Monday, January 17, 2011

Significant Moments: A Report to an Academy

Albert Rothenberg, M.D. first described or discovered a process he termed "homospatial thinking," which consists of actively conceiving two or more discrete entities occupying the same space, a conception leading to the articulation of new identities. Homospatial thinking has a salient role in the creative process in the following wide variety of fields: literature, the visual arts, music, science, and mathematics. This cognitive factor, along with "Janusian thinking," clarifies the nature of creative thinking as a highly adaptive and primarily nonregressive form of functioning.

There is a section of my book Significant Moments whose manifest content describes the suicide of Freud's associate Victor Tausk.  A book by Paul Roazen about the Freud-Tausk relationship was titled Brother Animal.


Superimposed on the text of Significant Moments are references to animals and zoos, references that play on the book title "Brother Animal."

"A Report to an Academy" ("Ein Bericht für eine Akademie") is a short story by Franz Kafka, written and published in 1917. In the story, an ape named Red Peter, who has learned to behave like a human, presents to an academy the story of how he effected his transformation. The story was first published by Martin Buber in the German monthly Der Jude, along with another of Kafka's stories, "Jackals and Arabs" ("Schakale und Araber").


In the Cage is a novella by Henry James, first published as a book in 1898. This long story centers on an unnamed London telegraphist. She deciphers clues to her clients' personal lives from the often cryptic telegrams they submit to her as she sits in the "cage" at the post office. Sensitive and intelligent, the telegraphist eventually finds out more than she may want to know.

The Hairy Ape is a play by Eugene O'Neill tells the story of a brutish, unthinking laborer known as Yank, as he searches for a sense of belonging in a world controlled by the rich. At first Yank feels secure as he stokes the engines of an oceanliner, and is highly confident in his physical power over the ship's engines. However, when the weak but rich daughter of an industrialist in the steel business refers to him as a "filthy beast," Yank undergoes a crisis of identity. He leaves the ship and wanders into Manhattan, only to find he does not belong anywhere—neither with the socialites on Fifth Avenue, nor with the labor organizers on the waterfront. Finally he is reduced to seeking a kindred being with the gorilla in the zoo and dies in the animal's embrace.


Note that at the time I wrote an early version of this section, I was in out-patient psychotherapy with a female psychiatry resident, Suzanne M. Pitts, M.D. ("as an analyst she was a nobody").  The Chairman of the psychiatry department at the George Washington University Medical Center was the late Jerry M. Wiener, M.D., a nationally-prominent psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.  The triangle discussed in this section of Significant Moments, namely, Tausk-Deutsch-Freud, represented symbolically Freedman-Pitts-Wiener.


A Biblical analogy or metaphor hovers over the text: God's act of banning Moses from entry into the Promised Land symbolizes Freud's banning Tausk from analysis.  The metaphor plays upon Yerushalmi's book title "Freud's Moses."  In this section of Significant Moments Tausk becomes "Freud's Moses," a troublesome adherent.


Another interesting feature of this section of Significant Moments is that Victor Tausk was literally a soldier--a soldier who was struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder following his experiences in World War I.  In a later section of the book dealing with K.R. Eissler's termination of Jeffrey Masson, I introduce a military metaphor to describe the termination meeting that ended Masson's association with The Sigmund Freud Archives.  Significant Moments repeatedly slips in and out of metaphor -- metaphors in one section of the book become literal ideas in another.
________________________________

