05/21/2019, 09:09, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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An Unexpected Essay (Part II)

Author: Nicholas Fox Weber


Well over twenty-five years ago, the extremely helpful Dr. Solnit and I agreed mutually that the seven-year-process of psychoanalysis was complete. But, just knowing it is for you that I am writing, the thoughts and memories have again started to flow unhampered. Perhaps it is no coincidence that I am back in Connecticut, which is rare in my life, and is where I always saw Dr. Solnit. Of course, I do not mean “saw,” since I was on the couch, and never observed his face during the forty-five minute sessions.

Lying there, I faced only the photo of someone I assume to have been my doctor’s son kayaking in rough water, and, on the back of the closed office door, on a bulletin board, among other things, a postcard of the main street of Skibbereen, in southwest Cork in Ireland. From early in my treatment I talked to Dr. Solnit frequently about that town and its surrounding region, since my wife and I spent our honeymoon in 1976 fishing on the Ilen River near Skibbereen and subsequently created our family’s paradise in a nearby coastal village. It was after at least a year of analysis that Dr. Solnit asked me why I had not identified and recognized the scene of the postcard.

Skibbereen, he explained in his avuncular voice, was where he and Dr. Joseph Goldstein and Anna Freud went to buy groceries whenever they were together in the nearby village of Baltimore, where they collaborated on research and writing. Subsequently, my wife and daughters and I went to find the exact house where Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham lived. The only person who could locate it for us was an elderly shopkeeper, a wizened lady who simply said, “Oh, you mean the two German sisters.”...

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