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Borch-Jacobsen / Shamdasani 'The Freud files - An inquiry into the history of psychoanalysis' Mikkel BORCH-JACOBSEN / Sonu SHAMDASANI
The Freud files - An inquiry into the history of psychoanalysis
Cambridge etc.: Cambridge University Press, 2012, 404 blzn.; ISBN-13: 978 05 2150 9909

(ix) Acknowledgements

"We wanted to study the history of the history of psychoanalysis and to understand better the basic issues of this fascinating and conflictual field – fascinating because of the conflict. We wanted, in the end, to draw consequences from historical criticism for the understanding of this strange movement. For any reckoning with the status of psychology, psychiatry and psychotherapy in today’s societies at some point requires coming to terms with Freud and his legacy."(ix)

(1) Introduction: the past of an illusion

"Copernicus, Darwin, Freud [waarover Freud het in zijn 18e lezing van 1916 had: het 'de mens is zelfs geen meester in zijn eigen huis' verhaal - GdG]: this genealogy of the de-centred man of modernity is by now so familiar to us that we no longer note its profoundly arbitrary character."(2)

"According to Freud, the originality of psychoanalysis lay in the fact that it had accomplished in psychology the same type of scientific revolution which Copernicus and Darwin had effected in cosmology and biology. However, this ambition was one shared by many psychologists at the end of the nineteenth century, from Wundt to Brentano, from Ebbinghaus to William James."(3)

Ze wilden allemaal een psychologie naar het model van de natuurwetenschappen. Maar zo ver was het rond 1900 nog lang niet.

"Thus one sees that the question of who posterity would view as being the founding genius of psychology was hotly debated at precisely the same time when Freud nominated himself. This self-canonisation, which has been taken as self-evident, immediately loses its authority, and appears for what it was: a peremptory attempt by Freud and his followers to act as if posterity had already unilaterally settled the debates between psychoanalysis and other psychologies in their favour, and discarded any other claimants to this position. Some figures vigorously protested." [mijn nadruk] (7)

Waarom dan werd het standpunt van Freud en zijn volgers vanzelfsprekend?

"Was it because Freud’s competitors were finally forced to concede defeat? Because a consensus emerged around his theories, despite the ‘violent oppositions’ and the ‘resistance to psychoanalysis’ that he alleged? Or was it, quite simply, because he managed to make everyone forget the controversy itself, and even the existence of many of his rivals?"(8-9)

"Freud’s parable of the ‘three blows’ provides a marvellous illustration of this purging of history, right down to its transcription." [mijn nadruk] (9)

"The fable of the three blows provides a good example of what the historians Henri Ellenberger and Frank Sulloway have called ‘the Freudian legend’. One sees here nearly all of the key elements of the master narrative woven by Freud and his followers: the peremptory declaration of the revolutionary and epochal character of psychoanalysis, the description of the ferocious hostility and irrational ‘resistances’ which it gave rise to, the insistence on the ‘moral courage’ which was required to overcome them, the obliteration of rival theories, relegated to a prehistory of the psychoanalytic science, and a lack of acknowledgement of debts and borrowings." [mijn nadruk] (12)

[De auteurs noemen het terecht de-historisatie, doen alsof je opvattingen niet ingebed liggen in de historische ontwikkelingen. Alsof ooit iets volledig nieuw is, geen voorlopers heeft, werkelijk revolutionair is. Het is pretentieus en ergerlijk en een leugen / onwaar.]

"It was ‘blackboxed’, to use the language of sociologists of science, that is to say, it was accepted as a given that it would be simply futile to question. The Freud legend and its acceptance are the expression of this successful blackboxing, of this supposed victory of psychoanalysis over rival theories. Better still, they are this blackboxing itself, which protects the contents of the black box from inquiry. Indeed, why would one want to reopen it?" [mijn nadruk] (15)

"The success of the theory is explained by its truth, and its truth in turn is legitimated by its success."(16)

"It is precisely this which historians, critics and scholars of psycho- analysis have been attempting for several decades now. They have been reopening the black box of psychoanalysis, and have attempted to understand how psychoanalysis triumphed over its adversaries, how for many it succeeded in establishing itself as the science of the psyche, without awarding the title in advance. (...) The contestations of psychoanalysis provide a unique window onto how certain ideas about the mind and human relations came to be regarded as established knowledge, and formed the received ideas of several generations." [mijn nadruk] (16-17)

De geschiedenis van de psychoanalyse werd aanvankelijk geschreven door volgers van Freud.

"It was subsequently taken up by followers and fellow travellers such as Fritz Wittels, Siegfried Bernfeld, Ernest Jones, Marthe Robert, Max Schur, Ola Anderson and, closer to us, figures such as Peter Gay, Élisabeth Roudinesco and Joseph Schwartz. Whatever the respective merits and the sometimes considerable erudition of their works, it is not unfair to remark that their historiography remains profoundly Freudian, and does not put into question the general schema of the narrative proposed by the founder, even when their research forces them to abandon or revise this or that element of the legend." [mijn nadruk] (17)

"Thus one had to wait for historians who were independent of psychoanalytic institutions for Freudian theory to be envisaged for the first time as a problematic construction, in need of explication, rather than an intangible a priori." [mijn nadruk] (18)


De eerste auteur was Ellenberger.

"Ellenberger noted that the Freudian legend, which is clearly the major target of The Discovery of the Unconscious, essentially turns around two themes: that of the solitary hero surmounting the obstacles placed across his route by malicious adversaries and that of the absolute originality of the founder – two ways of negating the friendships, the networks, influences, legacies, readings and intellectual debts – in short, everything which would link Freud to his historical epoch."(20)

De tweede auteur is Frank Sulloway.

"Just as with Ellenberger, Sulloway’s historical contextualisation clashes head on with the Freudian legend and notably with the idea that psychoanalysis was born when Freud abandoned the neurophysiological and biological theories of his time to the benefit of a purely psychological science, founded on clinical observation and the self-analysis of its founder."(22)

"On the one hand, through presenting the image of an isolated Freud, it allowed one to assert the radicality of the new science of the mind whilst clandestinely recuperating the contributions of Darwin, Haeckel, Fliess, Krafft-Ebing, the sexologists, and other figures. On the other hand, and more profoundly, it effectively protected psychoanalysis against the vicissitudes of scientific research."(23)

"Ellenberger, with Swiss prudence, characterised psychoanalysis as a half-science (‘demi-science’). Sulloway, on the other hand, does not hesitate to describe psychoanalysis as a pseudo-science immunised against criticism by a very efficient propaganda machine and by historical disinformation."(23)

Daarna volgden de 'Freud Wars' zoals dat vaak genoemd wordt met auteurs als Paul Roazen, Peter Swales, en Frank Cioffi.

"As for the new historians, they denounced Freudian dominance of the media, the press campaigns waged against dissidents, and the restriction of Freudian archives. How did it come about that so many documents deposited in public institutions such as the Library of Congress in Washington were officially inaccessible to researchers, and some documents until 2113 (or now indefinitely)? And why were these access restrictions, implacably applied when it came to independent researchers, suddenly lifted when it came to insiders of the psychoanalytic movement?"(26)

"This book is about the Freud wars, old and new. It reopens the controversies which surrounded the inception of psychoanalysis and shows what we may learn from them about the fate of a once fashionable would-be science."(27)

(30) 1 - Privatising science

Waarom in één keer die oorlog? Er was al lang kritiek op de kennistheoretische benadering van de psychoanalyse.