HONORED MEMBERS of the Academy!
You have done me the honor of inviting me to give your Academy an account of . . .
Franz Kafka, A Report to an Academy.
. . . an episode from . . .
Aldous Huxley, Crome Yellow.
.
. . the life I formerly led as . . .
Franz Kafka, A Report to an Academy.
. . . the secretary of . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . the “Archives”
Eliot Gregory, The Ways of Men.
What I have to tell the Academy will contribute nothing essentially new, and will fall far behind what you have asked of me and what with the best will in the world I cannot communicate—
Franz Kafka, A Report to an Academy.
I will say at once . . .
Sigmund Freud, The ‘Uncanny’.
. . . esteemed friends . . .
James Fenimore Cooper, The Pioneers.
Can you hear me now?
Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers.
The defamation of Freud's personality is not a new approach toward psychoanalysis, but I have the impression that it has been gaining in momentum. Whereas this had previously been a matter of mere mud-slinging, now it is done with the added pretense of using "documentary evidence."
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
To put it plainly, much as I like expressing myself in images, to put it plainly:
Franz Kafka, A Report to an Academy.
The book Brother Animal, by Paul Roazen, a professor at Harvard, published in 1969 by Alfred A. Knopf, a distinguished publisher, and favorably reviewed by such persons as Arthur Koestler and Maxwell Geismar, both outsiders to psychoanalysis, compels me to enter into a polemic against it. The late Dr. Max Schur, who was Freud's personal physician and who had finished a carefully detailed study of one critical phase in Freud's life, the Fliess period, was ready to write a critical review of this book when death cruelly annulled his intention. He would have been far better prepared for that task than I am.
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
In the last analysis . . .
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace.
. . . my tools remain the humble ones of my craft in general, and the knowledge I bring to bear that of my discipline in particular.
Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Freud's Moses.
I never met Freud and I know little more about his life than does any reader who has studied the pertinent literature. How this happens to be the case, although I have been the secretary of the Sigmund Freud Archives since their inception, I shall not go into here. Since the Archives are supported financially by the contributions of many psychoanalysts, however, it was suggested, after Dr. Schur's death, that I look into what is true and what is untrue in Roazen's book. . . .

