5 desember 1897

Sigmund Freud skriver til sin venn Fliess (et brev han startet for to dager siden) at han nå har analysert og forstått at hans frykt for å reise til Roma er dypt nevrotisk. Han arbeider med å forstå hvorfor.

Han skriver også om en rekke andre selvanalytiske innsikter han har fått den siste tiden. Han skriver Iher i engelsk oversettelse, originalen er på tysk):

"Dear Wilhelm,

Last night your dear wife, radiant as always, visited us, bringing the short-lived illusion of all of us being happily together and taking it away again with her departure.

Such interruptions of loneliness have a salutary effect by reminding us how difficult renunciation actually is and how wrong one is to get used to it.

() A critical day prevented me from continuing. In honor of the dear visitor, a part of an explanation occurred to me, which she was to have taken back to you. Probably it was not an auspicious day, however; the new idea which occurred to me in my euphoria retreated, no longer pleased me, and is now waiting to be born again.

Every now and then ideas dart through my head which promise to realize everything, apparently connecting the normal and the pathological, the sexual and the psychological problem, and then they are gone again and I make no effort to hold onto them because I indeed know that neither their disappearance nor their appearance in consciousness is the real expression of their fate.

On such quiet days as yesterday and today, however, everything in me is very quiet, terribly lonely. I cannot talk about it to anyone, nor can I force myself to work, deliberately and voluntarily as other workers can. I must wait until something stirs in me and I become aware of it. And so I often dream whole days away.

All of this is only introductory to our meeting in Breslau, as Ida proposed, if the train connections suit you.

You do know that what happened in Prague proved I was right. When we decided on Prague last time, dreams played a big part. You did not want to come to Prague, and you still know why, and at the same time I dreamed that I was in Rome, walking about the streets, and feeling surprised at the large number of German street and shop signs.

I awoke and immediately thought: so this was Prague (where such German signs, as is well known, are called for). Thus the dream had fulfilled my wish to meet you in Rome rather than in Prague.

My longing for Rome is, by the way, deeply neurotic. It is connected with my high school hero worship of the Semitic Hannibal, and this year in fact I did not reach Rome any more than he did from Lake Trasimeno.

Since I have been studying the unconscious, I have become so interesting to myself. A pity that one always keeps one's mouth shut about the most intimate things.

Das Beste was Du weisst,

Darfst Du den Buben doch nicht sagen

Breslau also plays a role in my childhood memories. At the age of three years I passed through the station when we moved from Freiberg to Leipzig, and the gas flames which I saw for the first time reminded me of spirits burning in hell. I know a little of the connections.

My travel anxiety, now overcome, also is bound up with this.

Today I am not good for anything. All I can still do is "Feilen packen," as the late Dubois Raymond put it.

Farewell, and let me soon have a sensible answer to this meschugene letter. Your Sigm.

Is it true that Robert has not been well?


Freud, S., et al. (1985). The complete letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess : 1887-1904. Cambridge, Mass, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.



Friedman, D. M., & Jensen, K. O. (2004). Etter eget hode : penisens kulturhistorie. Oslo: Schibsted.