Uncertainty pervades these letters: Will Ferenczi be called up? Will food and fuel - and cigar - shortages continue? Will Freud's three enlisted sons and son-in-law come through intact? And, will Freud's "problem-child", psychoanalysis, survive the war? At the same time, a more intimate drama is unfolding: Freud's three-part analysis of Ferenczi in 1914 and 1916 ("finished but not terminated"); Ferenczi's concomitant turmoil over whether to marry his mistress, Gizella Palos, or her daughter, Elma; and the refraction of all these relationships in constantly shifting triads and dyads. In these, as in other matters, both men display characteristics contradictions and inconsistencies, Freud restrained, Ferenczi more effusive and revealing. Freud, for example, unswervingly favours Ferenczi's marriage to Gizella and views his indecision as "resistance"; yet several years later, commenting on Otto Rank's wife, Freud remarks, "One certainly can't judge in these matters ...on behalf of another". Ferenczi, for his part, reacts to the paternal authority of the "father of psychoanalysis" as an alternately obedient and rebellious son. The letters record the use - and misuse - of analysis and self-analysis and the close interweaving of personal and professional matters in the early history of psychoanalysis. Ferenczi's eventual disagreement with Freud about "head and heart", objective detachment versus subjective involvement and engagement in the analytic relationship - an issue that would emerge more clearly in the ensuing years - is hinted at here. As the decade and the volume end, the correspondents continue their literary conversation, unaware of the events ahead.
This third and final volume of the correspondence between the founder of psychoanalysis and one of his most colourful disciples brings to a close Sandor Ferenczi's life and the story of one of the most important friendships in the history of psychoanalysis. This volume spans a turbulent period, beginning with the controversy over Otto Rank's "The Trauma of Birth" and continuing through Ferenczi's lectures in New York and his involvement in a bitter controversy with American analysts over the practice of lay analysis. On his return from America, Ferenczi's relationship with Freud deteriorated, as Freud became increasingly critical of his theoretical and clinical innovations. Their troubled friendship was further complicated by ill health - Freud's cancer of the jaw and the pernicious anaemia that finally killed Ferenczi in 1933. The controversies between Freud and Ferenczi continue to this day, as psychoanalysts reassess Ferenczi's innovations, and increasingly challenge the allegations of mental illness levelled against him after his death by Freud and Ernest Jones. The correspondence, now published in its entirety, will deepen understanding of these issues and of the history of psychoanalysis as a whole.