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A History of the Case StudySexology, Psychoanalysis, Literature$

Birgit Lang, Joy Damousi, and Alison Lewis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780719099434

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719099434.001.0001

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Fin-de-siècle investigations of the ‘creative genius’ in psychiatry and psychoanalysis

Fin-de-siècle investigations of the ‘creative genius’ in psychiatry and psychoanalysis

(p.55) 2 Fin-de-siècle investigations of the ‘creative genius’ in psychiatry and psychoanalysis
A History of the Case Study

Birgit Lang

Manchester University Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapters examines the attempts by psychiatrists and psychoanalysts to popularise their research by choosing to analyse cases—and thus the phenomenon of—creative genius. It shows how psychoanalysis and its proponents co-opted and adapted the medical case study as an extant and authoritative rhetorical form through which to forge a new mode of enquiry. The ways in which psychoanalysts such as Isidor Sadger sought to incorporate and adapt sexological pathographies into psychoanalytic thought, shaped the responses within the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (WPV) and fuelled a debate that directly contributed to Freud’s development of psychoanalytic case writing. The decisive sophistication of this discourse can be appreciated in Sigmund Freud’s dialogic-psychoanalytic case studies, which show his keen appreciation of the bond that tied middle-class readers to revered creative artists. Yet Freud hesitated (or perhaps thought it fruitless) to challenge this reverence and left the complex quantification of results to his pupil Otto Rank.

Keywords:   Creative genius, Theory of creativity, Paul Julius Möbius, Sigmund Freud, Isidor Sadger, Otto Rank, Case study

In Victorian society, admiration for the ‘creative genius’ abounded. It was based on stereotypical notions of the Romantic artist, who, ‘by the neat and necessarily contradictory logic of aesthetic elevation and social exclusion, [was] both a great genius and greatly misunderstood’.1 In Germany the propensity to idealise the artist as a creative genius was further propelled by intellectuals’ and writers’ contribution to imagining the German nation throughout the nineteenth century, and by the tendency of literary works to aestheticise and idealise bourgeois life.

By the late nineteenth century, this Romantic image of genius began to transform, despite much resistance from parts of the German public. For over two decades from the late 1890s onwards – roughly until the First World War – psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and the reading public were particularly captivated by the mental health and sex life of German creative writers, artists and intellectuals. For the sake of simplicity, all such individuals are throughout this chapter collectively referred to as creative artists. Both psychiatric discourse and the more conservative strand of psychoanalytic discourse provided a powerful new lens through which to interpret biographies of exceptional human beings. Artist pathographies, or psychiatric case studies of creative artists, expanded the case study genre towards biography and presented readers with new insights into the private lives of particular creative artists.

Sigmund Freud and his pupil Otto Rank brought contrasting approaches to enquiring into aspects of artistic personality, creativity and oeuvre, partly in an attempt to curb the idealising tendencies of the German reading public. The differing biographical and artistic studies reproduce what Christian von Zimmermann has identified as the two main biographical narratives characteristic of modernity, namely anthropologisation and idealisation, that is, either an attempt to underline similarities between exceptional and average human beings, or an admiring elevation of biographical subjects that emphasises their status as exceptional individuals.2 As discussed in Chapter 1, in the instance of (p.56) the reinterpretation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s life and oeuvre, in the late nineteenth century anthropologisation arose from specific needs related to readers’ sexual identities and contributed to the making of sexual modernity. Underlying this new, highly specific, sexualised account of Sacher-Masoch’s life was a need among his readers to humanise their own subject position, a need that was powerfully projected onto Sacher-Masoch as a creative writer. To psychiatrists and psychoanalysts of the fin de siècle, interrogation of the lives and works of creative artists contributed significantly to the appreciation of certain medical, psychiatric and psychological phenomena. Such an undertaking was supported by readers who were variously invested in medical discourse – perhaps as patients of sexologists, or as cultural critics, such as Max Nordau, who popularised and generalised degeneration theory to serve his own pessimistic views of contemporary society.

At the same time, the idealising majority of Germany’s educated middle class perceived the psychiatrists’ deliberations on genius and creativity as defamation of national idols. This led Freud in particular to consider new ways of writing about artists, which took into consideration such idealising tendencies. The response to anthropologisation extended from repudiation to hesitation, and is epitomised in the pages of Geschlecht and Gesellschaft (Sex and Society), a popular middle-class journal concerned with sexual reform that clearly targeted the progressive educated middle class. Before the First World War, literary works provided the journal with a window onto the past and an opportunity to argue against contemporary restrictive mores, in an attempt to develop a new sexual ethics.3 Refusing to discuss pathographies of eminent writers and artists, the journal preferred to hold such figures in continued high esteem. The medicalisation of talented individuals and their works was repudiated, and psychoanalytic insights were given very limited room in the journal’s pages.

For the purposes of analysing the case study genre, in nineteenth-century German biographical writing the greatest difference between strategies of anthropologisation and idealisation lay in a penchant for generalisation versus particularisation. Psychiatrists and psychoanalysts were predisposed towards generalisation, in that they considered their studies of creative artists as illustrations of their own theories. This holds true for researchers identified with the fields of psychiatry, sexology and psychoanalysis alike, although the methodological finesse of their approaches varied markedly, as did their understanding of the tastes of their respective readerships. Yet Paul Julius Möbius, Isidor Sadger, Rank and Freud all shared a complex and ambivalent relationship to creative artists. The psychiatrist Möbius attempted to map signs of degeneration onto the oeuvre, bodies and genes of selected creative artists in his pathographies. Sadger, an early pupil of Freud, presented a mixture of arguments centred on degeneration and psychoanalysis which aimed to form a bridge between psychiatric and psychoanalytic discourse. Freud – founder of psychoanalysis – and his close collaborator Rank understood (p.57) the creative process as an insightful but limited method for revealing the workings of the human psyche that, unlike psychoanalysis, was not scientific in nature. Conversely, the idealising tendencies of German intellectuals and readers advanced a notion of creative artists as extraordinary human beings, and insisted on their exceptionalism. These narratives of exceptionalism were intimately connected to middle-class lifestyle, works of art and literature, engendering a sense of belonging in their publics.4

The bulk of all these deliberations took the shape of case studies. Scholars of nineteenth-century Europe have identified the new case modality of pathography with the development of notions of normality and abnormality, as well as the appropriation of literary modes of interpretation by the medical disciplines. Meanwhile, psychoanalysis is usually credited with a more playful and less normative approach to the analysis of literature and the creative arts.5 Detailed study of the generic influence of the case study reveals a new, more diverse and complex picture. By mapping the divergence of case study modalities, this chapter shows that methodological rather than disciplinary differences fashioned both psychiatric and psychoanalytic approaches to case writing on creative genius. The crucial methodological difference was that of rhetorical form, specifically whether the form was ‘closed’ or ‘open’. The closed form considered the life narrative of creative artists as an illustration of a psychiatric, sexological or psychoanalytic theory, never considering the creative contributions that made their objects of study exceptional in the first place. This caused insult to middle-class sensibilities, as exemplified by the case studies written by Möbius and Sadger around the turn of the century.

