Recollecting Freud by Isidor Sadger, Alan Dundes, Johanna Micaela Jacobsen

By Isidor Sadger, Alan Dundes, Johanna Micaela Jacobsen

    Available the following for the 1st time in English, this eyewitness account by way of one among Freud's earliest scholars has been rediscovered for twenty-first century readers. Isidor Sadger's memories offer a distinct window into the early days of the psychoanalytic movement—the internecine and ideological conflicts of Freud's disciples. additionally they light up Freud's personal struggles: his appreciate wit, his attitudes towards Judaism, and his powerful evaluations bearing on lay, non-medical analysts.    As a pupil, Sadger attended Freud's lectures from 1895 via 1904. years later Freud nominated Sadger to his Wednesday mental Society (later known as the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society).  Sadger, even though, was once now not a part of Freud's internal circle, yet extra a player observer of the early years of the psychoanalytic circulate and of Freud as instructor, therapist, and clinician.    Sadger was once certainly one of the main dedicated fans of Freud and was hoping to turn into one among Freud's "favorite sons."  on the First Psychoanalytic Congress held in Salzburg in 1908, Sadger was once selected to be one of many primary audio system in addition to Freud, Jones, Alder, Jung, Prince, Rifkin, Abraham, and Stekel, an honor that bespeaks Sadger's early function within the movement.  yet Freud and lots of of his disciples have been additionally overtly severe of Sadger's paintings, calling it at a number of instances overly simplistic, unimaginative, reductionist, orthodox, and rigid.    In 1930 Sadger released his memoir, Sigmund Freud: Pers?nliche Erinnerungen.  With the increase of Nazism and global warfare II, the publication grew to become misplaced to the area of psychoanalytic history.  lately, Alan Dundes realized of its lifestyles and fastened a seek that led him worldwide to at least one of the few extant copies—in a study library in Japan. the results of his interesting quest is Recollecting Freud, a long-lost own account that offers helpful insights into Freud and his social, cultural, and highbrow context.

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The fact that Freud was occasionally outspoken in his devastating criticism of Sadger must be taken into account in evaluating Sadger’s possible bias in his reporting of his personal recollections of Freud. In that context, one might view the book as Sadger’s one last opportunity to retaliate somewhat for all the verbal abuse he may have felt he had to endure. Another clue to Sadger’s personality comes from a passage in Lou Andreas-Salome’s (1861–1937) summary of the discussion following Sadger’s presentation “On the Sadomasochistic Complex” given on November 6, 1912: “Freud had not much to say by way of concluding remarks, and he excused us all for being bored.

I did not then, nor do I now understand this reason for the refusal to photocopy the book. First of all, the book was published in Vienna, not in Japan, and secondly, the period of copyright had long since expired. Still, I was, for the moment, stymied. As it happened, one of my anthropology doctoral students, Hideaki Matsuoka, had just finished his degree and was returning to his native Japan. I asked him to do me a big favor and get me a photocopy of the xliii book. He first tried to do so via interlibrary loan from his university, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, but to no avail.

But in retrospect, possibly the most important contribution Sadger made was writing what may well be the first book-length evaluative review of Freud’s life and work. It is a unique, perhaps unforgettable, portrait of Freud, unlike any other, a curious anecdotal mixture of extravagant hyperbolic praise and pointed, sometimes acerbic, criticisms. And it was written by—to modify the conventional anthropological idiom of “participant observer—an “observant participant” who was an eyewitness to the events he described.

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