"Psychoanalysis was reproached by Karl Jaspers for mixing up hermeneutic understanding (Verstehen) and the explanation (Erklären) of the natural sciences, by Jean-Paul Sartre for confounding repression and ‘bad faith’, by Ludwig Wittgenstein for confusing causes and reasons, by Karl Popper for avoiding all scientific falsification, by Adolf Grünbaum for proposing an epistemically inconsistent clinical validation and by Michel Foucault for producing sexuality under the cover of unmasking it. None of this affected psychoanalysts. Even the provocations and magnificent rhetorical violence of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus did not lead them to lose their composure."(30)

Maar die 'wars' gaan verder.

Historisering en dehistorisering

" ... what is at stake is the historicisation, and correspondingly the relativisation, of ‘facts’, ‘discoveries’ and ‘truths’ ordinarily presented as atemporal and universal and shielded from the variations and contingencies of history (it is of little importance here whether psychoanalysis styles itself as a science or not, as it still nevertheless presents itself as a universal theory, a general ontology valid for all). These debates are not external to the science or the theory, because they bear on this demarcation itself: can one or should one separate the science or the theory from its history? To take up the famous Mertonian distinction, can one separate what is ‘internal’ from what is ‘external’? Can one, as Reichenbach would have it, trace a limit between the context of discovery (the anecdotal account of the emergence of concepts) and the context of justification (the properly scientific work of proof)? It is the refusal of these demarcations by the new historians of science and of psychoanalysis which has generated such scandal, because it puts into question the pretensions of this or that discipline to scientificity and to theoretical hegemony." [mijn nadruk] (31-32)

De meeste wetenschappers zitten niet met die historisering van hun werk en werken er zelfs aan mee.

"This is a sign that they feel themselves sufficiently strong to bear the test of historical and anthropological inquiry. The same is not the case for psychoanalysis, where intrusions of historians into the Freudian ‘laboratory’ are generally perceived as unacceptable transgressions which should be denounced. For a discipline concerned with the past, psychoanalysis is strangely allergic to its own history, and for good reason: for it is precisely here that it is vulnerable." [mijn nadruk] (32)

Vandaar de ontoegankelijkheid van de Freud-archieven.

"Freud, as his biographers invariably note, did not like biographers and did everything to make their task more difficult. At least on two instances, in 1885 and in 1907, he destroyed most of his notes, intimate diaries and personal papers, veritable holocausts in which correspondences as precious for the comprehension of the origins of psychoanalysis as those with Bernheim, Breuer, Fliess, August Forel, Havelock Ellis and Leopold Löwenfeld probably perished. The same thing happened in 1938 and again in 1939, and one knows that he would have destroyed his letters to Wilhelm Fliess were it not for the refusal of Marie Bonaparte, who had acquired this correspondence on the express condition that he could not regain possession of them."(33)

Freud wil te graag de vader van de psychoanalyse zijn en maakt het zelf persoonlijk. Maar echte wetenschap staat los van de personen die hem bedrijven en kan daarom met anderen gedeeld en door anderen bekritizeerd worden.

"As Steven Shapin has noted, extending the works of Niklas Luhmann and Anthony Giddens, one of the most critical features of the ‘scientific revolution’ under way in the seventeenth century was the progressive abandonment of the trust placed in the individual testimony of persons judged to be of integrity and virtue in favour of neutral and anonymous institutions, founded on mechanisms of transindividual verification and self-regulation." [mijn nadruk] (37)

"By contrast, Freud seems to return to a premodern position when he insists on the moral qualities which enabled him alone to reveal that which had remained hidden until then to all other mortals. Indeed, if the psychoanalytic ‘nature of the subject’ and Freud are so inseparable, then it is because it wasn’t sufficient to stumble on the unconscious to ‘discover’ it. Courage and a staunch heart were necessary to be able to confront the somber truth of sexuality and the innumerable resistances which it aroused. Only a man without fear and above reproach could face such a daunting task, namely Freud."(38)

[Heerlijk cynisch. Ja, het is precies wat mij de hele tijd ergert wanneer ik Freud lees.]

Freuds zelfanalyse

"The self-analysis, always described by Freud’s biographers as heroic, unprecedented and superhuman, is at the core of the Freudian legend. It is therefore instructive to trace how and why it acquired this centrality. At the outset, there was nothing unique or original in practising self-analysis, conceived as introspective self-observation. Freud’s self-analysis was only slowly and gradually elevated to the presently quasi-mythic place at the heart of the psychoanalytic movement." [mijn nadruk] (40)

"... Freud’s decision at the end of the summer of 1897 to take himself as his investigative object was not exceptional in the context of the time. On the contrary, it was perfectly routine and predictable."(42)

"Freud himself did not seem to have accorded a special status to his self-analysis, at least at the beginning.(...) Freud’s self-analysis only gradually acquired the more technical – that is to say, properly Freudian – meaning that it now has in psychoanalytic vocabulary. Indeed, it was only in the preface of the second edition of The Interpretation of Dreams that Freud made the first public allusion to his psychoanalysis of himself."(52)

De zelf-analyse was een tijdje populair, maar leidde tot onenigheid. Jung stelde voor dat iedere analyst door een ander geanalyseerd zou moeten worden. Dat vond Freud ook en die gebruikte de leeranalyse om iedereen op het rechte spoor te krijgen.

"Gone was the anarchy of uncontrolled and uncontrollable self-analyses, and the infernal cycle of diagnoses and counter-diagnoses. The recapturing of the psychoanalytic movement had begun. From now on, Freud and his lieutenants would have the final word."(48)

"If every analyst derived their authority from their training analysis, from where did Freud derive his?"(49)

"Just as the inauguration of training analysis was a means of institutionally resolving the hermeneutic conflicts inherent in psychoanalysis, the elevation of Freud’s self-analysis to an exceptional status enabled him to escape from the problem of the symmetry introduced by training analysis – and from Freud’s having to submit to analysis, and to the authority of someone else. For the institution of training analysis to work, there had to be one ultimate authority, who in turn could not be analysed. Thus Freud’s self-analysis became the central pillar of psychoanalytic theory. Without it, psychoanalysis would collapse into a chaos of rival interpretations, with no means to adjudicate between them."(52)

"Freud’s self-analysis thus becomes the mythical origin of psychoanalysis, the historical event which places it outside history.(...) It followed that there couldn’t be progress in psychoanalysis which was not a post-mortem deepening of the self-analysis of the founder (1895–). Every new development in psychoanalysis had to be backdated to the inaugural event itself. The mythification and the dehistoricisation of psychoanalysis were now complete."(54)

"Ultimately, the legend of Freud’s self-analysis was a means to justify the argument from authority.
It is important to note that this legend was elaborated precisely when psychoanalysis left the domain of academic discussion to become a Freudian school of psychotherapy, and where disagreements were resolved simply by the exclusion of dissidents (after Adler, Stekel and Jung, there were Rank, Ferenczi and many others). The legend of the self-analysis corresponded to the privatisation of psychoanalytic science, which would henceforth be Freud’s cause."(54)

Belangstelling en kritiek van derden

"From this perspective, the ostracism of psychoanalysis is no less legendary than Freud’s self-analysis. In fact, as we will see, the gradual privatisation of psychoanalysis was the mark of a failure to adapt to the normal regimes of scientific and scholarly discussion." [mijn nadruk] (55)

Er waren wel degelijk geïnteresseerde psychiaters als Forel en Bleuler en Jung (van het Zwitserse Burghölzli-ziekenhuis in Zürich), maar Freud was totaal niet open over zijn veranderende inzichten.