By contrast, Möbius’s early pathographies and Freud’s later dialogic-psychoanalytic case studies considered artists’ biographies and their oeuvres. In psychoanalysis, the rift between supporters of closed and open case studies added to the competitive streak characteristic of early psychoanalysts. Their discussions provided a forum in which a scientific model for explaining creativity could first emerge. In this context, Freud can be credited for anticipating the workings of the unconscious in his readers, and for developing the most nuanced strategies through which to convince his readers. As a consequence, Freud’s case studies have continued to retain much higher currency in the humanities and among the reading public more generally. Such techniques of manipulation – towards a higher scientific aim – make Freud’s case studies extremely evocative, contributing to their ongoing appeal to psychoanalysts, as well as readers in the humanities more generally.

The art of pathography: from open beginnings

The importance of the pathography as a new case modality in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries cannot be overestimated. In the field of psychiatric discourse, pathographies legitimated exhaustive (p.58) studies of members of the intellectual elite. In biographical writing – so long predominated by idealising norms of respectability – pathographies made admissible matters of mental health and sexuality.

At the same time, these new case writings opened the door for over-generalisation and even stigmatisation of their objects of study. In the twentieth century, this propensity of pathography has been analysed by Foucaultian scholars, and identified with the politics of biopower that aim to control individual subjects via normalising discourses and techniques.6 As argued in Chapter 4, such forceful discourses directly impacted upon society’s understanding of criminality and mental health. Jutta Person has paradigmatically identified pathography with the overcoming of literature’s interpretative power through scientific and medical discourse, and a renewal of the early modern mapping of physical features to character traits.7 Such normalising discourses were also effective in relation to creative artists. Nonetheless, pathographies of artists were not written with the explicit intent of belittling their objects of study; rather, the authors of such studies often show a keen interest both in literary and psychological phenomena. Pathographies with a focus on prominent individuals represented a diversion from the sinister world of psychiatric illness, and allowed for a compassionate stance, while their main function was to communicate scientific insights to a wider audience. These were surely conflicted accounts, driven by academic self-interest and institutional traditions, but to identify pathography solely as a product of biopower is to produce a distorted image of such writing.

A different view of pathography has emerged in the history of popular medicine. In her innovative study Reconstructing Illness, Anne Hunsaker Hawkins has discovered a new facet of the generic effects of pathography.8 Through analysis of autobiographies and biographies, she outlines the assumptions, myths and attitudes that individuals brought to the medical encounter in the USA during the late twentieth century. The publication of patient narratives beyond the confines of clinical casuistry was made possible, however, only by the increased dissemination of such writing at certain points in history: in this instance, after the ‘scientific turn’ in medicine in the 1960s, which brought discredit to the case study as an academic genre.9 Weimar Germany represents another historical precedent: as outlined in Chapter 4, during the Weimar Republic, intensified general interest in the case study led to a popularity that furthered the eventual decline of its academic merit.

Fin-de-siècle case studies of creative artists were still powerfully embedded in psychiatric discourse. They aimed to illustrate the effects of degeneration on society’s elite, even though this case variant shifted in its consideration of the artistic oeuvre. Early pathography was intended to disseminate medical knowledge to educated burghers, often by analysing works of art. Modern pathography concentrated on a more specialised psychiatric discourse and benefited from considerable advances at the (p.59) beginning of the twentieth century, notably in the area of differential diagnosis of psychopathic personality traits. Those who took this psychiatric approach became increasingly concerned with ways in which diagnostic criteria could be mapped onto patient bodies. For reasons of popularity, modern pathography retained its focus on creative artists, but the pathographical interest in the artworks expressed earlier vanished. In the German-speaking world, pathography as a case modality and distinctive kind of biography originated with Möbius.

The shift from early to modern pathography is very pronounced in Möbius’s writings, and his works serve as the main representatives of early and modern pathography in this chapter. Having begun his academic career with a doctorate of philosophy (1873), Möbius graduated as a medical doctor in 1877. His studies of creative artists fall into a period during which he had returned to private practice, renouncing his affiliation with Leipzig University, despite groundbreaking work in neurology.10 As for Freud several decades later, the move away from the university system produced a focus on patients outside psychiatric institutions who were able to function in everyday life, and furthered his interest in the indeterminate area between normality and insanity.

Yet unlike Freud, Möbius throughout his career insisted on a solely biological explanatory framework for insanity. This view was strongly shaped by Munich-based reformer and professor of psychiatry Emil Kraepelin (1856–1926), who was also Möbius’s lifelong friend.11 The publication in 1899 of the sixth edition of Kraepelin’s Psychiatrie: ein Lehrbuch für Studirende und Aerzte (Clinical Psychiatry. A Textbook for Students and Physicians) would prove profoundly important for Möbius’s pathographies. Kraepelin differentiated between four types of psychopathic personalities: born criminals, pathological liars, querulous persons and compulsive personalities. His re-categorisation of psychopathology brought about a pronounced shift in pathographical writing and contributed significantly to the development of modern pathography as well as a modern psychiatric diagnostics.12 Early on, his ideas encountered much resistance in psychiatric circles within Europe, and Möbius’s shift in pathographic writing can be seen as an important and previously unrecognised means of advocating Kraepelin’s position to an educated readership.13

The shift between early and modern pathography is best demonstrated in Möbius’s studies of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Germany’s national poet was a subject well chosen to give currency to Möbius’s own psychiatric interests, not least because Goethe himself was innately interested in the representation of psychologically testing situations: the psychological motivations of his characters allowed Goethe to represent and explain human behaviour in general.14 Möbius’s 1898 study Über das Pathologische bei Goethe (On Pathology in Goethe), the first pathographical study of Goethe, was his key contribution to early pathography.15 In this study, he explicitly seeks to popularise psychiatric knowledge by arguing (p.60) that the majority of human beings are degenerate to a degree.16 The book discusses Goethe’s approach to mental illness and the representation of mental illness in a selection of Goethe’s works; it also narrates a biography of Goethe and his family, structured by the same theme of degeneration. Presenting the reader with a medically informed cultural and personal history, Über das Pathologische bei Goethe constitutes an attempt to delineate the vast area of uncertainty between ‘debility and normal behaviour’.17 The longest section of this study focuses on the depiction of insanity in a representative selection of Goethe’s writings, from the Sturm und Drang Die Leiden des jungen Werther (The Sorrows of Young Werther), first published in 1774, to Goethe’s autobiographical Aus meinem Leben: Dichtung und Wahrheit (From My Life: Poetry and Truth), written and published 1811–33.

