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Freud & Ferenczi

In response to:

The Lovable Analyst from the December 8, 1988 issue

To the Editors:

I just want to correct what Phyllis Grosskurth says about the publication of the Freud/ Ferenczi correspondence in her otherwise fascinating piece [“The Lovable Analyst,” NYR, December 8, 1988].

The Ferenczi side never dragged its feet about publication. Ernst and Anna Freud felt the correspondence too private and also harmful to Ferenczi, though Michael Balint did not agree. A compromise was proposed by the Freuds, allowing publication of the first years’ letters, before Ferenczi’s analysis started. Balint wouldn’t agree to this, demanding all or nothing. There was no further development until first Michael and then Ernst died, and Enid Balint came to see me and appealed to Anna Freud, who refused to change her position. Miss Freud asked me, as Director of Sigmund Freud Copyrights, not to allow publication in her lifetime and her wish has been respected. Preparations were started immediately after her death, but most people complaining about publication delay fail to realise what a huge and costly amount of work is involved. The correspondence will make at least three volumes of 600–700 pages each. Three editors have commenced work at a cost of over $100,000, which the copyright-holders refuse to have charged against royalties—as there wouldn’t be any—and which is being sought as grants. All of this takes time, but the end is in sight. German, French, Italian and Portuguese contracts are in being and Harvard University Press will be the US publisher, though terms have not yet been agreed. The edited first volume is expected to be delivered by the end of 1989.

Mark Paterson
Director, Sigmund Freud Copyrights
Colchester, England

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