"Visibly, news of changes in Freud’s theories were slow to reach the Burghölzli. Jung, together with Forel and most contemporaries, did not realise that Freud’s method had radically changed – and for good reason, since Freud had not clearly indicated his rupture with Breuer and his abandonment of the seduction theory."(60)

"The situation was paradoxical. Freud had finally found an echo in mainstream psychiatry, but it was for theories which he had given up. Scientific replication, which was supposedly the source of reliable consensus, had led to the uncontrollable proliferation of simulacras. Freud, as one sees in his first exchanges with Jung and Abraham, had a delicate damage limitation exercise on his hands."(61)

"When a theory achieves greater visibility, it inevitably attracts discussion and contradiction. From 1906 onward, a series of debates about psychoanalysis took place in psychiatric congresses, which lasted until 1913. It is striking that, despite invitations, Freud himself did not take part. Aloof disengagement and deputised representation were to be Freud’s style. He delegated the task of defending his theories to his followers and, withdrawing behind a haughty silence, which his contemporaries viewed as a refusal of debate." [mijn nadruk] (62)


Tijdens en na congressen van psychiaters en therapeuten werd flink gediscussieerd, maar Freud was er dus niet bij om standpunten te verdedigen of aan te vallen.

"Löwenfeld had noted that at the present time, since Freud alone was the master of the psychoanalytic method, there was no way to test his results. Aschaffenburg maintained, on the contrary, that this could be done through the association experiment. Referring to Jung’s recent work, he argued that psychoanalysis was not fundamentally different from the association experiment, and a consideration of the latter demonstrated that Freud interpolated a sexual meaning into harmless processes. Against this explanation Aschaffenburg acknowledged that one had to consider the objection that patients confirmed Freud’s interpretations. Daily experience showed that patients often expressed foolish explanations for events and accepted them from others. The power of influence – particularly when Freud himself was convinced of the correctness of his conceptions and that his patients were hysterics – was enough to explain why this happened." [mijn nadruk] (62-63)

Over de termen 'psychoanalyse' (Freud) en 'psychanalyse' (veel Zwitserse psychiaters die daarnaast ook in hypnose bleven geloven en als het ware naar Breuer terugkeerden; in feite ook Jung).

"Clearly, the psychanalysis and psychosynthesis that Frank and Bezzola advocated against Aschaffenburg were rivals to Freud’s psychoanalysis. These new allies were in fact competitors."(67)

"... the psychiatrist Alfred Hoche expressed his profound scepticism regarding Freud’s new method.
Hoche: Certainly there is much that is new and good in Freud’s teaching of the psychoanalysis of hysteria; unfortunately the good is not new and the new is not good."(67)

"Frank and Bezzola’s project, to dissociate themselves from Freud and to propose a non-Freudian psychanalysis or psychosynthesis, had the complete support of Forel. From the moment when he realised how far Freud had departed from his original method, Forel became very critical of him. Just like Aschaffenburg and Hoche, he was disturbed by the arbitrariness of Freud’s interpretations, as well as by his increasing influence in Forel’s former institution, the Burghölzli. As his correspondence between 1907 and 1910 shows, he urged his disciples to take strong positions against the Freudian deviation, so as to be able to separate the ‘the true wheat from the chaff’." [mijn nadruk] (69)

"Psychoanalysis was not faring well in open debate at psychiatric congresses. If Bleuler and Jung’s advocacy had put psychoanalysis on the map, there was the very real danger that it would now be publicly tested, disproven and discarded by leading psychiatrists. So a new plan of action took shape. On 30 November 1907, Jung informed Freud that a new arrival, Dr Jones from London, together with Jung’s friends from Budapest had suggested a congress of Freudian followers.(...) The ‘First Congress for Freudian Psychology’, which took place at the end of April [1908 - GdG] in Salzburg, was to be a secret admittance by invitation only event, with no criticism allowed. This private meet ing, which set the tone for future psychoanalytic congresses across the world, represented a return to Freud’s weekly meetings with his disciples in Vienna. Once again, Freud could see his ideas replicated by the kaleidoscope which Wittels referred to.
However, what Bleuler would later call the politics of the closed door did not entirely solve the situation; far from it. In accordance with a pattern which would be constantly repeated, the controversies which the Freudians attempted to evade externally soon resurfaced internally. Ultimately, there was little difference between the external debates and the internal dissensions." [mijn nadruk] (75)

Al tijdens die eerste bijeenkomst in Salzburg was er een controverse tussen Abraham en Jung.

"In reframing his horizontal conflict with Jung into one between his disciples, Freud was arrogating the right to intervene in the debate vertically, from a position of uncontested authority. This strategy furnished the model which Freud would follow in subsequent internal conflicts: each time one of his collaborators attempted to have an open discussion with him as between equals, as his psychiatric colleagues had attempted to do from the exterior, he reduced him to the status of a pupil, leaving him no choice but to toe the line or quit the movement and join the growing crowd of his critics. Hence, the boundary between the interior and the exterior of the movement was extremely fluid and was constantly being redrawn as a result of expulsions. The closed door began to resemble a revolving door." [mijn nadruk] (76-77)

Organisaties, immunisering voor kritiek

1909 en 1910 is ook de tijd van het ontstaan van allerlei samenwerkingsverbanden op het terrein van psychologie / psychiatrie en psychotherapie. Zoals de International Society of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy van Forel waaraan Freud en Jung wel deelnamen. Zo ook de International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) als reactie daarop. De kritiek op de psychoanalyse bleef overigens gewoon doorgaan.

"... it is clear that the IPA was first and foremost a means of resisting psychoanalysis being swallowed up by the competition represented by Forel and his friends."(81)

"The appearance was that the Freudians were continuing to play the game of scientific exchanges. However, one incident at the time of the inauguration of the International Psychoanalytic Association [het niet toelaten van een criticus als Isserlin - GdG] revealed that this was not a scholarly society like others." [mijn nadruk] (83)

Hoche schreef toen:

"the Freudians were behaving like a cult." [mijn nadruk] (83)

[Zie zijn tekst op p.83 die uitlegt waarom hij dat woord gebruikt.]

"Bleuler considered that such exclusionary tactics had no place in a scientific society, and he wrote a long letter to Freud on 13 October 1910 to try to persuade him to reverse this decision."(84)

"Indeed, whilst these external conflicts were raging, they were compounded by internal conflicts at the very centre of the movement, between Freud and Alfred Adler, his most talented follower in Vienna."(84)

"Adler’s own views increasingly diverged from Freud. In essence, they were as little of Freudian inspiration as Jung’s ideas on dementia praecox or Bezzola’s psychosynthetic procedures. Freud’s response? Diagnosis."(84)

[Argumenta ad hominem in de vorm van psychoanalytissche etiketjes die iemand omlaag moesten halen. Freud deed dat bij voortduring, hij ging dus niet op de kritiek in maar speelde op de man.]

"This pathologisation of dissent not only enabled the delegitimation of Adler’s theoretical innovations, it also mitigated a predictable rejoinder by Freud’s critics: ‘even your own psycho-analysts don’t agree with you!’"(85)

"The pathologisation of opponents was now publicly meted out to Freud’s own pupils. After these meetings, Adler and other associates resigned and formed a Society for Free Psychoanalytic Research, a pointed rejoinder to Freud’s authoritarian tactics. Freud himself promptly took over the chairmanship of the Vienna society and denounced Adler’s departure as a heresy.197 In October of the same year, the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society forbade membership of both societies." [mijn nadruk] (87)

"It wasn’t enough only to expel dissidents: others had to be barred from entering. One year after the Isserlin episode, Hans Maier, who had succeeded Jung at the Burghölzli, was excluded from attending the Zurich Psychoanalytic Society. Freud had previously asked Bleuler to break off his relations with the psychiatrists Alfred Hoche and Theodore Ziehen under the rationale that they were critical of psychoanalysis. After the Maier episode, Bleuler decided that he had had enough and left the IPA."(87)

[De citaten van Bleuler op p.88 zijn prachtig.]

