Abstract

In the context of the current debate about the implications of the overnight stay of Freud and Minna Bernays in Maloja in 1898, the present article looks closely at the entire story of their relationship. Almost from the beginning in 1882, Freud felt attracted to his sister-in-law and wrote her tender letters—the prelude of a constantly renewed ambivalent offer of a relationship. Freud's behavior is to be understood only in the light of the basic trauma of his early childhood: the loss of the breast and the love of his mother Amalie after the birth of his brother Julius, which opened the way for the engagement of a nurse. Thus, the "two-mothers constellation" of the Freiberg period should be considered the deep structure of the later "two-wives complex," with the Bernays sisters as revenants. The interpretation of two dreams from summer 1898 confirms that the emotional attitude of an incestuous connection to Minna dominates the period prior to the Engadine trip. It is suggested that the so-called "Minna affair" does not run counter to the direction taken by Freud's psychosexual development but fits the patterns he learned in his childhood.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1085-7931
Print ISSN
0065-860X
Pages
pp. 5-21
Launched on MUSE
2008-06-12
Open Access
No
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