|FREUD, Sigmund and Joseph
BREUER (1842-1925). Studien über Hysterie. Leipzig and Vienna:
Franz Deuticke, 1895. Octavo, original printed yellow wrappers rebacked
with portions of original spine laid-down, uncut and partially unopened.
Housed in custom cloth case. $9000.
First edition, first printing of Freud
and Breuer's account of their discovery of the profound benefits of
"free association"; generally considered the founding paper of
Working closely with his partner, the
physician Josef Breuer, Freud " developed the technique of free association. In part an extrapolation of the automatic writing promoted by the German Jewish writer Ludwig Börne a century before, in part a result of his own clinical experience with other hysterics, this revolutionary method was announced in the work Freud published jointly with Breuer in 1895,
Studien über Hysterie (Studies in Hysteria). By encouraging the patient to express any random thoughts that came associatively to mind, the technique aimed at uncovering hitherto unarticulated material from the realm of the psyche that Freud, following a long tradition, called the unconscious. Because of its incompatibility with conscious thoughts or conflicts with other unconscious ones, this material was normally hidden, forgotten, or unavailable to conscious reflection. Difficulty in freely associating—sudden silences, stuttering, or the like—suggested to Freud the importance of the material struggling to be expressed, as well as the power of what he called the patient's defenses against that expression. Such blockages Freud dubbed resistance, which had to be broken down in order to reveal hidden conflicts.
"Unlike Charcot and Breuer, Freud came to the conclusion, based on his clinical experience with female hysterics, that the most insistent source of resisted material was sexual in nature. And even more momentously, he linked the etiology of neurotic symptoms to the same struggle between a sexual feeling or urge and the psychic defenses against it. Being able to bring that conflict to consciousness through free association and then probing its implications was thus a crucial step, he reasoned, on the road to relieving the symptom, which was best understood as an unwitting compromise formation between the wish and the
defense" (Britannica). "It was through devising the new
method that Freud was enabled to penetrate into the previously unknown
realm of the unconscious proper and to make the profound discoveries
with which his name is imperishably associated" (Jones I, p.265).
Garrison-Morton 4978; Grinstein 214; Jones I, ch. 11, 13; Norman F25.
Light edgewear to wrappers, early owner signature on front ad. A
remarkably well-preserved copy. Most rare in original wrappers.