"Eight months later, the dispute between the two psych(o)analytic factions broke out in a series of exchanges in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the main Zurich newspaper. This important controversy, which was first reconstructed by Ellenberger, has been passed over by Freudian historiography. It forms the first example of the numerous polemical Freud wars played out in newspapers and popular periodicals."(89)

[Reacties van mensen uit de psychoanalyse zijn weer typisch. De kritiek in de openbaarheid wordt weggepraat met 'u bent niet medisch geschoold', 'over die dingen praat je niet in kranten' en zo verder.]

In 1912 kwam de onenigheid tussen Freud en Jung in de openbaarheid terecht.

"Psychoanalysis was in danger of returning to becoming a local, Viennese affair. Furthermore, after Adler, Jung was the second psychoanalyst who was putting forward positions which increasingly resembled those of Freud’s critics."(92)

In 1913 een ander psychiatrisch congres, in Breslau, met fundamentele kritiek van Bleuler en Hoche op Freud en zijn psychoanalyse.

"By reproaching psychoanalysis with having returned to a private form of knowledge, Hoche did not know how correct he was. In 1912, Ernest Jones had already proposed the formation of a secret committee to Freud, charged with defending the purity of Freudian doctrine against heretical deviations." [mijn nadruk] (96)

"He [Hoche] concluded that Freudians trumpeted their successes whilst passing over their failures in silence."(97)

"In the discussion [tijdens genoemd congres - GdG], one after the other, the leading lights of German psychiatry – Kraepelin, Stransky, Weygandt, Liepmann, Forster, Kohnstamm – and of psychology, in the figure of William Stern, got up to condemn Freud and his pretensions to originality."(97)

"Breslau was an overwhelming defeat for the movment. Freud’s dream of conquering psychiatry lay in ruins, and psychoanalysis was almost unanimously rejected by the profession."(98)

"Giving up all pretension at objectivity, Freud accused his adversaries of shameful motives, duplicity, incompetence, mental pathology, and in the case of Jung, racism."(100)

"Confronted by this, the Zurich group decided to leave Freud with his psychoanalysis, and resigned en masse – which is precisely what Freud wanted to achieve. Just as Adler had done before them, they justified their decision through referring to the incompatibility between Freud’s attitude and the freedom of scientific research." [mijn nadruk] (100)

Freud maakte er intern met zijn 'Geschichte der Psychoanalytischen Bewegung' het beste van, dat was een slimme zet om gelovigen aan zich te binden. Maar:

"It is important to note that this victory was the reverse of its failure to attain widespread assent through open discussion and debate, and came at the cost of the complete privatisation of the science of psychoanalysis under the sole possession of Freud, and of its separation from the prevailing norms of the academic world." [mijn nadruk] (101)

"Separated from the university and the school of medicine (Freud formally stopped teaching in 1917), psychoanalysis became a private enterprise, recruiting clients (and hence potential followers) in an unregulated market, independent of all university or governmental authority. Psychoanalysis effectively became Freud’s firm, organised like an international company based on franchises. All sorts of subsidiaries could be formed across the world, on the condition that they faithfully reproduced the proprietary mode for forming analysts."(102)

"This tacit recuperation of the theories of dissidents or of external critics became one of the most striking traits of the psychoanalytic movement, and it demonstrates that what was at stake in the formidable disputes between Freud and his adversaries was not the intrinsic value of particular ideas, but of who could lay claim to them. A particular conception was not psychoanalysis when it was put forward by Adler, Stekel or Jung, but it could become one when it was advanced by Freud. As Szasz noted, psychoanalysis had become a trademark." [mijn nadruk] (103)

"Isolated, rejected, misunderstood, Freud owed nothing to anyone. Besides, he didn’t even read what others wrote."(106)

[Tenminste: dat is het beeld dat hij naar voren wil brengen.]

"The problem is that this history [de Geschichte van Freud - GdG] is a fable, a scientific fairytale. As numerous Freud scholars have shown, there is hardly a single element of this narrative that holds up under careful scrutiny."(107)

"In short, if one resituates Freud’s theories on sexuality in their context, one sees that they were neither as revolutionary nor as scandalous as he claimed."(111)

"Far from being born through the presuppositionless chance encounter of Freud and the unconscious, psychoanalysis was the product of the intersection of multiple readings, debates and discussions. Even the bibliographies of his early works show that Freud was a voracious multilingual reader of the scientific and philosophical literature of his time, constantly on the look out for what was new in fields as diverse as evolutionary biology (Darwin, Haeckel), sexology (Krafft-Ebing, Moll, Ellis, Iwan Bloch, Magnus Hirschfeld), German neurology and cerebral anatomy (Wernicke, Meynert), British psychophysiology (Maudsley, Bain), French abnormal psychology (Taine, Ribot, Binet, Janet), experimental and therapeutic hypnotism (Charcot, Bernheim, Delbœuf, Forel), the philosophy of the unconscious (von Hartmann), aesthetics (Lipps, Fischer), etc. Like many leading researchers, Freud keenly followed developments in related fields, mindful of priority vis-à-vis his colleagues and rivals, in the quest to establish the one true scientific psychology. In this regard, Jones’ claim that Freud ‘was never interested in questions of priority, which he found merely boring’, is clearly false. The renowned sociologist of science Robert K. Merton counted no less than 150 priority disputes in Freud’s works, which on average comes out to over three per year – and this was before the major exchanges of correspondence had been published." [mijn nadruk] (112-113)

[Zo is het. En tegelijkertijd maar volhouden dat je alles helemaal zelf bedacht hebt. Zo arrogant is dat.]

(116) 2 - The interprefaction of dreams

"The ‘history of psychoanalysis’ which Freud and his followers recounted is by no means a history as generally understood. Rather it is an edifying fable, a scientific ‘family romance’, designed to negate the humble historical origins of psychoanalysis. How else can one understand why Freud devised such a mythic account, which could so easily be factually contradicted? Moreover, it is obvious that Freud would have been aware that many of his contemporaries would not have taken seriously his pretensions of originality. This was precisely what critics such as Hoche, Aschaffenburg, Forel and others stressed." [mijn nadruk] (116)

"With its own societies, journals and publication house, the movement could spread with scant regard for the views of the medical, psychiatric and psychological professions. Henceforth, anyone who questioned Freud’s version of events could simply be expelled from the movement. Protected from the world by his disciples, Freud could recreate his own reality and his own history, without fear of being contradicted. From this perspective, the legend of the isolated and persecuted scientist is less the expression of Freud’s megalomania or mythomania, than the reflection of the institutional isolation of psychoanalysis. (...) To view the legend simply as a means to satisfy Freud’s ambition and narcissism or simply as a means to promote psychoanalysis in the competing psychological marketplace misses the intimate connections between the legend and psychoanalysis itself." [mijn nadruk] (118)

[Met andere woorden: we moeten niet alles terug willen voeren op Freuds bedenkelijke karakter, we moeten niet alleen de persoon bekritiseren. Het is ook de psychoanalyse zelf die maakt dat kritiek onmogelijk wordt en er geen ruimte is voor tegenspraak.]

