|Haynal, A. (1992). Introduction to The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi, Volume 1. The Correspondence of S..
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Haynal, A. (1992). Introduction to The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi, Volume 1. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi Volume 1, 1908-1914, xvii-xxxv
Introduction to The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi, Volume 1
Maria Louise Ascher
Before we Survey the eventful history of these letters, which are being published here for the first time, the people who played major roles should be introduced. Let me begin with the individuals who devoted their time and attention to this correspondence, and then present the two writers themselves.
Elma, the elder daughter of Sándor Ferenczi's wife, Gizella (she was the child of her mother's first marriage, to Géza Pálos), married an American named Hervé Laurvik. This union lasted only briefly, but it gave Elma American citizenship and enabled her to spend the years during the Second World War working at the U.S. embassy in Bern. After the war she persuaded her mother, now widowed, to move to Bern. At that time Anna Freud, who had accompanied her father into exile, was the director of the Hampstead Clinic in London. She worked jointly with Gizella as the representative of the Freud family's interests.
Michael Balint, a psychoanalyst originally from Budapest, and Sándor Ferenczi's most faithful and original disciple, emigrated to London in 1939. He brought with him the theories elaborated by the Budapest school, blended with his own ideas, and he strove to strengthen the reputation of his teacher, whose significance was at that time largely underrated.1
Sándor Ferenczi came from a family of Polish Jews who had emigrated to Hungary. His father, filled with enthusiasm for the liberal, progressivist, and nationalist revolution of 1848, had joined the insurgents and later, in 1879, had Magyarized his name from Fraenkel to Ferenczi. Owner of a bookstore in Miskolcz, a provincial town in northern Hungary which often served as the first stopping point for immigrants from the north, especially Poland, he was a publisher as well, and his commitment to the liberal and nationalist cause led him to become active in publishing the samizdat
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