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Sigmund Freud (1856–1939). Selected Papers on Hysteria and Other Psychoneuroses. 1912.

Translator’s Preface to Second Edition

THAT there should be a demand for a second English edition of this book is very gratifying for many reasons. It not only indicates that we are keeping abreast with Europe where Freud’s works are in increasing demand, but it also shows that despite unjust and incompetent critics Freud’s ideas are gradually gaining ground in English-speaking countries. The adjective incompetent is advisedly used, for of all the adverse criticism hurled at Freud in this country most of it merits no refutation. The rest can be summed up in the phrase lack of knowledge and experience.

When the first edition of this translation appeared there was hardly any Freudian literature accessible to the English-speaking reader; at present one can gain a fair knowledge of the Freudian theories by studying the numerous writings on the subject. Yet the ignorance evinced by those who are hostile to the Freudian principles and for that matter also by those of his adherents is really surprising. We can well afford to disregard our uninformed opponents, but heaven protect us from our friends who accept everything without knowing what they do. It is those “wild” psychoanalysts that I had in mind when I added to the second edition Freud’s effective essay “On Wild Psychoanalysis.” The other new chapter, “The Future Chances of Psychoanalytic Therapy,” is considered by his pupils one of the most philosophical and appreciative essays of Freud. It gives a broad and comprehensive outline of the general problems of psychoanalysis and directs us to newer fields of investigation. Both chapters serve to show that there is more to psychoanalytic therapy than would seem on reading a few scattered papers.

May this revised and enlarged edition remove some of the hostile prejudices against Freud’s theories and help toward further enlightenment on the subject of the neuroses.