The central theme of Roazen's book is Freud's relationship to Victor Tausk (1879-1919), who met Freud in 1908, became a successful psychoanalyst, and committed suicide in 1919, at the age of 40.
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
I presume that the bare plot (though not the essential drama) . . .
Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Freud's Moses.
. . . of that book . . .
H.G. Wells, The Secret Places of the Heart.
—that it was . . .
Hugh Lofting, Dr. Dolittle.
. . . Freud who was ultimately responsible for Tausk's untimely death[,] . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . is, by now, notorious.
Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Freud's Moses.
If someone at present—as had happened not too infrequently in the past—were to describe Freud in consistently abject terms, he would not arouse much interest thereby.
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
The man had always had his detractors, and even enemies. He was provocative, he had firm opinions on a whole range of controversial subjects, he could easily be curt and condescending, he did not suffer fools gladly. He was, all told, not the kind of person who generates a calm consensus about himself. But this . . .
Nina Sutton, Bettelheim: A Life and a Legacy.
. . . that it was Freud who was ultimately responsible for Tausk's untimely death . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . was something else.
Nina Sutton, Bettelheim: A Life and a Legacy.
The improbable and undocumented conclusions Roazen has drawn . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . one has to remember that the probable need not necessarily be the truth, and the truth not always probable . . .
Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism.
. . . the misrepresentation of information allegedly given to him, the distortion by way of omissions in quotations, the outright wrong quotations—any of these alone, and certainly all of them taken together, make this a painful book to read. It is, indeed, a book that one wishes one had not ever had to read.
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
All this is quite shocking, of course, though it will be less so to those with a prior psychoanalytic orientation or with a certain fund of historical information at their disposal.
Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Freud's Moses.
And with that we are back to Tausk.
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
Tausk, . . .
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
. . . before his disillusionment in World War I . . .
Encyclopedia Americana.
. . . had rapidly distinguished himself in Vienna's analytic circles with a handful of important papers and . . .
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
.
. . was preparing a scientific paper on the nervous elements of the retina for the University Gold Medal competition. Though he had qualified only in . . .
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.
. . . psychiatry, . . .
Gary N. Goldsmith, Freud's Aesthetic Response to Michelangelo's Moses.
. . . he had a specialist's knowledge of the eye. His interest in the physiology of sight was in keeping with other sides of his character—his creative gifts and his preoccupation with imagery in art and the logical structure of ideas.
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.
His talents . . .
Edgar Allan Poe, The Premature Burial.
. . . comprised . . .
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.
. . .“a rare combination of artist and scientist.”
Helen A. Cooper, Thomas Eakins The Rowing Pictures.
But Tausk's war experiences had been exceptionally wearing, and Freud publicly attributed his mental deterioration to the strains of his military service.
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
According to the Red Cross International Convention, the army medical personnel must not take part in the military operations of the belligerents. But on one occasion the doctor was forced to break this rule. He was in the field when an engagement began and he had to share the fate of the combatants and shoot in self-defense.
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.
When at last it was over, the war had many diverse results and one dominant one transcending all others: disillusion.
Barbara W. Tuchman, Guns of August.
Long depressed, and increasingly distraught, he had asked Freud to take him into analysis, . . .
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
Yet Tausk must have known that his presence caused Freud discomfort, and the latter's answer was no.
Paul Roazen, Freud and His Followers.
I would suggest provisionally, that if we first allow Freud to speak for himself . . .
Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Freud's Moses.
—and I shall guard against doing anything that would serve his interests—
Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism.
. . . we can arrive at a very different assessment of . . .
Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Freud's Moses.
. . . Freud's decision.
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
"Some people are simply unsuited for analysis—ungeeignet," said Freud. "I don't know whether you have ever examined protozoa under the microscope. Some animals are completely transparent, others are opaque, even though they only consist of a single cell like the others: they have too much pigment in them. Some people are like that too, and one cannot see through them."
Joseph Wortis, Fragments of an Analysis with Freud.
Freud tried to work out a compromise with Tausk. He recommended that he go into analysis with a psychiatrist more than five years Tausk's junior, Helene Deutsch, . . .
Paul Roazen, Freud and His Followers.
. . . a young adherent who was herself in analysis with Freud.
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
Freud was restless and uncomfortable with Tausk, . . .
Paul Roazen, Freud and His Followers.
. . . as we know from Lou Andreas-Salome's diary
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
Lou met Tausk when she started her career as a lay analyst and began to work with Freud.
Walter Sorell, Three Women: Lives of Sex and Genius.
She had come to . . .
Thomas Hardy, Life’s Little Ironies.
. . . think of Tausk as somehow dangerous to Freud and to psychoanalysis.
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
And why was Tausk potentially troublesome?
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
Freud's ideas were still very much in flux, and he told Helene Deutsch that it made an "uncanny" impression on him to have Tausk at the [Vienna Psychoanalytic] Society, where he could take an idea of Freud's and develop it before Freud had quite finished it. The referral was flattering to Helene Deutsch but a terrible insult to Tausk. Despite her psychiatric experience, as an analyst she was a nobody.
Paul Roazen, Freud and His Followers.
The result was a complex triangle which did not work out well: Tausk talked to Deutsch about Freud, and Deutsch talked to Freud about Tausk.
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
Lest her patient interfere with her own analysis, Freud brought the whole triangular relationship to an end, giving Helene Deutsch the choice between terminating her own analysis with Freud or Tausk's with her. To Helene Deutsch . . .
Paul Roazen, Encountering Freud: The Politics and Histories of Psychoanalysis.
. . . who . . .
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary.
. . . once said she knew what duty meant but not sacrifice . . .
Jean-Paul Sartre, L’Idiot de la famille.
