An Autobiographical Study : Sigmund Freud
Several of the contributors to this series of ‘Autobiographical Studies’ have begun by expressing their misgivings at the unusual difficulties of the task they have undertaken. The difficulties in my case are, I think, even greater; for I have already more than once published papers upon the same lines as the present one, papers which, from the nature of the subject, have dealt more with personal considerations than is usual or than would otherwise have been necessary.
I gave my first account of the development and subject-matter of psycho-analysis in five lectures which I delivered in 1909 before Clark University at Worcester, Mass., where I had been invited to attend the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the foundation of that body. Only recently I gave way to the temptation of making a contribution of a similar kind to an American collective publication dealing with the opening years of the twentieth century, since its editors had shown their recognition of the importance of psychoanalysis by allotting a special chapter to it.
Between these two dates appeared a paper, ‘On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement’, which, in fact, contains the essence of all that I can say on the present occasion. Since I must not contradict myself and since I have no wish to repeat myself exactly, I must endeavour to construct a narrative in which subjective and objective attitudes, biographical and historical interests, are combined in a new proportion.
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