Möbius could use his own retelling of Goethe’s life to destigmatise mental health problems. He claimed that the mental suffering of the celebrated ‘prince of poets’ in his youth could be situated in the grey area between insanity and normality – a normality that the Möbius of early pathography conceded as ‘boring’, due to the ‘complete balance’ of such a personality.18 About Goethe himself Möbius cautiously stated that while pathology was minimal in Goethe’s mature years, his spontaneous and intense periods of writing coincided with phases of general agitation that were followed by long phases of clarity and stillness. Hence the neurologist suggested a first, tentative connection between creativity and degeneration, a connection he would explore in his second pathography of Goethe, published five years later.19

This second study of Goethe made Möbius the first proponent of modern pathography, which took hold from the turn of the century onwards. Published in Leipzig in 1903, Goethe centred on the physical person, without consideration of artistic creation, and thus announced a pronounced shift in pathographic methodology. The conceptual vocabulary developed in Goethe was new and allowed Möbius to combine biological detail with biographical information. The three-part study begins with an opening portrait outlining ‘the form and movement’ of Goethe the person: his anatomical features, the movement of his body and face, as well as his linguistic utterings and actions. The second part provides evidence for this portrayal, mainly through letters and descriptions of Goethe by the poet’s contemporaries. The third part investigates the relationship between Goethe and neuroanatomist and craniologist Franz Joseph Gall (1758–1828). Gall pioneered the study of the localisation of mental functions in the human brain; a contemporary of Goethe, he crafted one of his famous life-masks – today lost – from Goethe’s face. Gall plays an important role in Möbius’s interpretation, since he provided the pathographer with a system of classification through which to map biological detail onto biographical information. In Goethe, Möbius expands and adapts Gall’s mapping system to include a series of motivators, and simplifies some of Gall’s categories.20 The new system, in turn, provides (p.61) Möbius with the headings that structure his contemplation of Goethe’s mental powers and includes a long list of criteria: from ‘life instinct’ to ‘sex drive’ and from personal character traits such as bravery and vanity to various aspects of intellectual giftedness.21

In other words, Möbius’s discussion changes direction to survey Goethe’s body, personality and intellect rather than his oeuvre. Similar studies followed on Friedrich Nietzsche (1902), the composer Robert Schumann (1906) and poet and novelist Joseph Victor von Scheffel (1907). Except for the works on Goethe and Schopenhauer, Möbius’s aim in these volumes was to portray a specific disorder through the relevant biography. These and other pathographies self-evidently adhered to the new methodology. Available biographical information was sifted through and a posthumous diagnosis given, which pinpointed a range of psychiatric and other medical conditions pertinent to the subject’s life history; the oeuvre of the creative artists in question was not considered. This method also applied to the studies discussed in the foregoing chapter, in which Richard von Krafft-Ebing and Albert Eulenburg redefined their view of Sacher-Masoch from expert writer to masochist.

In consonance with such psychiatric reinterpretation, Möbius now began to explore in a more abstract manner the subject of creative artists, and embraced a cultural history based on this new psychiatric footing. As part of a response to Charles Darwin’s theories of degeneration, Möbius viewed the cultural elite as a threatened group. In the aftermath of Darwinian thought, social Darwinism, as a public rhetoric, considered that cultural sophistication had come at the price of degeneration. Kraepelin’s system of differential diagnostics allowed Möbius to present underlying pathologies, and to present behavioural advice intended to counteract individual predispositions. In this context Möbius underlined that unwise choices, for example in marriage, meant that degenerative processes would be furthered. For instance, in his contentious essay of 1900, Über den physiologischen Schwachsinn des Weibes (Concerning the Physiological Feebleness of the Female), he emphasised that ‘intellectuals’ should marry women who were physically and mentally robust rather than educated – ‘healthy women, not brainy ladies’ – in order to maintain sufficient numbers of healthy offspring.22 Accordingly, Möbius’s view of Christiane Vulpius, Goethe’s mistress and later his wife, was comparatively favourable, since she was not a Gehirndame. In 1901 Möbius published a generalising treatise titled Über Kunst und Künstler (On Art and Artists), in which he portrayed creative artists as individuals with high aspirations, who belonged to ‘a sensual and carnally excitable race [while being] highly anomalous in their lifestyle’.23 In Über Kunst und Künstler Möbius sought to prove that genius is a singularly biological trait – and, except for the writing of poetry, a trait inherited in a patrilinear fashion.

On publication, these popular pamphlets elicited a range of reactions. Über den physiologischen Schwachsinn des Weibes situates the maturity of (p.62) women between that of children and men, and outlines ways in which the emancipation of women represents a sociological threat. The outcry it prompted came from representatives of the women’s movement and from the educated middle class.24 The former felt attacked; the latter ‘had heard it all before’, and in a more progressive fashion. As discussed in Chapter 1, thirty years before, a presumed link between women and degeneration of the social fabric had guided Sacher-Masoch’s protagonist Alexander in his choice of Marzella as his bride. In the same novella, the narrator, Leopold, expressed ambiguity concerning the suitability of such explanations for Germany. Here, Venus lectures the narrator of Venus im Pelz on the nature of love in the European North by stating ‘To you Nature is an enemy’.25 Yet, in medicine the discussion surrounding intellectual elites occurred thirty years later, and from a perspective of social Darwinism.26 Again, readers from the educated middle class were critical of such a stance.

Regardless of this critique, Möbius’s studies of such celebrated German individuals as Goethe and Nietzsche provided a model for a number of similar volumes, successfully forging the modern pathography as a new approach to biography, and a new case modality in which consideration of a creative artist’s oeuvre became fundamentally irrelevant. For instance, pathographies dominated the biographical studies in the important series of monographs titled ‘Grenzfragen des Nerven- und Seelenlebens. Einzeldarstellungen für Gebildete aller Stände’ (‘Intersecting Issues of Nervous and Inner Life. Monographs for the Educated of all Classes’). Munich-based sexual pathologist Leopold Löwenfeld and psychiatrist Hans Kurella had founded this enterprise in 1902. Under Löwenfeld’s editorship, 130 volumes were published over three decades. The series tackled a wide array of topics, from somnambulism to discussion of abnormal characteristics and the occurrence of delusional ideas in different nation states. The first volume to embrace the topic of creative artists was the above-mentioned study of Nietzsche by Möbius, published in 1902; thenceforth, a range of authors undertook studies of prominent writers, such as Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Heinrich von Kleist and Guy de Maupassant.27

A related project with a more literary focus was Sigismund Rahmer’s shorter-lived series titled ‘Grenzfragen der Literatur und Medizin’ (‘Intersecting Issues of Literature and Medicine’), published between 1906 and 1908, with volumes on the pessimistic dramatist Christian Grabbe; Swedish playwright, novelist and poet August Strindberg; and American Romantic writer Edgar Allan Poe.28 In these modern pathographies, the biographies of artists serve to illustrate medical phenomena and classifications, again with very little or no consideration of the creative oeuvre. Thus the attempt to educate readers through depicting and humanising psychiatric illness came at great cost to the esteem in which the artists and their works were generally held.