. . . it was an order, and Tausk's treatment, which had lasted three months, was abruptly ended.
Paul Roazen, Encountering Freud: The Politics and Histories of Psychoanalysis.
This was a heretical gesture for a psychoanalyst:
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
. . . it is not the job of the analyst to interfere in this direct contact between . . .
Lucy Beckett: Richard Wagner: Parsifal quoting Arnold Whittal.
I mean . . .
Henry James, The Art of Fiction.
. . . it is not the job of . . .
Lucy Beckett: Richard Wagner: Parsifal quoting Arnold Whittal.
. . . a training and supervising psychoanalyst . . .
J. Moussaieff Masson, Final Analysis.
. . . to engage in . .
Feodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler.
.
. . authoritarian interference.
Anthony Storr, The Art of Psychotherapy.
But Freud would violate normal analytic procedures in the spirit of “the Rabbi may”—for the Rabbi special exemptions were permitted.
Paul Roazen, Freud and His Followers.
Psychoanalytic reports are kinds of biographies and autobiographies . . .
Paul Ricoeur, The Question of Proof in Freud’s Psychoanalytic Writings.
. . . as a . . .
Henry James, In the Cage.
. . . novel is in its broadest definition a personal, a direct impression of life: that, to begin with, constitutes its value, which is greater or less according to the intensity of the impression . . .
Henry James, The Art of Fiction.
. . . of the causally relevant events in the patient’s early and current life.
Donald P. Spence, Narrative Truth and Historical Truth: Meaning and Interpretation in Psychoanalysis quoting Adolf Grunbaum.
But there will be no intensity at all, and therefore no value, unless there is freedom to feel and say.
Henry James, The Art of Fiction.
It is evident that . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . to interfere in . . .
Lucy Beckett, Richard Wagner: Parsifal quoting Arnold Whittal.
.
. . the psychoanalytic dialogue . . .
Donald P. Spence, Narrative Truth and Historical Truth: Meaning and Interpretation in Psychoanalysis.
. . . is a limitation of that freedom and a suppression of the very thing that we are most curious about.
Henry James, The Art of Fiction.
It is obvious that Roazen is certain that anybody would have had to react . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . with rage at this interference, . . .
G.A. Henty, With Lee in Virginia.
. . . would have had to react . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . with . . .
Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband.
. . . an act of stupidity, . . .
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities.
. . . an act . . .
Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband.
. . . bearing the stigma of moral cowardice, of suicide.
Mary Roberts Rinehart, Sight Unseen.
This is, however, incorrect, as I . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . am sure you will agree.
Jack London, Moon-Face.
Self-destruction, when it is not an act of madness, implies some acuteness of feeling—sensibility to remorse or to shame, or perhaps a distorted idea of making atonement.
Wilkie Collins, The Legacy of Cain.
One thing is plain from the record:
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
There . . .
Wilkie Collins, The Legacy of Cain.
. . . was . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . no such thing as remorse or shame, or hope of making atonement, in . . .
Wilkie Collins, The Legacy of Cain.
. . . Tausk’s . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . nature.
Wilkie Collins, The Legacy of Cain.
The facts are these:
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
Tausk, who was . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . struggling with his feelings of rage at . . .
Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Freud's Moses.
. . . this peculiar form of disgrace . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
—namely, . . .
Feodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler.
. . . the Termination—
Mark Twain, Italian with Grammar.
. . . was suddenly depressed.
Feodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.
The next day, he lamented: “Reaction—sunk—worn out—depressed—sad that . . .
Stephen A. Black, Eugene O’Neill: Beyond Mourning and Tragedy quoting O’Neill Diary Entry.
. . . Freud and his circle . . .
Paul Gray, The Assault on Freud.
.
. . exist no more—for me”
Stephen A. Black, Eugene O’Neill: Beyond Mourning and Tragedy quoting O’Neill Diary Entry.As I set down these recollections, I realize that it should have been plain to me that I . . .
William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.
. . . had often been depressed before, and there was nothing surprising at . . .
Feodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.
. . . the thought . . .
Albert Camus, The Fall.
No, no, no!
Douglas R. Hofstadter and Daniel C. Dennett, The Mind’s I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul.
. . . the sure understanding that tomorrow, when the pain descended once more, or the tomorrow after that—certainly on some not-too-distant tomorrow—I would be forced to judge . . .
William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.
.
. . whether life is or is not worth living . . .
Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus.
. . . and thereby answer, for myself at least, the fundamental question of philosophy.
William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.
Frankly, was what I was doing worth continuing?
Albert Camus, The Fall.
No!
Clifford Odets, Paradise Lost.
I am done! done with chasing my febrile self down the nights and days.
Clifford Odets, Quoted in Margaret Brenman-Gibson, Clifford Odets: American Playwright.
For the most part he lurked in his quarters, absorbed in deep matters, shy of visitors . . .
John N. Burk, The Life and Works of Beethoven.
. . . emerging from his state of depression and resuming his work only to fall back, after a short flare-up of activity, in long periods of indifference to himself and to everything in the world.
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.
Bear in mind that . . .
Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Freud’s Moses.
The equilibrium he had maintained . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . in the course of his analysis . . .
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
. . . was deserting him.
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
His mind turned to its accustomed round of thoughts—
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.
. . . Freud and his theories, and . . .
Joseph Wortis, Fragments of an Analysis with Freud.
. . . a fantasized relationship of the ideal father and son—
Phyllis Grosskurth, The Secret Ring: Freud's Inner Circle and the Politics of Psychoanalysis.
For the . . .
Andrew Barton Paterson, Excerpt from Ambition and Art.
. . . errant disciple, . . .
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
. . . analysis with Freud . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . remained an elusive Promised Land that he, like Moses, could only glimpse from afar.
Jeffrey L. Sheler, A Pilgrim In The Holy Land.
Needless to say, . . .
Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Freud's Moses.
. . . the cumulative effect of several sleepless nights . . .
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.
. . . contributed much to his . . .
Dr. Friedrich Keppler, The Medical Case History of Richard Wagner.
. . . suffering at that time.
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
He looked pale and wraithlike—