"If Freud dedicated so many pages to establishing his originality and his presuppositionless theoretical virginity, it wasn’t only because he was obsessed by questions of priority and intellectual propriety. It was pre-eminently because he wished to defend himself from the claim that he had imposed preconceived ideas onto clinical material, rather than having let himself be led by it. The myth of the immaculate conception of psychoanalysis enabled him to claim that he was free of all influence and that his observations were completely unprejudiced, free of any ‘anticipatory ideas’ which could contaminate the material. As we have seen, this was the main criticism which was constantly addressed to him by his critics. They claimed that psychoanalysis was an a priori system and that it applied a completely arbitrary interpretive framework on the material." [mijn nadruk] (119-120)

[Precies, hij benaderde wat hij bij zijn patiënten zag met vooropgezette ideeën. Het was niet zo dat hij neutraal toekeek en dat een bepaalde theorie uit de observaties werd afgeleid. De 'bevestiging' van opvattingen door patiënten is onbegtrouwbaar, kan voortkomen uit suggestie en sociale wenselijkheid, of simpelweg zelfs al uit wat er bekend was over Freud en zijn opvattingen. Prachtige citaten van allerlei auteurs op p. 120-125, 158.]

"These critiques of the speculative arbitrariness of psychoanalytic methodology were regularly accompanied by warnings against its suggestive aspects, in the sense of Bernheim and the Nancy school. Freud, according to his peers, was not content to see his own theories in the minds of his patients, he also involuntarily suggested the responses he needed to support them. Hence, contrary to his claims, his ‘observations’ had no objective validity and the testimony of patients could not be invoked as the support of his theories. Moreover, from being impartial witnesses of therapeutic efficacy, the psychoanalytic method often transformed such patients into disciples, hence into active protagonists on one side of the controversy." [mijn nadruk] (122)

"One sees that for many of Freud’s critics, it was one and the same thing to criticise the arbitrariness of his theoretical hypotheses and to denounce the suggestive character of his technique. (...) Despite (or rather because of) their positivism, they didn’t trust many of the clinical ‘confirmations’ which Freud invoked in support of his theories. In the 1920s, the young Karl Popper recalled this whilst elaborating his famous critique of the non-falsifiable nature of psychoanalytic theory." [mijn nadruk] (124)

"It is not the same in social psychology and psychopathology [als in exacte wetenschappen - GdG], where heuristic hypotheses are tested on ‘human agencies’ that are inevitably interested in the theories of which they are the object. In such cases, one can no longer count on the resistance of the experimental object, as human agency tends to accommodate itself to the experimental or therapeutic context. It was precisely this looping effect that Bernheim and Delbœuf recognised in hypnosis experiments under the heading of suggestion. Subjects accommodated experimenters, mirroring their explicit and implicit suggestions as well as their theoretical expectations. Meanwhile, experimenters were likewise affected by their subjects, and both were caught up in a field of reciprocal suggestions from which no external vantage point could be found." [mijn nadruk] (125)

"Far from being purely passive objects, the subjects [deelnemers aan een psychologisch experiment - GdG] are perfectly aware of being observed, they wonder what the experimenter wants to prove and do their best to validate what they take to be his hypotheses."(126-127)

"One could well say that the theory produces its ‘object’, not only in the Kantian sense of organising it conceptually, but much more literally, in the sense in which the subject of experimentation transforms itself to adapt to the theory. It is the ‘Oedipus effect’ which Popper described: the hypotheses of the psychologist provoke what they claim to describe or predict, transforming reality instead of merely reflecting it."(127)

"But Freud’s peers, thanks to their familiarity with the work of the Nancy school, saw clearly that the replacement of direct hypnotic suggestion with the method of so-called free association by no means settled the problem of suggestion understood as creation of artefacts." [mijn nadruk] (128)

"Freud never responded to such objections, always referring to the ‘psychic reality’ and the ‘objective certitude’ of the unconscious in a circular manner, rather providing the evidence for this which was requested of him." [mijn nadruk] (137)

"Confronted by the objection of suggestion, Freud could have responded by trying to elaborate procedures aimed at eliminating artefacts of the psychological equation (control groups, double blind experiments, etc.), as have been widely employed. He could have multiplied his observations, trusted in statistical studies in ‘the American manner’, or attempted to quantify the results obtained by psychoanalysis and compare them to other psychotherapies, as is done in contemporary outcome studies. He could have encouraged follow-up studies, permitting independent researchers to interview his patients and have access to his analytic notes. Such attempts at statistical and experimental verification were by no means unknown at that time, and figures such as Gattel and Jung attempted to apply them. At the same time, such attempts would not have resolved the fundamental problems posed by the inevitable interaction between the observer and the subject, which continues to haunt the most rigorously controlled studies. But Freud would have at least been true to the positivistic spirit, in trying to test his theories and to separate fact from artefact in the most rigorous manner. By contrast, he refused to take such objections seriously, and continually appealed to the ‘observations’ and ‘facts’ produced by his method, when the reliability of the latter was at issue." [mijn nadruk] (139)

"Infantile sexuality, repression, the unconscious and the theory of dreams were thus presented as authentic ‘discoveries’, products of ‘observation’ and ‘experiences’ which arose independently of any heuristic hypotheses, anticipatory interpretations, theoretical contaminations or involuntary suggestions on the part of their discoverer. The myth of the immaculate conception of psychoanalysis corresponds rigorously to what one could call the myth of the immaculate induction of Freudian theory: Freud was not influenced by anyone, hence he couldn’t have contaminated the clinical material."(143)

"We propose to call this process of the transmutation of interpretations and constructions into positive facts interprefaction. Interprefaction forms the basic element of Freud’s scientistic rhetoric and the diverse historical legends which he wove around his so-called ‘discoveries’. It makes things and events from words, it fabricates facts from suppositions, conjectures and hypotheses. Interprefaction represents what Freud was actually doing whilst denying he was doing so." [mijn nadruk] (144-145)

Analyse van een voorbeeld: de verleidingstheorie waarin Freud van standpunt verandert.

"Why did Freud feel the need to rewrite history so as to imply that his patients had spontaneously volunteered their memories? Paradoxically, the fact that they didn’t recall the events in question would have fitted in better with his subsequent theory of repression. But not to have done so would have laid himself completely open to the charge of suggestion."(150)

"However, what Freud’s narrative strategies achieved is clear: the supposition of spontaneous narration of events presented as memories which then came to be seen as fantasies lent credence to the notion of the existence of unconscious fantasies fuelled by infantile wishes. Far from having been based on the observation of facts which were correctly interpreted after a period of erring, the psychoanalytic theory of fantasy is an interpretation of interpretations, resting on Freud’s suppositions. The fact that it has taken so long for this to be seen is testament to the rhetorical effectiveness of Freud’s rescripting of history." [mijn nadruk] (152)

"Hence the task of the historian should be one of unmasking the vacuity of Freud’s accounts, and with this of psychoanalysis itself. However, such a perspective, whilst unmasking Freud’s theories, still partakes of a similar positivism.
Indeed, in many respects, historical demystification has been unable to undo the effects of legendary interprefaction."(153)

Komt dat omdat mensen zich zo graag iets wijs laten maken? Of vanwege de machtspositie van psychoanalytici in de media of de psychiatrie? Wat verklaart het succes van de psychoanalyse?

