Sigmund Freud og Wilhelm Fliess, 1890
11 mars 1900

Sigmund Freud, som lengter etter våren og et møte med sinn venn Wilhelm Fliess i Berlin, som han ikke har hørt fra siden 15. februar, skriver til ham om livskrisen han gjennomgår (her i engelsk oversettelse, originalen er på tysk):

"After last summer's exhilaration, when in feverish activity I completed the dream [book], fool that I am, I was once again intoxicated with the hope that a step toward freedom and well-being had been taken. The reception of the book and the ensuing silence have again detroyed any budding relationship with my milieu.

For my second iron in the fire is after all my workóthe prospect of reaching an end somewhere, resolving many doubts, and then knowing what to think of the chances of my therapy. Prospects seemed most favorable in E.'s case, and that is where I was dealt the heaviest blow.

Just when I believed I had the solution in my grasp, it eluded me and I found myself forced to turn everything around and put it together anew, in the process of which I lost everything that until then had appeared plausible. I could not stand the depression that followed. Moreover, I soon found that it was impossible to continue the really difficult work in a state of mild depression and lurking doubts. When I am not cheerful and collected, every single one of my patients is my tormentor. I really believed I had to give up on the spot. I found a way out by renouncing all conscious mental activity so as to grope blindly among my riddles. Sinche then I am working perhaps more skillfully than ever before, but I do not really know what I am doing. I could not give an account of how matter stand. In my spare time i take care not to reflect on it. I give myself over to my fantasies, play chess, read English novels everything serious os banished. For two months I have not written a single line of what I have learned or surmised. As soon as I am free of my trade, I live like a pleasure-seaking philistine. You know how limited my pleasures are. I am not allowed to smoke anything descent; alcohol does nothing for me; I am done begetting children; and I am cut off from contact with people. So I vegetate harmlessly, carefully keeping my attention diverted from the subject on which I work during the day. Under this regimen I am cheerful and equal to my eight victims and tormentors.

On Saturday evenings I look forward to an orgy of taroc, and every second Tuesday I spend among my Jewish brethren, to whom I recently gave another lecture. Intil Easter I am in this way secure; then several treatments will be broken off and another period of greater discomfort will begin.

(Masson, 1985, s. 403-404).


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

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