(p.63) Isidor Sadger’s psychoanalytic pathographies

Modern pathographies stressed the biological foundations of pathology and genius, and sidelined the oeuvre of the creative artist. Among the critics of Möbius’s pathographies were disgruntled literary historians and members of the educated middle class; other critics included medical colleagues who condemned as unscientific his foray into literature. The most immediate challenge arose from medical colleagues who were competitors in the field of pathography and who aimed to carve a niche in a similar academic market. Sadger, who was an early psychoanalyst and physician in his own right, developed Möbius’s work methodologically. He maintained the focus on the biographies of creative artists, but also scrutinised the solely biological explanatory framework given by Möbius, and attempted to combine psychiatric and psychoanalytic approaches. Sadger felt keenly that the disagreement among medical experts concerning Kraepelin’s ‘hair-splitting psychiatric differential diagnostics’ was detrimental to pathography as a project. He contended that modern pathography led to a general confusion among lay readers, since diagnostic categories were subject to rapid change – and he promoted his own psychoanalytic pathographies as studies in which this problem was resolved.29

By the 1920s, Sadger considered himself to be the oldest of Freud’s practising students.30 Already a medical doctor with established interests in pathography, and in the emerging field of hydrotherapy for the treatment of psychiatric patients, Sadger listened to Freud’s lectures on neurosis (in the winter semester of 1895–96) and on hysteria (in 1896 and again in 1898). Soon afterwards he began to use psychoanalytic methods in his own practice, yet Sadger remains one of the lesser-known early analysts.31 Ulrike May was the first to examine Sadger’s personality and his work, and has characterised the relationship between Sadger and Freud as one of ambivalence.32 Despite Sadger’s enthusiastic response to Freud’s theories, for example, the latter was slow to invite Sadger to join the Wiener Psychoanalytische Vereinigung (the WPV, or Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, discussed below), and did so only in 1906, four years after its inauguration. Sadger soon became a controversial figure within this group, partly due to his rejection of the more symbolic manifestations of sex that were so central to Freud’s theories in this period.33 Freud was well aware of Sadger’s theoretical limitations; however, he also appreciated Sadger’s work with openly homosexual patients at a time when no other analyst acknowledged the needs of such individuals in their practice.34 Moreover, Freud valued Sadger’s role in the early dissemination of psychoanalytic knowledge.

The importance of understanding Sadger’s early explorations into the realm of literature cannot be overstated, since these forays explain much about his later standpoint in the debates about authorship within the WPV during the early 1900s. Secondary literature perceives Sadger predominantly as a conservative force within these debates, as the contrarian (p.64) pathographer either unable or unwilling to understand Freud’s perspective – and who, according to Alan Elms, was even bullied by Freud.35 These perceptions are commonly grounded in the frank style of discussion that took place in the WPV, as portrayed in the Society’s minutes. There, Sadger’s penchant for impassioned dialogue becomes clear, and his rhetoric is brusque at times. Where Freud promoted a differentiated style of argumentation, and much of his persuasiveness stems from ambiguity and understatement, Sadger tended to present his theories in black and white, to reinforce his line of reasoning. He was certainly a pathographer first among this group, since his investigations into the realm of literature began a decade earlier than those in psychoanalysis, but his approach was not quite as dull as suspected by twenty-first-century criticism.36

Much of Sadger’s early work on creative genius was devoted to the representation of degeneration in modernist literature. In an article from 1896, he criticised Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, the founder of modernism in theatre, for depicting heredity in a purely negative manner as degeneration, and for giving no value to the role of education in the play Nora. Furthermore, Sadger declares the life-threatening sickness of Nora’s husband and the eye condition of the character Hedwig in The Wild Duck ‘figments of poetic phantasy’, and he judged the narrated progression of both diseases to be unconvincing from a medical perspective. Instead of conceding the naturalist author’s poetic licence, Sadger deemed Ibsen a failure in diagnostic skills.37 From the perspective of the medical practitioner, such a contention seems fitting, in particular since Ibsen had studied medicine before taking up his career as a writer. Sadger’s article was published in the liberal daily Neue Freie Presse, with a purpose to inform; after all, Ibsen worked within a realistic paradigm capable of misleading the wider theatre audience about matters of disease.

In a later article titled ‘Kranke Dichter und Krankendichtung’ (‘Sick Poets and Literature on Illness’, 1897) Sadger underlines a similar point by arguing that there was no necessary connection between the actual degeneration of authors and their choice to depict degeneration. Here he points to the role of literature in the dissemination of Darwinist ideas, and insists that Ibsen’s drama Ghosts popularised notions of heredity more than ‘all books and treatises of Darwinism’.38 Sadger contends that, paradoxically, many poets who garnered fame before 1870 were ‘degenerate’, although their work failed to acknowledge or discuss matters of degeneration, while the modernist writers were predominantly healthy but posed as sick, and thus misled their audiences.39 According to Sadger, the ‘nervousness’ supposedly characteristic of poets was a result of modernist literature’s love affair with mental illness, and became a key factor in writers’ strategies for self-representation in the literary field.40 This flavouring of sickness, he argues, was only furthered by Cesare Lombroso’s attempts to declare illustrious writers such as Émile Zola to be degenerate – and by the writings of Nordau on degeneration.41 Regardless of such speculations, very few biographical studies of modernist writers had been undertaken, Sadger (p.65) elaborates, and a dearth of facts made it difficult to develop scientific theories about contemporary writers and artists. Like Möbius in his first study of Goethe, Sadger maintained that, during an author’s lifetime, only limited archival sources could be unearthed if the writer had not published a reflective autobiography such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Les Confessions (The Confessions, 1782), or August Strindberg’s Le Plaidoyer d’un fou (The Confession of a Fool, 1895).42 To Sadger, the reading public’s obsession with nervousness, like literary writers’ obsession with degeneration, had no ground in medical reality. He did not believe that these phenomena were on the rise, but rather that the zeitgeist of modernity fed public discourse about both trends.43

As would seem timely, Sadger embraced the pathographical model to consider the life stories of authors. In brief, his purpose was to shed new light on ‘real’ degeneration, and to illustrate this for a lay audience through the study of a highly select group of ‘afflicted’ poets. Sadger’s tactic is documented in the phrase ‘pathographical-psychological study’ – the subtitle of his 1909 study of Kleist, which was published in Löwenfeld’s aforementioned influential series. Sadger’s new approach shared with psychiatric pathographies a chief interest in tracing degeneration through the arc of a writer’s life story, in an attempt to popularise new medical concepts for a lay readership.

The main intellectual aim Sadger strove to fulfil was the destigmatisation of creative artists as a group; he saw that their reputation suffered from the negative connotations associated with the term Entartung (degeneration). Sadger retranslated the term anew from the original French into German – with reference to French psychiatrist Jacques Joseph Valentin Magnan (1835–1916) – into dégénéré supérieur and dégénéré inférieur. The latter he translated into the German Belastung (‘burden’), which impacts upon genius, and the former he translated as Schwachsinn (‘imbecility’), with reference to ‘real’ degeneration, as prevalent in criminals.44 The key symptoms of Belastung Sadger saw as recurrent major depressive episodes, combined with the inability of afflicted subjects to connect to ‘their ego’ (Sadger’s phrase). This implies that afflicted individuals are keen to make changes in their lives as soon as a certain degree of familiarity has been established. According to Sadger, this familiarity can include their immediate surroundings, living quarters, cities, but also professions and circle of friends.45 Other symptoms of Belastung include self-indulgence, ‘abnormal cerebral reactions’, or a high degree of emotivity, especially a violent temper, and an abnormal sexual constitution.46

Sadger’s renovated terminology smoothly resolved a key conceptual problem inherent to debate about degeneration: quite elegantly he rejected Lombroso’s clumsy model in which genius is drawn into a parallel connection with criminality – and which explains any negative character traits in genius as an atavistic phenomenon. In effect, Sadger was writing against Lombroso and Nordau, and the great popularity of their culturally pessimistic theories in the German-speaking world.47 To Sadger no (p.66) genius existed without Belastung, but he expressed the hope that this new term would destigmatise creative artists by removing the taint of the term ‘degeneration’.

