04/15/2024, 21:58, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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Many of us know Lou Andreas-Salomé for her relationships with prominent representatives of German intellectual life like Friedrich Nietzsche, Rainer Maria Rilke and Sigmund Freud. The following quotation of Freud made me realize the fact that she not only practiced as a psychoanalyst, but also rendered contributions to the psychoanalytic theory. Freud wrote on the occasion of her death in February 1937: "The last 25 years of life of this extraordinary woman belong to psychoanalysis, to which she contributed valuable scientific papers and which she practiced."

Similarly esteeming Freud wrote about her work "My Thanks to Freud": "It has certainly not happened often that I have admired a psa. [psychoanalytic] work, rather than to criticize them. I need to do it this time. [...] If it were possible to, what she has been pictured here with the finest brushstrokes make it coarsen to tangibility, one might have taken definitive insights into possession. "

Unlike Freud exceptionally great appreciation of her work, the psychoanalytic contributions of Lou Andreas-Salomé – according to Inge Weber and Brigitte Rempp (1990) were living in the shadows. Wrongly, in their opinion, "... especially since her ideas to narcissism and to femininity resonate in contemporary psychoanalytic literature."

Lorrain Markotic also wrote in the American Imago 2001: "That Andreas-Salomé´s writings have received so little attention is especially regrettable in light of the many ways in which they anticipate current discussions" (p 813). He feels her particular contribution lies in the area in the theory of development of the self.

To give you the opportunity to get a picture of Lou Andreas-Salomé´s psychoanalytic work, I want to present you her - as the most significant contribution regarded work - theory of narcissism. In her 1920 in Imago published essay Narzissmus als Doppelrichtung [“The Dual Orientation of Narcissism”] she writes that for her narcissism was "... our piece of self-love that accompany through all stages...". (Andreas-Salomé, 1920, p.191) She understands narcissism as Freud does, as self-love that transforms into object-love and, if needed, could be focused back on oneself. For Lou Andreas-Salomé narcissism is a limiting concept, over which our understanding and recognition may not be enough. For her narcissism is synonymous with the unconscious....

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