Letter from Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess: 30th May 1896 : Known as Letter 46

by Julia Evans on May 30, 1896

Publication dates

1)  In Marie Bonaparte, Anna Freud, and Ernst Kris, (Eds.), (1950a). Aus den anfangen der psychoanalyse. briefe an Wilhelm Fliess, abhandlungen und notizen aus de jahren 1887-1902. London: Imago;

2)  Corrected transcription in J. M. Masson and Michael Schröter, (Eds.), Briefe an Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1986

In English translation:

3) Letter 46: p163 in Marie Bonaparte, Anna Freud, and Ernst Kris, (Eds.), The origins of psycho-analysis: Letters to Wilhelm Fliess, drafts and notes, 1887-1902, (Eric Mosbacher & James Strachey, Trans.), London: Imago, 1954 :

Available here

4) 30th May 1896 : p187 of The complete letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904. (Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Ed. and Trans.). (1985c). Cambridge, MA, and London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press :

Available here

Quoted by Jacques Lacan in Seminar III : 21st March 1956 : p180 of Russell Grigg’s translation : See Seminar III: The Psychoses: 1955-1956: from 16th November 1955: Jacques Lacan or here : One can observe that the twofold structuring of the signifier and signified doesn’t appear after the event. As early as Letter 46, for example, Freud states that he is beginning to see the stages of the subject’s development appear in his experience, how to construct them, and also to show its relationship to the existence of the unconscious and its mechanisms. One is struck by seeing him employ the term Übersetzung to designate a given stage of the subject’s experiences, according as it’s translated or not. Translated  – what does that mean? It’s a question of what happens at levels defined by the subject’s age – from one to four years of age, then from four to eight years of age, then the prepubertal period, and finally the period of maturity.

It’s interesting to note the stress Freud places on the signifier. Bedeutung can’t be translated as specifying the signifier in relation to the signified. Likewise in Letter 52, ….

[See Letter from Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess: 6th December 1896 : Known as Letter 52 or here]

Further posts:

By Sigmund Freud : Available here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud : here

References to Sigmund Freud within LacanianWorks : Available here

By Jacques Lacan : Available here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan : here

Jacques Lacan in English or here