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The self-analysis is thus presented as a truly revolutionary and fundamental event : as an event creating history, without being historically datable [2].

In the third section, I will discuss the problems encountered by early professional readers (like Bleuler) who were sympathetic to Freud’s work, but had also been trained in the culture of introspective hypnotism.

The demise of the configuration in which reading and writing practices were essential components of psycho-analytic technique was triggered by Freud’s failure to transform these readers into Freudians.

From Freud’s usage in his letters to his friend Wilhelm Fliess and in the first version of , it is evident that the term « self-analysis » dœs not denote a singular event, but a specific introspective procedure developed at a time when self-observation was still acknowledged as the chief practice from which psychological facts were to be gained [8] « No doubt I shall be met by doubts of the trustworthiness of ’self-analyses’ of this kind ; and I shall be told that they leave the door open to arbitrary conclusions.

In my judgment, the situation is in fact more favourable in the case of 5 Thus, in the first edition of the book, « self-analysis » refers to a new scientific technique proposed by Freud to his readers, whereas the second edition (1908) performs a reversal and casts the book as a part of the author’s personal history [10] When this remarkable shift is placed in its concrete....

Despite the various discussions and re-interpretations of Freud’s self-analysis, it is striking that no comprehensive studies have yet been undertaken on this topic [11] 6 During the nineteenth century, various modes of self-observation were cultivated, both in scientific milieus and in the everyday life of the literate classes, leading to the genesis of new forms for writing about subjectivity [12] There is an abundant literature on autobiographical....

It must be noted, however, that the initial version of Freud’s book – as it was published in the fall of 1899 – was to a large extent directed at a very special audience, namely professionals who worked towards a scientific psychology grounded upon pathological observation and experimentation.

In what follows, I do not intend to explore this contradictory relationship between Freud’s self-analysis and his book, or the transitions between autobiographical and scientific genres in its text.

My task is rather to provide a historical frame for the first version of the dreambook by setting it in the clinical cultures of self-observation in the last decade of the 19th century.

In Jones’s book, every chapter indicates in its heading the exact period of time it covers ; the only exception being the chapter devoted to Freud’s self-analysis.

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