Sadger’s reference to degeneration represented only one part of the equation. Where Möbius relied exclusively on biology as an aetiological explanation for the phenomenon of degeneration, Sadger considered psychoanalytic explanations more important, but he did not grant them an exclusive status. In other words, rather than sidelining a preceding explanatory model, Sadger sought to combine the old and the new. The five parts of Sadger’s psychoanalytic pathography of Kleist, for instance, concern the latter’s hereditary Belastung, especially his depressive mood, his inability to form long-term relationships, and a geographical restlessness that Sadger had previously identified as typical of this condition. The added psychoanalytic framework allowed Sadger to consider the role of repressed homosexuality in the poet’s life, including a complex that Sadger terms Kleist’s underlying ‘erotic fixation on the mother’, a view shared by several present-day Kleist biographers.48 In order to explain Kleist’s fixation, Sadger references his contemporaneous work on homosexuality, in which he argued that homosexual men desired the qualities and characteristics of their own mother in their male partner.49 In the third and fourth part of his study Sadger outlines Kleist’s relationship to his fiancée and the importance of male friendship in his life. The final chapter offers a psychoanalytic interpretation of the specific requirements for Kleist’s double suicide with Henriette Vogel. Sadger argues that Henriette’s roles as wife and mother, and her willingness to die with Kleist, fulfilled the poet’s inverted longing for unification with his mother.

Sadger’s attempt to destigmatise the figure of the creative genius entailed a move away from Möbius’s biological framework. Yet there emerges a remarkable contradiction at the heart of Sadger’s assumption: he introduces the term Belastung to dissociate creativity from the negative connotations surrounding the term ‘degeneration’ but, in comparison with Möbius, Sadger seems wholly concerned with negative character traits. Where Möbius underlines positive character traits in genius, such as bravery, wit, acquisitiveness and love of children, Sadger sees no need to categorise the positive traits of genius; they are never discussed in his many psychoanalytic pathographies.50 Nor did Sadger ever posit any possible links between creativity and resilience.

Methodological similarities between psychiatric and psychoanalytic pathographies therefore consisted in their biographical focus, in their neglect of the subject’s creative oeuvre and achievements, and in interpreting certain character traits as an expression of an underlying medical symptomatology. Sadger remained true to Möbius’s closed case study format, in that he used creative artists solely as a means to illustrate his theories. Psychoanalysis allowed him to hypothesise about the early lives of creative artists, and about their psychological conflicts, more convincingly and in more detail than Möbius. However, he retained (p.67) the same blind spot, namely the inability to see and affirm the artists’ gift for creation – the reason why artists became illustrative cases in the first place.

Creative artists and the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society

The most vehement critique of pathography originated from inside Freud’s immediate circle of psychoanalysts in Vienna. To the members of the WPV Sadger became the contested representative of pathography, despite his avowed intermediary position between psychiatric and psychoanalytic reasoning.51 As a proxy for psychiatric pathographies, his contributions stood at the heart of the question that, beginning in 1906, engulfed the Vienna group for almost a decade: the question of whether the open or the closed case modality was best suited to the task of analysing creative artists. Open dialogic-psychoanalytic case studies considered both the life and the oeuvre of such individuals and granted some agency to the creative artist, while closed case studies were illustrations of pathography.

The ripostes in these debates proved complex and long-winded, and have since been attributed with far-ranging implications. Freudian and literary scholar Peter Rudnytsky has argued that they contributed to the growing maturity of the psychoanalytic movement.52 Historian of psychoanalysis Louis Rose contends that they laid the groundwork for Freud’s cultural theoretical writings of the inter-war period, while to American psychologist and Freud critic Frank Sulloway the literary style of reasoning developed in this period came at the cost of objectivity and scientificity.53

In a manner of speaking, all these commentators were right, at least partly. The heated debates inside the WPV concerning the use of psychoanalytic pathographies as mere illustrations of psychological phenomena in general, and the relative merits of dialogic-psychoanalytic case studies for representing creative artists, became a means of articulating views on creative agency; issues surrounding methodology; claims to scientificity. More specifically, these discussions provided a forum in which a scientific model for explaining creativity could first emerge. In this ultimately stunted attempt, the case study genre played a pivotal role, since Freud’s preferred method for investigating creative art and artists was through writing dialogic-psychoanalytic case studies. These allowed for controlled play between specific details and general observations, and were aimed at overcoming resistance in his readers. Nonetheless, in the introduction to his 1919 treatise on the evolution of the Volksepik, or ‘folk epic’, Otto Rank conceded:

Coming from pathology, psychoanalysis has shed piercing light on the little-understood part of the unconscious formation of fantasy, yet was (p.68) only able to provide isolated insights into the complex process of creative production; up until now these have not blossomed into a concluding delineation.54

In his thoroughgoing study of the WPV, Rose portrays the organisation as a ‘new center of cultural activity’.55 It might be more accurate to say that in 1906 Freud instigated in psychoanalysis a turn towards analysis of creative artists; he wished to outline the relationship between psychoanalysis, psychiatry and creativity, and saw his chance to use such case studies to promote the cause of psychoanalysis as a discipline. Not by chance were the early popularisers of psychoanalysis, Sadger and Rank, the key figures in this debate about genius and creativity.56

During the summer of 1906 Freud read Gradiva by German novelist Wilhelm Jensen (1837–1911) and his literary case study about the novella was published the following year.57 In 1906 he also met the young Rank, who, upon being introduced to Freud, had three manuscripts ready to show: eventually published in 1907, Rank’s two-chapter theoretical-psychoanalytic case study Der Künstler had been inspired by Freud’s 1905 Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie (Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality). Also honed by 1906 was Rank’s first draft of his study on the incest motif (published in 1912), as well as an unpublished manuscript on the motif of homosexuality in literature. Rank’s biographer E. James Lieberman explains how the young Rank had gained considerable insight into his own psyche through engagement with literary and philosophical works before he became a devout disciple of Freud.58 Rank’s drafts on the topic made such a favourable impression upon Freud that he appointed Rank as the paid secretary of the WPV and the editor of its minutes. Also in 1906 Freud invited Sadger, Sadger’s nephew Fritz Wittels and bookseller Hugo Heller to join the society. Wilhelm Stekel, a gifted analyst of symbols, and professor of musicology Max Graf – the father of ‘Little Hans’ – had already been part of Freud’s circle since its inception in 1902.59 With Graf and lawyer Hanns Sachs, Rank was part of a younger generation of psychoanalysts who were not physicians and who were interested to open psychoanalysis to the consideration of culture and society.

