A Tribute to Freud, Writing on the Wall (1944) : Advent (1933 to 1934) : Hilda Doolittle

by Julia Evans on January 1, 1944

Hilda Doolittle : H.D. A Tribute to Freud: Writing on the Wall-Advent, Published by David R. Godine: Boston, 1974

Original link given by

The Paradoxes of Transference : 15th February 2014 : Miquel Bassols : Details here

Commentary

Sigmund Freud & Hilda Doolittle : a transference contextualised by Julia Evans on April 28, 2014 or here

Table of Contents

Foreword by Norman Holmes Pearson (July 1973)     pvii  : Available here

Introduction by Kenneth Fields (July 1973)                 pxvii : Extract available  here

Writing on the Wall    (1944)                                        p1

P2-15     Available here

P14-19 & p58- 59 : Available here

p58-63, 76-77, 84-89, 92-95: Available here

Advent (2nd March 1933 – 15th June 1933)                   p113

p134-135, 174-175, 166-67 :  Available here

Appendix: Freud’s Letters to H.D.             p189 

From ‘Foreword’ by Norman Holmes Pearson     pvii to viii

‘The past is literally blasted into consciousness with the Blitz in London,’ H.D. said. Her sessions with Sigmund Freud, when she first wrote about them in 1944,were a part of the past. With him, the desk and walls of his consulting room filled with bibelots which were tokens of history, she had gone back to her childhood, back to the breakup of her marriage and the birth of her child,, back to the death of her brother in service in France, and the consequent death, from shock, of her father, and back to the breakup of her literary circle in London- Aldington, Pound, Lawrence, each gone his way. In the Vienna of the early 1930s,with its lengthening shadows, she was putting together the shards of her own history, facing a new war, knowing it would come, fearing it as she had feared its predecessor.

Freud helped her to remember and to understand what she remembered. When she composed ‘Writing on the Wall,’ published in book form as’ Tribute to Freud’, the war had come. Destruction was not a threat but a reality. Experience was a palimpsest. Again she recognized for herself the importance of persistence in remembering. Remembering Freud was significant, for remembering him was remembering what she had remembered with him. ‘For me, it was so important,’ she wrote, repeating, ‘it was so important, my own LEGEND. Yes, my own LEGEND. Then, to get well and re-create it.’ She used ‘legend’ multiply – as story, a history, an account, a thing for reading, her own myth. H.D.’s war years brought an astonishing revitalization. Silent in a sense for years, suddenly she wrote her war trilogy, several novels and short stories which are still unpublished, the text of ‘By Avon River’, drafts of ‘Bid Me to Love’, and ‘Tribute to Freud’. They were re-creations. All literature is.

The earlier version of ‘Tribute to Freud’ … was reviewed by Ernest Jones in ‘The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis’. … This expanded version of ‘Tribute to Freud’ tells still more.

‘Writing on the Wall’ was written, as she says in her prefatory note, ‘with no reference to the Vienna notebooks of spring 1933’. These had remained in Switzerland. It was when she returned to Lausanne after the war and recovered the notebooks that she wrote ‘”Advent,” the continuation of “Writing on the Wall,” or its prelude.’ The original had been a meditation; ‘advent’ was its gloss.

Norman Holmes-Pearson, July 1973