Analyzing Freud: Letters of H.D., Bryher, and Their Circle

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New Directions Publishing, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 615 pages
A landmark book in the studies of Freud, H.D., modernism, gender, and sexuality. The poet H.D. (1886-1961) was in psychoanalysis with Sigmund Freud in Vienna during the spring of 1933 and again in the fall of 1934. She visited him daily at his study at 19 Berggasse, while outside Nazi thugs and militia bullied their way through the streets. Freud was old, and fragile. H.D. was forty-six and despairing of her writing life, which seemed to have reached a dead end, for all her success. Her sessions with Freud proved to be the point of transition, the funnel into which were poured her memories of the past and associations in the presentand from which she emerged reborn. H.D. came to Freud at the urging of her companion, the novelist Bryher (1884-1983), the daughter of a wealthy British shipping magnate. Freud welcomed H.D. as a creative spirit whose work he respected, but he did ask her not to prepare for their sessions, write about them in her journal, or talk about them with her friends, especially Bryher, who remained home in England. H.D.'s letters from Vienna filled the gap. Breezy, informal, irreverent, vibrant with detail, they revolve around her hours with Freud, making her correspondence unique in the spectrum of reminiscences, journals, memoirs, and biographies swirling around the legacy of the "Professor" and the movement he founded. The volume includes H.D. and Bryher's letters, as well as letters by Freud to H.D. and Bryher, most of them published for the first time. In addition, the book includes H.D. and Bryher's letters to and from Havelock Ellis, Kenneth MacPherson, Robert McAlmon, Ezra Pound, and Anna Freud, among others. Fully annotated with Index and Photographs

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We have this edition of letters that H.D. wrote about her analytic experience in Vienna. Also there are the answers of her circle. In this background, Freud comes to grips with all this American freshness. The bill of the psychoanalytic sessions is paid by her bosom friend Bryher (Annie Winnifred Ellerman). Otherwise who had to pay it? Freud tells Doolittle not to talk about their relation with somebody else. Somebody else will talk about it far too. Those years are difficult and the streets of Vienna are unsafe for the raids of paramilitary groups. Some years later, everybody will wear the uniform more congenial to him. There is little time for H.D. and she must go away. It is difficult to understand what truly was between Sigmund and Hilda. 


List of Illustrations
Editorial Statement
Pet Names and Frequent Abbreviations
Analysis with Freud March 1June 15 1933
Selected Letters June 1933October 1934
Return to Vienna October 29December 2 1934
Selected Letters December 1934February 1937

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About the author (2002)

H.D. (1886-1961) (the pen name of Hilda Doolittle) was born in the Moravian community of Bethlehem, PA in 1886. A major twentieth century poet with "an ear more subtle than Pound's, Moore's, or Yeats's" as Marie Ponsot writes, she was the author of several volumes of poetry, fiction, essays, and memoirs. She is perhaps one of the best-known and prolific women poets of the Modernist era. Bryher Ellerman was a novelist and H.D.'s wealthy companion. She financed H.D.'s therapy with Freud.

Susan Stanford Friedman is Virginia Woolf Professor of English and Women's Studies and chair of the English department, the University of Wisconsin--Madison.

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