In other words, although the members of the WPV belonged to a range of professions, the 1906 expansion and subsequent consolidation of the group brought in several avid culture enthusiasts and experts. Lectures about creative artists and aspects of their oeuvre became commonplace during the weekly meetings of the WPV. The content of these lectures established a precedent, such that a range of newcomers to the WPV presented on topics related to the sphere of cultural and artistic activity.60 For example, Rank’s three inaugural lectures to the society in October 1906 discussed the representation of incest in selected works of German and world literature, while one month later Sadger gave his initial lecture, speaking on the relationship between Austrian poet (p.69) Nikolaus Lenau (1802–50) and his passion for Sophie von Löwenthal, the wife of a friend. These lectures and the ensuing discussions had the great advantage of facilitating dialogue between old and new members of the WPV; as learned members of the middle class, all were easily familiar with the subject matter to hand. There was no need to present lengthy case histories; speakers were free to concentrate on the details important for their particular reflections.

The new psychoanalytic investigations of artists and their oeuvre filled the members of the WPV with a joyful inquisitiveness. Freud described the ‘connection between the impressions of the artist’s childhood and his life-history on the one hand and his works, as reactions to those impressions, on the other’ as ‘one of the most attractive subjects of analytic examination’.61 These debates also attracted animated attention further afield, particularly from Swiss circles interested in psychoanalysis. Carl Gustav Jung wrote to Freud in 1907, wishing him to know that

the history of Jensen’s childhood is now clear to me. A very beautiful solution is to be found in the stories ‘The Red Umbrella’ and ‘In the Gothic House’. Both, particularly the first, are wonderful parallels of ‘Gradiva’, sometimes down to the finest details. The problem is one of brother–sister love. Has Jensen a sister? I refrain from expatiating on the details, it would only spoil the charm of discovery.62

Yet the deliberations of members of the WPV were also defined by much ambivalence. Many members of the circle had dabbled in writing literature during puberty (as was common for middle-class male youth at the time) and contributors to the WPV meetings regularly made comments about their emotional rapport with writers and their works. Still, it is safe to assume that many would have explained the overcoming of their artistic inclinations in psychoanalytic terms, as personal psychological progress. The passion that the psychoanalysts brought to debates concerning genius and creativity was fuelled by a complex subcurrent of competitiveness with writers of literature and poetry in particular, and creative artists in general.

Perhaps the best example of this atmosphere of competitiveness can be found in the debate that followed a presentation to the WPV on 12 January 1910 by Wittels, concerning Austrian writer and journalist Karl Kraus. Wittels, a former friend of Kraus, had shared with him a love for underage actress Irma Karczewska, a fact known to the members of the WPV. In his talk Wittels gave a relatively insightful and reflective psychoanalytic account of Kraus’s character and career. The response in the ranks of the WPV was divided, but positive overall. However, Freud pointed out the need for tolerance in such an analysis, since otherwise it would rightfully incur the charge of inhumanity – and, one could add, border on character assassination. Reform pedagogue Karl Furtmüller agreed vehemently with Freud; he found Wittels’s talk overly dogmatic, and insufficient in explaining why Kraus did not fit the journalistic mould (p.70) epitomised by the middle-class Viennese daily Neue Freie Presse. Wittels inferred that, to Kraus, the newspaper symbolised his father. Freud also gently warned Wittels to avoid publicising his analysis outside the scientific realms of the WPV.63 Freud’s hunch about Wittels’s need for a wider audience, and by implication, for a narcissistic triumph over his former friend, turned out to be correct. In the year of his talk Wittels published a satirical roman-à-clef titled Ezechiel. Der Zugereiste (Ezechiel. The Newcomer) which depicts Kraus in a highly ironic light. As a result, Wittels was evicted from the ranks of the WPV and joined forces with Freud again only in 1925. Unsurprisingly the novel heightened Kraus’s outspoken criticism of psychoanalysis.64

As already flagged, the matter of creativity and genius formed an important theme of the weekly gatherings of the WPV from the time when Rank began minuting the meetings in 1906. At its centre remained the question of whether creativity could be understood as an inherited trait or as a function of the psyche. Sadger introduced the term Belastung on the occasion of his first lecture at the WPV (on Lenau), and from the beginning Freud objected to the genetic implications created by such a focus. In Freud’s view it deflected attention from the formation of symptoms. Sadger, Freud suggested, had not considered the fact that Lenau was an onanist throughout his life.65 As Katja Guenther has succinctly argued, Freud’s contribution to neurology consists of the discovery that lived experience can contribute to symptom formation, which is not necessarily caused by physical lesions (as previously assumed).66 Nonetheless, Sadger insisted that some proclivities cannot be explained by psychosexual causes.67

During the two and a half years between Sadger’s talks on Lenau and Kleist, his presentations on poets to the same ‘inner circle’ of psychoanalysts became increasingly contested, mainly because others in the group, including Freud, had developed an interest in artists that was distinctly different from Sadger’s. Among his colleagues in the WPV, a shift from pathography to exploration of the creative process as the main goal of psychoanalytic thinking took place in exactly this timeframe.68 The ambitious and productive methodological debates that ensued occurred against the backdrop of Freud’s as well as Rank’s research and publications on the topic. While sometimes discussed critically in secondary literature, these debates are usually outlined from a Freudian perspective.69

Three aspects of Sadger’s works sparked repeated criticism: his aim, his methodology and the impact of his studies on the lay reader. Sadger intended to use a select group of poets to illustrate his contribution to the theory of degeneration; although his self-attested aim was to humanise the poets, this project met with increasing resistance inside the WPV. Deliberations concerning the case modality most apposite for writing about creative artists became emotional on more than one occasion. Early on, fellow physician Max Steiner supported Sadger’s (p.71) pathographical approach to Swiss writer Conrad Ferdinand Meyer.70 Wittels also considered Sadger’s position sympathetically; he spoke against the emotive character of the discussions and supported a biographical approach, fearing that the new suggested methodology was too subjectively focused on analysis of an artist’s oeuvre, and allowed projection of subconscious interpretations onto literary works.71 Yet, after the Kleist paper in 1909, even the gentle Rank declared – with some exasperation – his ‘in principle’, personal dislike of pathography.72 In response to Sadger’s 1907 lecture on Meyer, Freud had explicitly stated that he saw no need to write pathographies at all: ‘theories can only suffer, and subject matter does not gain anything by it’.73 Rudolf Reitler, Stekel, Freud, Graf, Hugo Schwerdtner, Rank and Ernst Federn all spoke out against pathography (some more than once) and Sadger’s reliance on it as a form of enquiry.74

Graf commented thoughtfully on the debate. He confirmed pathology to be pertinent to biographical studies of authors, but affirmed the average artist to be ‘healthy’. Graf also provided a reason for this argument, namely that the creative process enables artists to overcome their psychological impediments and resolve their inner conflicts, as both Freud and Rank had already stated. Graf further maintained that ‘the purely medical analysis, the pathography, does not contribute to the understanding of the creative process, because it only deals with such inhibitions, and not with the positive creative forces’.75 In 1909 Freud commented in a similar vein when he poignantly declared that ‘poets are too precious to us to simply [serve to] illustrate that every human being has such typical fundamental impulses’.76 His statement hones in on the significant difference between the two case modalities that were contested in the WPV: at stake was the overgeneralisation about the nature of creative artists versus investigation of the creative process – mastery of which provides artists with the agency to help themselves and their audience in psychological terms.

