The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank: Inside Psychoanalysis

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Sigmund Freud's relationship with Otto Rank was the most constant, close, and significant of his professional life. Freud considered Rank to be the most brilliant of his disciples. The two collaborated on psychoanalytic writing, practice, and politics; Rank was the managing director of Freud's publishing house; and after several years helping Freud update his masterpiece, The Interpretation of Dreams, Rank contributed two chapters. His was the only other name ever to be listed on the title page. This complete collection of the known correspondence between the two brings to life their twenty-year collaboration and their painful break. The 250 letters compiled by E. James Lieberman and Robert Kramer humanize and dramatize psychoanalytic thinking, practice, and organization from 1906 through 1925. The letters concern not just the work and trenchant contemporaneous observations of Freud and Rank but also their friendships, supporters, rivals, families, travels, and other personal and professional matters. Most interestingly, the letters trace Rank's growing independence, the father-son schism over Rank's anti-Oedipal heresy, his surprising reconciliation with Freud, and the moment when they parted ways permanently. A candid picture of how the pioneers of modern psychotherapy behaved with their patients, colleagues, and families-and each other-the correspondence between Freud and Rank demonstrates how psychoanalysis developed in relation to early twentieth-century science, art, philosophy, and politics. A rich primary source on psychiatry, history, and culture, The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank is a cogent and powerful narrative of early psychoanalysis and its two most important personalities.