"In our view, it is important to grasp the productive nature of interprefaction, and the manner in which it has fashioned new forms of self-experience while giving rise to new realities or optional ontologies." [mijn nadruk] (153)

"This returns us to the two ways of comprehending interprefaction. Revisionist historians have had good grounds for stressing the fabricated character of the so-called psychoanalytic ‘evidence’, but some have too quickly ended here, as if it were simply a question of denouncing an illusion. What is critical to grasp is that interprefaction does something to people. Individuals respond to the interpretations of their analysts and suggestive effects of cultural milieux, and many have rescripted their lives on this basis. As a result, new realities have been fashioned. In other words, there is a becoming-fact of fiction or legend becoming a fact, which escapes the simple opposition of true or false, of the given or constructed, of the real and illusory."(153-154)

[Vaag. Laten zien dat de beweringen van de psychoanalyse onwaar zijn, mythes / fabricaties zijn is niet genoeg, zegt de auteur, we moeten nog verder gaan. Moet ik dit begrijpen als: mensen ontlenen iets aan bullshit, richten er hun leven op in. Laten zien dat iets bullshit is is niet genoeg, mensen blijven er toch in geloven, je moet ook dat geloof bestrijden?]

"Whilst it appears that the scenes and the phantasms invoked by the Freudian legend were initially fictions, they became real for the patients once they accepted them. The patients reproduced traumatic ‘reminiscences’ between 1889 and 1895, then scenes of infantile sexual abuse between 1896 and 1897, and then they stopped, once Freud asked them instead to produce Oedipal fantasies or memories of ‘primal scenes’. Each time, a new reality was produced, with its own rules and characteristics. Had other hypotheses and theoretical demands been given, other psychological realities and therapeutic worlds may have resulted – which was exactly what took place at the turn of the century in the myriad other schools. Like many other psychotherapies and psychologies, psychoanalysis was an ontology-making practice, which recreated the world in its image." [mijn nadruk] (157)

[Ik heb moeite met woorden als 'became real', 'new reality', 'making ontology', 'making it real' hier. Dat iemand iets voor echt houdt, gelooft dat iets echt is - god bestaat, het oedipoescomplex bestaat - maakt het nog niet echt. Juist daarom moet je laten zien dat er sprake is van illusie.]

"Faced with a self-validating system of this type, the significant question is not one of knowing whether it is true or false, real or invented, historical or legendary, but rather of comprehending how it functions, how it produces effects which ‘interprefact’ inner worlds."(159)

[We moeten dus blijkbaar begrijpen hoe geloof in bullshit functioneert, hoe het kan dat mensen in al die bullshit geloven? Dat mag en is zelfs een goed idee, maar het begint toch altijd met aantonen dat iets bullshit is.]

Hoe ging Freud om met ongelovigen, mensen die kritiek op hem hadden en zo verder? Hij paste zijn psychoanalyse dan toe op die mensen.

"If colleagues did not accept his theories, it was because they repressed sexuality (Breuer, and German psychiatry as a whole), because they were perverse (Stekel), neurotic (Rank), paranoiac (Fliess, Adler, Ferenczi), on the edge of psychosis (Jung) or in a psychiatric condition (Rank again). Through attributing the ‘resistances’ which his adversaries opposed to his theories to resistances which they supposedly had to their own unconscious, Freud killed two birds with one stone."(160)

[Hij maakte op die manier mensen belachelijk en sloot elke discussie kort over zijn opvattingen. Maar dat is een oude truc van elke dogmatische denker: het argumentum ad hominem, en al die pagina's die volgen over Freuds leugens rondom Breuer en Anna O. laten dat zien 'Interprefactie' is eigenlijk een overbodige term vind ik. Maar goed. Borch-Jacobsen wil dus een bepaalde kant uit:]

"However, our aim here is not to stand in judgement concerning Freud’s conduct, nor to evaluate it morally. Rather it is to show the significant strategic functions of Freud’s interprefactions in establishing how psychoanalysis became, for so many, a reality." [mijn nadruk] (178)

[Hm, ik denk dat dat impliciet al gebeurd is, nietwaar? Aangetoond is hoe Freud liegt en bedriegt en op de man speelt en zijn beweringen immuun maakt voor kritiek. Mij lijkt dat geen moreel hoogstandje van mijnheer Freud. Wonderlijk altijd weer dat intellectuelen iemand niet verantwoordelijk willen stellen voor wat hij of zij misdaan heeft.]

(179) 3 - Case histories

Freud herschreef dus ook de geschiedenis in zijn casusbeschrijvingen, zoals aangetoond bij het Anna O. voorbeeld in het vorige hoofdstuk.

"Everyone – colleague or patient, sane or raving mad, dead or alive – was subjected to the same deciphering from the same hermeneutics of unconscious desire. In this sense, we can well say that Freud’s ‘case histories’ (Krankengeschichten) are no less mythical than the fabulous ‘history of the psychoanalytic movement’ narrated in his autobiographical writings or the history of humanity described in his phylogenetic and anthropological fictions. No matter where we look, we find the same rewriting of history, the same narrativising of arbitrary interpretations, the same transformation of hypotheses into facts." [mijn nadruk] (180)

"As today’s psychoanalysts freely admit, in the end what matters in analysis is not so much the ‘historical truth’ of the construction proposed by the analyst, but its ‘narrative truth’; that is, the fact that patients make use of it to rewrite their histories in a way that ‘makes sense’ for them. In other words, it matters little that this construction is a fiction; it only matters that the patients accept and understand this fiction as their history and their truth."(180)

[Dus als een patiënt zich iets wijsmaakt waardoor hij of zij zich beter gaat voelen is het in orde. 'Hun geschiedenis, hun waarheid'. Erg postmodern en erg onacceptabel. Het verbaast me niet dat nu Lacan opduikt ...]

"We could say a lot about these reformulated versions (‘structuralist’, ‘hermeneutical’, ‘narrativist’) of psychoanalysis – and especially about the fact that they continue to present themselves as being psychoanalysis, even as they seem to disregard Freud’s pretensions of revealing the objective truth of the psyche."(181)

[Freud zou er niet blij mee zijn, denk ik. Er bestaat dan geen enkel argument meer om de psychoanalyse als beter / belangrijker / meer waar te zien dan welke andere therapie dan ook. Als het voor de patiënt maar werkt, is dan de benadering.]

"There is nothing inherently wrong with this (after all, the therapist has to start from somewhere), but we at least need to recognise that little has fundamentally changed since Freud’s more authoritarian and ‘sug- gestive’ psychoanalysis, in which the patient was indoctrinated."(182)

Zoals Moll al in 1909 zei: de casussen zijn niet de kern van de theorie, de theorie zelf is veel belangrijker en de casussen worden gebruikt om de theorie te onderbouwen.

"What is problematic about Freud’s observations is the fact that he was the only one who had access to them, contrary to the demands of publicity which have characterised science since the seventeenth century."(185)

"This ideal of direct observability and possible replication – whether ultimately realised or not – is one of the traits that most efficiently distinguishes modern science from the initiatory and secretive practices that preceded it, and it continues to define the scientific ethos, whatever the field. Thus, even during Freud’s time, any doctor or researcher could attend Charcot’s patient demonstrations or Bernheim’s hypnosis sessions, both to verify the authenticity of the phenomena they described, and to train in their techniques."(185-186)

"In Vienna, however, things were done much differently. Owing to the confidentiality that Freud’s private clientele demanded, no one was allowed to come into his office to verify de visu the exactitude of his observations or to learn the finer points of his technique. To be honest, though, this obstacle wasn’t insurmountable."(187)

"It’s one thing to protect a patient’s privacy from the public; it’s something else to shield their analyses from any peer evaluation or ‘case presentation’. No one, in fact, would push the principle of medical confidentiality to such an extreme, and apply it in such a rigid manner, as Freud and his successors did."(188-189)

"Freud is the sole witness to what transpired behind the padded doors of 19 Berggasse, and of his cases we know only what he wanted to tell us in his case histories. For the rest of us, all we know about his method of working comes from the sparse technical writings that he left us." [mijn nadruk] (189)

En het enige dat we hebben zijn die casussen, die dan ook te uit en te na geanalyseerd zijn door psychoanalytici in opleiding etc.