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
Exhaustion combined with sleeplessness is a rare torture.
William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.
More than exhaustion, though, had been working in him.
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
His wakeful consciousness, not finding any rest, worked feverishly of its own momentum. Thoughts whirled and wheeled inside his head, his mind was knocking like a faulty engine. This inner confusion . . .
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.
. . . a disposition akin to madness, separated only from it by a writing table, . . .
Erich Heller, Franz Kafka.
. . . worried and exasperated him.
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.
I could no longer concentrate during those afternoon hours, which for years had been my working time, and the act of writing itself, becoming more and more difficult and exhausting, stalled, then finally ceased.
William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.
The handwriting slipped before the mental grip. . . . His strikingly beautiful regular script continued to decline, like a Bach fugue suddenly erring in tempo. The spacing and proportions became less regular. The delicate, intricate harmony unravelled. The letters grew larger and straighter, less distinct one from another, and phrases ended with dashes.
Lesley Chamberlain, Nietzsche in Turin: An Intimate Biography.
The man of many ideas, now that his first dream of impossible things was over, vibrated too far in the contrary direction; and . . .
Thomas Hardy, A Pair of Blue Eyes.
. . . numberless paragraphs . . .
Jack London, The People of the Abyss.
. . . broke off in mid-sentence.
H.G. Wells, Secret Places of the Heart.
It would be as if Bach, after developing numerous intertwining voices to fill out an ingenious pattern of musical symmetry, left out the final, resolving measure . . .
Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory.
. . . leaving behind him a . . .
D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers.
. . . provokingly indeterminate . . .
Edgar Allan Poe, Landor’s Cottage.
. . . tumult of thoughts . . .
Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage.
. . . frozen in time and space.
Harry Sumrall, Master Glass.
He took up his pen several times and laid it down again . . .
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities.
O word, thou word, that I lack!
Arnold Schoenberg, Moses und Aron.
Agitated as he was, he found it quite impossible to compose [even] a tranquil letter.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities.
A phenomenon that a number of people have noted while in deep depression is the sense of being accompanied by a second self—a wraithlike observer who, not sharing the dementia of his double, is able to watch with dispassionate curiosity as his companion struggles against the oncoming disaster, or decides to embrace it. There is a theatrical quality about all this, and during the next several days, as I went about stolidly preparing for extinction, I couldn't shake off a sense of melodrama—a melodrama in which I, the victim-to-be of self-murder, was both the solitary actor and one member of the audience.
William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.
Three months later . . .
Paul Roazen, Encountering Freud: The Politics and Histories of Psychoanalysis.
. . . he committed . . .
John Dos Passos, 1919.
. . .suicide, blowing out his brains; . . .
Paul Roazen, Encountering Freud: The Politics and Histories of Psychoanalysis.
The shell had his number on it.
John Dos Passos, 1919.
. . . he had also tied a curtain cord around his neck, so that as he fell he was strangled.
Paul Roazen, Encountering Freud: The Politics and Histories of Psychoanalysis.
Desperate remedies.
Franz Kafka, A Report to an Academy.
He killed himself because that was the only way he could live.
Clifford Odets, The Big Knife.
I had not thought . . .
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land.
. . . the war . . .
Walt Whitman, Excerpt from When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.
.
. . had undone so many . . .
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land.
. . . as yet untouched by its destructive breath
Joseph A. Altsheler, The Guns of Bull Run.
For the story of . . .
Franz Kafka, A Report to an Academy.
. . . the proximate circumstances surrounding the actual suicide . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . I must depend on the evidence of others.
Franz Kafka, A Report to an Academy.
The tragedy was not discovered until three days later when . . .
Gaston Diehl, Pascin.
. . . friends, . . .
Hermann Hesse, Klingsor’s Last Summer.
. . . alarmed at his absence . . .
Gaston Diehl, Pascin.
. . . from scientific receptions . . .
Franz Kafka, A Report to an Academy.
. . . alerted . . .
Gaston Diehl, Pascin.
. . . Lou von Salome. . .
Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo.
. . . and broke down the door in her presence. Together . . .
Gaston Diehl, Pascin.
. . . the small circle of his intimates . . .
Hermann Hesse, Klingsor’s Last Summer.
. . . attempted to straighten up the studio.
Gaston Diehl, Pascin.
Just imagine this:
H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds.
A desk and high stool are in one corner. A table with papers, stacks of pamphlets, chairs about it, is at center. The whole is decidedly cheap, banal, commonplace and unmysterious as a room could well be.
Eugene O’Neill, The Hairy Ape.
The floor was strewn with cigarette butts, and . . .
Gaston Diehl, Pascin.
. . . books of the deceased . . .
Wilkie Collins, The Law and the Lady.
. . were piled up all over.
Gaston Diehl, Pascin.
A Report to an Academy . . .
Franz Kafka, A Report to an Academy.
. . . and other documents . . .
Thomas Hardy, Desperate Remedies.
. . . were found later among his papers . . .
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.
. . . along with two letters, one to Freud . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . a peremptory, irritating note . . .
Eugene O’Neill, The Hairy Ape.
. . . and one to his fiancée.
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
The body . . .
Gaston Diehl, Pascin.
—by the way, . . .
Franz Kafka, A Report to an Academy.
. . . was laid out on a sofa placed, as if for the occasion, under the huge painting entitled Socrates and His Disciples Mocked By Courtesans.
Gaston Diehl, Pascin.
Tausk had incurred reality guilt as the result of his conduct toward women, and no analysis can free a man from such guilt. The power of the psychoanalytic technique ends at the border of neurotic guilt feelings. What lies beyond calls for the power of the priest, who alone can give absolution. In terms of classical psychoanalysis, Tausk was incurable.
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
Madness would be something definite, a point of arrival, a relief. . . . But 'real' madness eludes him, as much as 'real' sanity.
R.D. Laing, The Self and Others.
My book reports that shortly after the end of Tausk's analysis, he met and fell in love with a patient, Hilde Loewi.
Paul Roazen, Encountering Freud: The Politics and Histories of Psychoanalysis.
Tausk had . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . pledged his eternal troth to . . .
Richard Osborne, Triebschen Idyll, with Fidi's Bird-song and Orange Sunrise, presented as a Symphonic Birthday Greeting to his Cosima by her Richard, 1870.
. . . Hilde . . .
Paul Roazen, Encountering Freud: The Politics and Histories of Psychoanalysis.
. . . at the Zoo . . .
Eugene O’Neill, The Hairy Ape.
.
. . in the zoo at Berlin, . . .

