********************  POSTING RULES & NOTES  ********************
#1 YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
#2 This mail-list, like most, is publicly & permanently archived.
#3 Subscribe and post under an alias if #2 is a concern.

On January 24, 1895, in a letter that was kept unpublished for nearly 90 years, Sigmund Freud wrote nervously about a dangerous experiment he was planning to embark upon. “Now only one more week separates us from the operation,” he wrote to his friend Wilhelm Fliess, who would be performing the surgery. “My lack of medical knowledge once again weighs heavily on me.”

The patient who would be undergoing the procedure, Emma Eckstein, came from a well-regarded family in Vienna and began analysis with Freud when she was about 27. She complained of stomach and menstrual issues that made even walking a pain. Freud and Fliess believed that Eckstein’s suffering was related to her masturbation, which she discussed with Freud during their psychoanalytic sessions. It was a dubious logical path, but Freud and Fliess’s solution was almost comically unfounded. “Girls who masturbate normally suffer from dysmenorrhea,” Fliess later wrote in reference to Eckstein’s menstrual pains. “In such cases, nasal treatment is only successful when they truly give up this aberration.”

Freud believed that the sexual organs were connected to the nose, and sexual “issues,” particularly masturbation, were principle causes of neurotic maladies, and that they could sometimes be solved by nasal surgery. With the exception of Fliess, Freud’s contemporaries mostly found this theory to be bizarre and potentially harmful; and, as is evidenced by his 1895 letter, even Freud began to think that he might be out of his medical depth. Nonetheless, his convictions outweighed his doubts.

full: https://www.thecut.com/2017/09/sigmud-freud-making-of-an-illusion-book.html
Full posting guidelines at: http://www.marxmail.org/sub.htm
Set your options at: 

Reply via email to