"As a result, climbing back up the chain we always find ourselves with Freud and his canonical case histories – endlessly copied and ‘confirmed’ by successive generations of analysands/analysts. (...) What is replicated in psychoanalysis, however, is not the experiment itself, but Freud’s report of it – which is obviously quite different. Those who accept this report as the thing itself certainly have little difficulty finding the phenomena it describes wherever they look: it’s simply a matter of reciting it, and having it recited to them. But for the more sceptical, if they want to verify the accuracy of the report, they will have about as much luck catching their own shadow." [mijn nadruk] (190)

"Here we touch upon another consequence of Freudian secrecy: the necessity of taking Freud at his word."(191)

[Maar het is duidelijk dat de woorden van de man niet erg betrouwbaar zijn, nietwaar. Dus waarom zouden we geloven wat hij allemaal roept?]

"With Freud as the sole witness to the phenomena invoked by the theory, it is extraordinarily important that his case reports and clinical observations be absolutely reliable. If they aren’t – if, for example, it turns out that Freud let himself be influenced by preconceived ideas, personal considerations or the desire to contradict an adversary – then the entire edifice would be threatened. We would no longer have clinical ‘data’, only biases. This is why, from very early on, the Freudian legend doubled as a personality cult."(191)

[Maar het punt is: er is helemaal geen 'if'. Er is helemaal niets betrouwbaar aan die casussen en de beschrijvingen ervan zitten vol met vooroordelen.]

"But there is something more serious than this carelessness of Freud, the sole eyewitness. Beyond the inevitable distortions introduced by the narrative presentation of observed clinical data, we need to understand that Freud’s reports don’t merely describe, with more or less precision, what has taken place in his office. They also relate ‘events’ (real or fantastical: it matters little here) that he himself reconstructed ..."(195)

"In this sense, Freud’s case histories are anything but an objective report of clinical data that the analyst merely records through the method of passive listening and attentiveness known as ‘free-floating attention’."(195-196)

"... ultimately, this theory has no facts, no observations to get one’s teeth into. It is a theory supported by itself: a celibate speculative machine producing, with its hypotheses and ‘constructions’, its own reality. Whatever he might claim, Freud never ‘observed’ the unconscious or repression anymore than he ‘discovered’ the Oedipus complex, infantile sexuality or the meaning of dreams. He only wagered that they existed, acting ‘as if’ these conjectures were real and then asking his patients to confirm them."(197)

"Instead of presenting his interpretations as interpretations (and nothing else), he immediately transforms them into psychical events attributed to his patients. Instead of presenting us with his ‘constructions’ as constructions (and nothing else), he makes of them reconstructions, reconstitutions of the past. Suddenly, we no longer have an ‘as-if unconscious’, but the unconscious pure and simple – without the precautionary quotation marks – whose topography and vicissitudes are described to us with the utmost seriousness and gravity." [mijn nadruk] (198)

"It is, therefore, worthwhile to study in greater detail this work of narrative interprefaction, to which we owe so many astonishing ‘discoveries’."(199)

Kritische opmerkingen over de Dora-casus. En over de Wolfman:

"It’s certainly plausible that many of Freud’s patients didn’t raise any objections to his interpretations – even his most daring and racy ones – and indeed, we have many examples attesting to this. Pankejeff’s case, however, is quite a different matter. As it happens, we have his own testimony which plainly contradicts Freud’s version of events." [mijn nadruk] (203).

"What was initially an idea of Freud’s is, in the end, presented as the patient’s unconscious or latent thought, in such a manner that we no longer know who thinks what. Everything, in fact, proceeds as if Freud were reading into the thoughts of others; or, more precisely, as if he were reading them for us. This last trait is what brings his case histories closer to fictional narration, and further distances them from the ‘psychiatric observations’ they claim to be." [mijn nadruk] (204)

[Precies, hij verzint een verhaal, construeert gebeurtenissen, maar dat alles heeft niets met observeren te maken. En vervolgens doet Freud alsof het om waardenvrije observaties gaat die hij deed.]

"The problem, of course, is that Freud’s case histories are not fictional stories. His patients are people in flesh and bone, not imaginary creatures whose minds he could enter into at will."(205)

"We cannot help but be struck by the liberties Freud takes with his patient’s story, as well as by the improbability of the narrative he substitutes for it." [mijn nadruk] (217)

"Up until now, we have used Freud’s analysis notes to reveal, by simple comparison, the rewriting of observational data in his case histories. This is not, however, the only means available to the historian to unearth the interprefactive work hidden behind the narrative faç ade of Freud’s ‘patient histories’. If one is ready to assume the role of detective, one can also defy the medical secret invoked by Freud and attempt to find the patients themselves – or their friends and relatives – to ask them their version of the story. It’s a long-drawn-out task, full of uncertainty (some have spent their research careers doing so), but in the absence of the analysis notes it’s often the only means available to find an external point of reference for Freud’s case histories. Over the years, the identifications of ‘Anna O.’, ‘Emmy von N.’, ‘Elisabeth von R.’, ‘Cäcilie M.’, ‘Katharina’, ‘Mr E’, ‘Dora’, etc. have allowed historians to reopen the black boxes of these famous ‘cases’, revealing the often considerable discrepancies between Freud’s histories and the testimony of the patients themselves, or else that of their close friends and family." [mijn nadruk](223-224)

"Pankejeff [de Wolfman - GdG], however, made the condition that these interviews were not be published until after his death. Reading them, we quickly understand why: near the end of a life spent obediently conforming to the role of the ‘Wolf Man’, Pankejeff turned against his benefactors and invalidated, with a touch of vindictiveness, much that Freud, Mack Brunswick and Gardiner had written about him."(225)

"This hermeneutical-narrativistic defence of Freud and psychoanalysis has become commonplace today, but it does come up against a stubborn fact: nothing irritated Freud so much as to be compared to a novelist." [mijn nadruk] (231)

"In what way, then, were psychoanalysis’ stories and characters so different from those of literature? In what way were they more ‘true’? What could justify the psychoanalyst’s claim to know more about human nature than the writers? Only by dogmatically asserting an ‘epistemic rupture’ between psychoanalysis and literature, thereby reestablishing an asymmetry between Freud and his doubles, could psychoanalysis settle this question to its satisfaction."(232)

"It was essential for Freud to make his readers believe in the scientific nature of his interpretations and constructions – this was the only way to establish psychoanalysis’ supremacy over its hermeneutical rivals, and thus to represent psychoanalysis as the only possible way for people to comprehend their own life, and those of others. Without these scientific pretensions, psychoanalysis is nothing more than one interpretation among many others in the large market of psychological, philosophical, religious and literary hermeneutics." [mijn nadruk] (233)

(235) 4 - Policing the past

"Freud’s patients are not necessarily any more trustworthy than Freud and their disagreements with him were part and parcel of the game of analysis, of the conflict of interpretations. However, through bringing to light the arbitrariness behind Freud’s narrative interprefactions, historical study relativises and delegitimates the theory of psychoanalysis much more effectively than any epistemological critique. Instead of attempting to demonstrate that Freud could not prove (verify, test, validate) what he proposed – which has never stopped people from being convinced of the persuasive force of his accounts – historical critique calls into question the hermeneutic pact between Freud and his readers through revealing the unreliability of his texts and rendering them suspect. How is one supposed to continue to believe everything he says, when faced with the accumulation of half-lies, misleading assertions, stylistic equivocations and significant omissions? Why should one continue to attribute him a privileged access to the ‘unconscious’, once it has become clear how he continually evokes this to silence those who were not in agreement with him? And why should we continue to have faith in his self-portrayals, rather than the contrary statements of some of his patients and former colleagues and adversaries, once it has transpired that at times he manipulated the clinical givens to make them say what he wanted them to? In sum, Freud can no longer be regarded as an always reliable witness. Or rather, he is one witness amongst others, and one with particular stakes and interests.
Given this, it is not surprising that Freud’s successors did all they could to impede the work of historians, through censuring documents, blocking access to the archives of the psychoanalytic movement and launching campaigns of denunciation against scholars. It was essential to protect Freud’s narrative monopoly against the alternative accounts proposed by some of his patients, his rivals and historians." [mijn nadruk] (235-236)

Zoals bij de uitgave van de briefwisseling van Freud en Fliess.