On a methodological level, two criticisms were levelled at Sadger’s approach. Firstly, Graf contended that Sadger’s understanding of autobiographical sources was naive. Like Möbius, Sadger had argued that autobiographical texts made available a form of evidence more reliable than literary representation: in a work of fiction, he claimed, it remains impossible to identify an authentic truth about the author, as distinct from a figment of his or her imagination.77 Similarly to Krafft-Ebing, Sadger argued in his lecture on Meyer that the literary oeuvre does not reveal with any certainty ‘what the poet really experienced, since nothing differentiates the real from illusion’. Consequently, to Sadger it seemed impossible to decide ‘where truth ends and poetry begins’.78 Graf objected by arguing that the reliability of autobiographical sources is also compromised, as artists already think about posterity while writing, and subsequently gloss over issues, especially when they claim to speak the truth.79

(p.72) The members of the WPV raised a second, related objection in the context of Sadger’s biographical treatment of Kleist, in which he daringly explored Kleist’s family constellations and homosexual leanings. Sadger drew his conclusions indirectly, which earned him much criticism for a lack of biographical evidence that might verify his hypothesis. Eduard Hitschmann stated that biographical materials were unavailable for the first twenty years of Kleist’s life and, as such, an attempt at a pathography was nonsense. It followed, argued Federn, that Kleist’s subconscious homosexuality and his overly close bond to his mother represented figments of Sadger’s imagination. Freud’s exasperation focused on the missing evidence and the wrong interpretations.80

The problem of limited sources has remained a long-standing issue for biographers of Kleist, as demonstrated by the wave of biographies occasioned by the two-hundredth anniversary of Kleist’s death in 2011. In the book version of Sadger’s study of Kleist (his lecture can be accessed only indirectly, through the WPV minutes) Sadger did reference relatively recently discovered materials in his elaborations, including Kleist’s emotive letter to his admired friend Ernst Heinrich Adolf von Pfuel. Kleist biographer Sigismund Rahmer had unearthed this document only in 1902, in the Pfuel family archive. Rahmer had a great interest in pathographical studies – he edited the aforementioned series ‘Grenzfragen der Literatur und Medizin’, and published two pathographies, on Strindberg and Lenau.81 Yet when it came to Kleist, Rahmer refused such an approach – at one with Sadger’s opponents in the WPV – due to the dearth of sources, and because of his declared esteem of the poet. By contrast, Sadger saw Rahmer’s refusal as a chance missed.

From a twenty-first-century perspective, Sadger’s study of Kleist has at least in part stood the test of time, prompting the question of what else Sadger’s fellow WPV members found challenging about his ideas and expression. Why did psychoanalysts fail to appreciate the potential of psychoanalytic pathographies to further their cause through the dissemination of psychoanalytic vocabulary and concepts? The criticism most consistently voiced was the perceived unpopularity of pathography, both within the WPV and among the imagined readers of Sadger’s work. At the same time, this deep resentment that pathography triggered in the WPV seems astounding, considering that Sadger’s interest in poets presumably played a crucial role in his admission to the circle. Yet it is most enlightening in this context that Federn remarked that Stekel had expressed a fear that Sadger’s publications would shed a negative light on the discipline of psychoanalysis as a whole.82 This alarm was not entirely unfounded within the reasoning of the group: Sadger published his studies in the Löwenfeld series, which had already been instrumental in the dissemination of Freud’s ideas to scientific readers, as Freud stated in a letter to Jung on 1 January 1907.83 If Freud’s turn towards investigating creative artists and their works was an attempt to popularise psychoanalysis beyond his immediate circle of followers, then within the WPV the heavy-handed (p.73) reaction to Sadger’s attempts to write pathography were also related to a fear that Sadger’s works might successfully monopolise the topic, both to the outside world and within psychoanalytic circles.

Regrettably, there is little indication as to how Sadger’s pathographies, and indeed pathographies in general, were received in the years between 1907 and 1912. While his works on Meyer and Kleist were published in Löwenfeld’s renowned series, none of Sadger’s volumes was reprinted after the first edition. If we see Sadger’s work in a localised psychoanalytic context, however, it has to be pointed out that the heavy-handed Viennese viewpoint was not matched by others. The available reviews of Sadger’s Meyer study, written by Jung, and by theologian and future lay psychoanalyst Oscar Pfister, were overwhelmingly positive. Jung was Freud’s disciple at the time when he wrote his review; his essay underlines the special place this psychoanalytic study held within the genre of pathography, and emphasises Sadger’s striving to ‘encompass the development of the whole personality psychologically, to truly understand it’. As a psychiatrist he judged Sadger’s efforts accurately. Four years later Pfister called the same study ‘a valuable, tactful and scientific monograph’.84

Negative emotion and attempts to defend Freud’s position seem to have coalesced in resistance to Sadger’s pathographic writing, even though many of the alternatives presented by other members of the WPV likewise failed to follow Freud’s model of an open case study. Actually, those writings by Stekel, Rank and Freud that did not encompass contemplation of the author’s oeuvre garnered little attention. Meanwhile, at least in print, Sadger modified his position only in 1912, in an essay for the first volume of Imago titled ‘Von der Pathographie zur Psychographie’ (‘From Pathography to Psychography’), when he finally integrated analysis of a poet’s work with a biographical account. This essay also represents Sadger’s last endeavour on the topic of creative genius.

The dialogic-psychoanalytic case study

Anticipating the workings of the unconscious in his readers, it was Freud who developed the most nuanced strategies for engaging with the creative arts. Freud was also the main proponent of the dialogic-psychoanalytic case study. Besides ‘Der Wahn und die Träume in W. Jensens “Gradiva”’ (‘Delusions and Dreams in Jensen’s “Gradiva”’), the key texts of this case modality are Freud’s analysis of a childhood memory written down by Leonardo da Vinci (1910), ‘Eine Kindheitserinnerung des Leonardo da Vinci’; the discussion of William Shakespeare’s theme of the three caskets (1913); and his analysis of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s marble statue of Moses (1914). The last was published anonymously, in the psychoanalytic periodical Imago.85 The method behind Freud’s analyses of creative artists and their oeuvres differed from that of psychiatric and psychoanalytic pathographies. Rather than illustrating psychiatric or psychoanalytic (p.74) theories, the dialogic-psychoanalytic case study correlated a facet of an artist’s biography with a particular aspect of the oeuvre, or with one of the artist’s works in particular.

Freud’s investigation of the relationship of creative artists to the subconscious began with an informal talk of 1907 titled ‘Der Dichter und das Phantasieren’ (‘Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming’, published in 1908), which portrays the artist as an intermediary between the neurotic and the dreamer. In his study of Freud’s readings of literature and art, Michael Rohrwasser submits that Freud viewed the artist as his ‘unsanctified opponent’.86 If Freud’s position appears positively mellow in the context of the WPV, nevertheless such underlying competitiveness was present, and productively so. It allowed Freud new methodological insights into the workings of the case study genre, and instigated an adaptation of the closed case study modalities of psychiatry and psychoanalysis.

