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VINE VOICEon 7 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am particularly fond of collections of letters, as well as diaries, as they tell us both of the individuals concerned and the times in which they lived. In this case, however, both correspondents are so wrapped up in their own affairs that we hear relatively little of the historical background until the rise of Nazism. The family seems to stifle its members - which may explain the marriage of Anna's sister to a rather obscure suitor - and it's clear that Anna's periods away from her parents are markedly beneficial to her health (although the whole family seems to be obsessed with health to the point of hypochondria anyway). Freud also comes across as more than a little manipulative. The extensive and detailed notes - which take up more than half of the book - concentrate heavily on the history of the psychoanalytic movement, and I found that, as a general reader, I was happy to skip a lot of them; their academic nature means that we are also advised of every spelling and grammatical error in the original, and that the editor's purpose blinds him to the need for more general notes at times. If you are at all familiar with Jung's views, however, you can readily understand why the very character of Freud became anathema to him. Rather a relief to get to the end of this, as it was so hard to become involved with either father or daughter.
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Detailed and fascinating letters,which trace the early development of Freud. Extensive and well- compiled footnotes add depth of background. Academically fascinating, and an excellent piece of work.However,the tightness of focus means that the general reader is left floundering. Not an issue, and the compelling nature of the subject matter is inherently strong.But...there are huge gaps. Not only the emotional life of the family.. And maybe the absence of that tels its own tale...but the historical context is also missing. Bearing in mind these letters were written at the most dangerous period of the twentieth century, the lack of political and historical context weakens the reader's experience. Don't be put off! This is excellent and will be invaluable to all students of psychoanalysis.
But go in with your eyes open. This book does what it says on the tin. It uses the personal correspondence to highlight the psychoanalytical method. And that it does superbly!
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VINE VOICEon 2 March 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This mighty tome is a work of academic brilliance as it balances the professional with the familial in the Freud family archives.
It is so detailed and so thoroughly annotated ~ and early dozen word postcard merits a page of notes ~ that it becomes almost exhausting.

What is revealed with these letters is the human face of psychoanalysis; the genuine affection between father and daughter, their loves and trials through this daunting period.

This is not a volume to pick up lightly and browse, you need to be really curious and be patient following the historical theme and the academic/medical one. Freudian researchers will no doubt be delighted at this publication due to its insight into one of the 20th century's mind altering work into the human mind and be entrances by the family details ~ the postscripts by various family members reveal a devoted tribe.
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VINE VOICEon 8 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
For anyone who has had to plough through Freud’s publications on psychoanalysis for study reasons, and experienced those frustrating moments of not quite accessing properly his thoughts at times, this book is a delightful and insightful addition. Rather like visiting the Freud museum, the intimacy of the letters provides the senses with something extra of the man, and of course Anna the woman. There is something precious and fulfilling here that adds to both their extraordinary accomplishments in understanding the ways of the human mind. A book I will further dip into from time to time.
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on 4 March 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Anna Freud was the youngest of Freud's daughters from six children. This book is a labour of love covering 34 years covering personal and family matters including Freud's last illness, and her analysis by her father. They have been scrupulously edited and annotated and the near 500pp document the formation and development of psychanalysis. Not everyone will want to read them from cover to cover but there is an extensive index and the book is a must for everyone interested in psychoanalysis.

Rating 5 out of 5
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on 11 April 2014
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“Correspondence” is a massive scholarly compilation of all publicly accessible correspondence between psychoanalysts Anna Freud and her father, Sigmund Freud. The editing is diligent and makes the voluminous correspondence accessible to lay readers, i.e. those not familiar with psychoanalysis in general and or Freudian psychoanalysis in particular.

Sponsored by the renowned Goethe Institut, this work makes for a first time the said correspondence available to an English speaking public, courtesy of the translation by Nick Somers. The sponsorship of the Goethe Institut must have facilitated the access of the author to the prestigious guardians of this correspondence albeit this collection is by no means exhaustive. Indeed, various private correspondence remains inaccessible and, therefore, excluded from this volume.

The period selected starts with Sigmund Freud corresponding at the age of 48 years old and his daughter Anna sending her first “known” letter at the tender age of 14. The footnotes number in the hundreds and provide context and salient details to allow readers to grasp the significance of the various mentions in the correspondence. This is most useful in enabling lay readers such as myself to grasp the pertinence of some of the comments made.

As the editor observes, the “tender” nature of father-daughter correspondence does challenge the commonly held perception of Freud as a rather gruff individual who’s sometimes more known for his putdowns of other psychoanalysts (with views divergent from his own) than for scholarly debate. The clashes of Freud with his erstwhile close collaborators Sandor Ferenczi, Otto Rank and Carl Gustav Jung come to mind.

Yet, this same individual is one who wants to “back to nature”, as he writes to a young Anna. Anna herself is a rather unconventional young society member, witness a letter written at the age of 20 when she asks her father to bring from Karlsbad not a piece of jewellery, but rather “a little bowl for my desk (…) because I sit at my desk more often than I put on jewellery.”

A voluminous Bibliography complements this work and makes it a prime reference work for those interested to learn more about the Freuds as individuals and about their psychoanalytical approaches.
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VINE VOICEon 16 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Even for the non-specialist reader there is plenty here. Am I alone in sniggering at the inclusion of vaccination certificates or footnotes on every word of a 3 word telegram? The latter provide an intriguing look into the personal details of the important relationship between Freud and his daughter. I can't judge now much light this sheds on his creation of psychoanalysis but it's an entertaining, interesting and moving story. The book is beautifully presented with a very clear layout.
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