Richard Osborne, Triebschen Idyll, with Fidi's Bird-song and Orange Sunrise, presented as a Symphonic Birthday Greeting to his Cosima by her Richard, 1870.
. . . the Zoological Gardens . . .
Franz Kafka, A Report to an Academy.
. . . the Hofgarten, . . .
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land.
. . . in the Tiergarten . . .
Otto Friedrich, Before the Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920’s.
. . . or some such place like that.
Victor Appleton, Tom Swift in the Caves of Ice.
The precipitating cause of the suicide, according to his own account in his last will, was his inability (once again) to go through with a marriage. Eissler claims that Hilde had become pregnant, having been a virgin whom Tausk seduced . . .
Paul Roazen, Encountering Freud: The Politics and Histories of Psychoanalysis.
. . . in a Krafft-Ebing-style affair . . .
Judith Rossner, August.
. . . on her first clinical visit to him. Eissler states that only after attempts to abort had failed did Tausk become engaged to her and that later, after Tausk's death, she miscarried.
Paul Roazen, Encountering Freud: The Politics and Histories of Psychoanalysis.
It turned out that putting together a suicide note, which I felt obsessed with a necessity to compose, was the most difficult task of writing that I had ever tackled. There were too many people to acknowledge, to thank, to bequeath final bouquets. And finally I couldn't manage the sheer dirgelike solemnity of it; there was something I found almost comically offensive in the pomposity of such a comment as "For some time now I have sensed in my work a growing psychosis that is doubtless a reflection of the psychotic strain tainting my life" (this is one of the few lines I recall verbatim), as well as something degrading in the prospect of a testament, which I wished to infuse with at least some dignity and eloquence, reduced to an exhausted stutter of inadequate apologies and self-serving explanations. I should have used as an example the mordant statement of the Italian writer Cesare Pavese, who in parting wrote simply: No more words. An act. I'll never write again. But even a few words came to seem to me too long-winded, and I tore up all my efforts, resolving to go out in silence.
William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.
In the last analysis, . . .
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil.
—and, as the saying goes, . . .
Luc Sante, The Factory of Facts.
. . . silence may be an expression of unspeakable truth.
Sidney H. Phillips, Trauma and War: A Fragment of an Analysis with a Vietnam Veteran.
To Lou Andreas-Salome, Freud reported that Tausk's farewell letters to his former wife, to the woman he was about to marry, and to Freud himself threw no light on the suicide.

