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December 1, 2017  

Dany Nobus
Freud’s Nietzsche: Eternal Recurrence, Symptomatic Acts and the Practice of Gift-Giving.

For his seventieth birthday on 6 May 1926, Otto Rank sent Freud a precious gift from Paris: the special edition of the Musarionausgabe of Nietzsche’s complete works. To Rank’s wife, Freud expressed how pleased he was with the unexpected present; to Ernest Jones, he conceded that it had clearly been a symptomatic act on Rank’s part. Nonetheless, when time came for Freud to pack his belongings in 1938, he could not leave the volumes behind, and they currently occupy a central place in his library at Maresfield Gardens. Over the years, Rank’s gift has been interpreted in different ways, yet little has been said about Freud’s acceptance of this Nietzsche, and even less about whether he actually read any of the books. And what happened to the Nietzsche Freud had bought in 1900, and of which he said to Fließ that he would hope to find words in it for much that had remained mute in him?

Dany Nobus is Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychology at Brunel University London, where he also convenes the MA Programme in Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Society. In addition, he is the Chair of the Freud Museum London, and the author of numerous publications on the history, theory and practice of psychoanalysis. In April 2017, he was presented with the Sarton medal of the University of Ghent for his contributions to the history and theory of psychoanalysis, which coincided with the publication of a new book entitled The Law of Desire: On Lacan’s “Kant with Sade”.

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