In response to:
The Unknown Freud from the November 18, 1993 issue
To the Editors:
A footnote to my essay/review “The Unknown Freud” [NYR, November 18] follows James Rice’s Freud’s Russia in quoting from an interview that Freud allegedly granted the Italian writer Giovanni Papini in 1934. Rice in turn probably found the Papini text in Hendrik M. Ruitenbeek’s collection of 1973, Freud As We Knew Him, where it is treated as a serious document. I have now been reliably informed, however, that Papini’s work was originally meant as a spoof. Although, as my essay maintains, Freud was far more susceptible to cultural influences than he wanted us to know, his supposed confidences to Papini should be struck from the record.
December 16, 1993