectual vitality of the “big town”. Sandor Ferenczi saw her for the first time in 1912, in order to treat her depression. Her sporadic visits to Ferenczi’s office were changed to a formal psychoanalytic treatment in 1914; soon after that, Ferenczi was called up to serve in the army, stationed 120 km away from Budapest. He visited Budapest occasionally and continued sporadic analysis with his analysands (including Géza Róheim and Klein). Ferenczi was transferred back to Budapest in 1916.

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