In his letters to me he swore undying loyalty to psychoanalysis, thanked me, etc. But what was behind it all we cannot guess. After all he spent his days wrestling with the father ghost. . . .

With one failed marriage behind him and a string of equally failed liaisons, it seems possible that the future, with or without Freud's support, was more than he could face.
Ronald W. Clark, Freud: The Man and the Cause.
There is a rustling of paper.
Eugene O’Neill, The Hairy Ape.
HONORED MEMBERS of the Academy!

Franz Kafka, A Report to an Academy.
I carry out with reluctance what some consider to be my duty, . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . as The . . .
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land.
. . . Secretary of an Organization . . .
Eugene O’Neill, The Hairy Ape.
. . . dedicated to the service of . . .
W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage.
. . . psychoanalysis, . . .
H.G. Wells, The Secret Places of the Heart.
. . . because I am convinced of the futility of the undertaking.
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
GENTLEMEN.
Eugene O’Neill, The Hairy Ape.
No heed will probably be taken of the extensive documentation I have offered—which, if anything, is likely to strike the reader as being merely tiresome. On the other hand, . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
I have achieved what I set out to achieve. But do not tell me that it was not worth the trouble. In any case, I am not appealing for any man’s verdict, I am only imparting knowledge, I am only making a report. To you also, honored Members of the Academy, I have only made a report.
Franz Kafka, A Report to an Academy.

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