"It was necessary to eliminate the most evident traces of Freud’s interest in the ‘delirious’ theories of his friend. In other words, to censor the letters."(243)

Ander voorbeeld hiervan is Aus den Anfänge der Psychoanalyse (wat in het Engels The Origins of Psychoanalysis heet), verschenen in het Duits in 1950 en in het Engels in 1954. En natuurlijk moest er ook een geautoriseerde biografie komen. Dat werd die van Ernest Jones.

De biografie van Jones werd de "definitive form of the legend"(267)

"The episode of the collaboration between Bernfeld and Jones illustrates the manner in which the Freud biography was a communal enterprise of Freudian insiders, and how the historical information on which it was based was centralised, filtered and controlled by Anna Freud. From her house in Hampstead (now the location of the Freud Museum), she decided in a sovereign manner who could have access to what, which documents could be published or cited, and which events of her father’s life could be mentioned or rather should be omitted."(267)

"Jones’ biography was a brilliant dramatisation of the Freudian legend. As we have seen with his treatment of Bernfeld’s article on cocaine, Jones was past master in the art of utilising documents and accounts to which he alone had access to flesh out and confirm Freud’s accounts whilst eliding the contradictions."(268-269)

"Faithful lieutenant of the first Freud wars, Jones also revived the strategy of pathologisation mobilised by Freud against his adversaries with renewed vigour. Any person who had ever had the misfortune of being opposed to Freud at one point or another was systematically presented as a ‘case’, or else as having a personality deficiency ..." [mijn nadruk] (274)

[De lijst van voorbeelden is lang. Het is een walgelijke manier om elke kritiek onder de tafel te werken.]

"All sorts of anecdotes were mobilised to ridicule opponents and trivialise their arguments, preventing them from being heard with their own voices."(275)

"Thus reduced to an exchange of epithets, the intense scientific controversy that had taken place around psychoanalysis was trivialised to the point of sinking into total insignificance."(276)

Jones' biografie barst van de leugens en aantijgingen die niet kloppen. Maar dat niet alleen:

"And then there is everything we do not find in the Biography’s three thick volumes. We vainly search for the episode of Emma Eckstein’s catastrophic ‘nasal therapy’ (there is only a mention, in passing, that she was one of the women with whom Freud maintained an intellectual relationship). No mention of the unbelievable erotic-analytic triangle of Ferenczi, Gizella Pálos and her daughter Elma, to which Freud had played the role of family therapist. Nothing about the analysis of Anna Freud by her own father. Nothing about the suicides of Viktor Tausk and Herbert Silberer, which the analytic rumour attributed to their relationships with Freud. Nothing about the murder of Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth, the pioneer of child psychoanalysis, by her nephew-patient; and nothing either about the fact that the so-called A Young Girl’s Diary, which she had edited and Freud had glowingly prefaced, was in reality a complete fabrication." [mijn nadruk] (283-284)

"In New York City alone, 15,000 copies were sold in the first two weeks. Everywhere, Jones’ work was acclaimed, and the glory of Sigmund Freud immediately spread throughout the world: from London to Sydney, passing through Paris and Frankfurt. The Freudian legend had finally penetrated the masses."(285)

Er waren weinig lezers als Bruno Bettelheim die de biografie kritisch lazen en wezen op belangrijke fouten.

"Bettelheim appears to have been the first to put his finger on what should have immediately been apparent to the specialised critics: Jones, in his biography, relied on correspondences and documents that were not only unedited, but also prohibited to the public and other researchers. Indeed, no one could verify the accuracy of the facts he reported because the documents he had used were locked away in the ‘Sigmund Freud Archives’ at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, for a period going well beyond the fifty years indicated by Bettelheim."(287)

Meer over de Sigmund Freud Archives.

"The Freud Archives, obviously, do not represent the wishes of their donors, contrary to what they made the Library of Congress and the public believe. In reality, they only represent themselves, which is to say, the interests of the Freudian Family and Cause. And these interests have never coincided with those of the public interest, of the res publica. The function of the Archives has never been one of openness and publication, but rather one of selection and censorship: controlling access to the documents, filtering information, monitoring interpretation and debate, and, above all, stopping material passing unrestricted into the public domain. Nothing could be further from the democratic ideal of ‘free and open access to knowledge and information’ that guides the Library of Congress." [mijn nadruk] (297)

"Eissler executed the orders of Anna Freud, and Anna Freud continued a policy of dehistoricisation and narrative decontextualisation which had been her father’s – as, for example, when he burned his correspondences or destroyed his analysis notes. The important thing was to keep everyone else’s hands off the Freudian narrative and to rid it of all the parasitic ‘noises’ liable to cloud its message, in order to immunise Freud’s testimony – which is to say psychoanalytic theory – against all doubts and questions. Without this excessive dehistoricisation, psychoanalysis would never have succeeded in establishing itself as the Holy Scripture of psychotherapy, nor Freud as the Solitary Hero of the unconscious. The Archives’ censorship, so absurd at first glance, is absolutely essential to the system it and psychoanalysis’ legendary epistemology together constitute. It’s not surprising that the Freudians have considered the work of historians of their discipline among their most serious adver- saries: psychoanalysis is vulnerable to its history." [mijn nadruk] (298-299)

(300) Coda: what was psychoanalysis?

"The consequences of this state of affairs [de hierboven beschreven censuur etc. etc. - GdG] went far beyond the confines of the history of psychoanalysis and had profound effects on the way the enterprise of modern psychology as a whole was perceived. The legend effectively delegitimated the psychotherapies which psychoanalysis competed with in the mental health market place. At the same time it led to the rescripting of the history of ideas in the twentieth century, giving psychoanalysis a prominence that it never properly had."(301-302)

"But if psychoanalysis is everything and nothing at the same time, what are we ultimately speaking about? Nothing – or nearly nothing: it is precisely because it has always been vague and floating, perfectly inconsistent, that psychoanalysis could propagate as it did and embed itself in a variety of ‘ecological niches’, to use Ian Hacking’s expression, in the most diverse array of environments. Being nothing in particular, psychoanalysis has functioned like Lévi-Strauss’ famous ‘floating signifier’: it is a ‘machine’, a ‘whatsit’, a ‘thingumajig’ which can serve to designate anything, an empty theory in which one can cram whatever one likes."(303)

"Even psychoanalysts have recognised that psychoanalysis has become an umbrella term covering the most diverse and mutually contradictory perspectives. In 1988, Robert Wallerstein, then president of the International Psychoanalytic Association, asked with disquiet whether there was still one psychoanalysis, after the multitude of post-Freudian developments and the failure of several initiatives to create a consensus within American psychoanalysis in the 1950s."(305)

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