May 1907 saw publication of Freud’s first major analysis of a work of literary fiction, the essay ‘Der Wahn und die Träume in W. Jensens “Gradiva”’, centred on Wilhelm Jensen’s story Gradiva. Here Freud outlines his understanding of the relationship between psychiatry, art and psychoanalysis, and showcases a new case modality, termed throughout the present volume the dialogic-psychoanalytic case study. This form of case study includes analysis of a specific part of a creative artist’s oeuvre, and considers it either with reference to an aspect of the artist’s life history, or with reference to the workings of art – as occurs in the Gradiva case study. Freud’s development of this new case modality was motivated by the desire to tempt his readers away from their resistance to the closed case modalities that were characteristic of psychiatry and psychoanalysis. His dialogic-psychoanalytic case study of Gradiva functions like other pathographical studies to the extent that it serves to illustrate a generalised rule; more precisely, it demonstrates the essential result of his earlier book Die Traumdeutung (The Interpretation of Dreams) – that dreams represent wish fulfilment. At the same time, Freud’s account of Gradiva adapted the case study genre in a self-conscious attempt to maintain middle-class readers’ interest in his insights into the workings of art.

As becomes apparent in ‘Der Dichter und das Phantasieren’, Freud was fascinated by the ways in which poets ‘[manage] to make such an impression on us with [their works] and to arouse in us emotions of which, perhaps, we had not even thought ourselves capable’.87 He outlines two crucial strategies in this regard: the softening of the writer’s egotistic daydreams through alterations and disguise, and the enticement of the reader through the reward of aesthetic pleasure, which in turn allows the reader the release of greater pleasure from deeper sources.88 Arguably Freud also wished to reduce the distance he felt between his own writerly nature ‘and that of the common run of humanity’ (his readers), as part of an attempt to popularise psychoanalytic theories.89 His rhetorical strategies curbed the attack on creative artists that readers had come to expect. He persuasively sought to overcome readers’ resistance by providing aesthetic (p.75) reading pleasure, by using a rhetoric of humility, and, most importantly, by introducing a controlled dissonance between the particulars of the case study and the surrounding theory based on his understanding of the workings of the unconscious.

Freud’s Gradiva case study exemplifies his sophisticated insights and his manipulations of readers, revealing his motivation for such a writing project. Early on in this study Freud hypothesises that, within the discipline of psychiatry, Norbert Hanold, the protagonist of Jensen’s story, would be classified as degenerate. Freud notes that the diagnosis of degeneration – ‘whether it is right or wrong’ – distances the reader from the main character, because to classify somebody as ‘degenerate’ seems removed from the reader, who sees him- or herself as ‘an average human being and as the norm’.90 In the discussions of the WPV this argument was generally accepted. Freud, Rank and Stekel repeated this assessment early on; Stekel reaffirmed his view on the occasion of Sadger giving his Kleist paper, in 1909.91 On the same occasion, Freud outspokenly essayed why listeners felt like resisting Sadger, even when Sadger presented correct statements: in Freud’s opinion, academic discussion of creative artists without consideration of their oeuvres alienated the audience.

Seeking the opposite of alienation with his audience, in his pioneering analysis of Jensen’s Gradiva Freud mitigates the generalisations developed in Die Traumdeutung in three substantial ways. Firstly, like creative artists, he cultivates aesthetic pleasure. Freud’s biographer Ernest Jones observed that Freud’s da Vinci dialogic-psychoanalytic case study was ‘written with such delicacy and beauty of language as to rank high and to compel admiration for its literary qualities alone. In fact some reviewers, such as Moritz Necker in the Munich Allgemeine Zeitung, praised above all [Freud’s] masterly prose, “which many professional writers must envy”’.92

A second quality of the Gradiva study is Freud’s stance of humble self-reflexivity that similarly undermines the distance between psychoanalyst and reader. This self-reflexivity is at play, for instance, where Freud promotes sympathy for Hanold’s experience of temporary delusion. The protagonist of Jensen’s story is fascinated by a female figure in an antique bas-relief whom he names Gradiva. Zoe Bertgang is Hanold’s childhood friend who wishes to marry him, and when she appears as Gradiva, Hanold believes the encounter to be real. Freud likens this incident to that of a physician who experienced a similar phenomenon when visited by the sister of a diseased patient. Freud then admits to being this physician.93 Moreover, to refer to readers Freud uses the first-person plural pronoun ‘we’, thereby including himself in this broad category.

Almost inevitably, such a personal disclosure and intimate address has a levelling effect on the relationship between psychoanalytic specialist and reader. Freud’s admission in the Gradiva essay went hand in hand with an outspoken appreciation of creative artists and expression of tolerance towards their failures. In various comments to Sadger, Wittels and Stekel after their respective lectures in the WPV, Freud stressed (p.76) the importance of tolerance in understanding artists. His attempts to curb the competitive, projective streak in these analyses was based on a fundamental appreciation of the uniqueness of creative artists – and by extension of human beings in general. Freud underlines this position again in 1929 when elaborating on Goethe and da Vinci: ‘but human images can never be repeated, and profound differences between the two great men are not lacking’.94 In ‘Der Wahn und die Träume in W. Jensens “Gradiva”’, he goes so far as to describe Jensen’s story, or novella, as a ‘perfectly correct psychiatric study’.95 In a similarly receptive vein he addresses ‘our readers’ and anticipates his audience to be capable of formulating certain questions, and of critiquing his position. Hence he takes the opinions of his readers very seriously.

The third, and greatest, incentive for Freud’s readers to warm to his case studies of creative artists lay in the methodological realm. Scholars of rhetoric Gert Üding and Bernd Steinbrink have argued that the close alignment of framework and illustrative example defines the rhetorical power of case studies in argumentative discourse, and that in the literary realm the oscillation between framework and example creates the fictitious tone needed to entice readers and create ambiguity.96 By setting in play a controlled dissonance between the matter of the case study and his framing theory, Freud was able to balance the generalisations of the closed case study with particularisation. The meandering quality of Freud’s dialogic-psychoanalytic case studies reflects Freud’s understanding of cognitive processes, and derives from the texts’ intermediary position between argumentative and poetic discourses.

Freud developed two techniques in this context. Like Möbius in his early pathographies, he explored both biography and artistic works, yet instead of concentrating on the complete biography and oeuvre of a given creative artist, he focused on snippets of both that he contrasted with one another. This represented a further particularisation in light of the generalising nature of his theories. His readers could explore his insights further given their own broader background knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. In this way he allowed his readers to generate new insights along psychoanalytic principles. Where Möbius’s early case studies, for example, worked on the basis of comprehensiveness, the fact that Freud’s theories were generally applicable and accessible played in his favour. This meant that, ideally, readers who were familiar with the subject matter or his theories could further explore their understanding of both.

Freud also sidestepped the logic of the medical case study in another way, namely by inverting the importance of framing theory and example. This method resembles therapeutic techniques used to alleviate – in psychoanalytic terms – the resistances of the superego. Freud applies his insights into the workings of unconscious displacement (substitution of originally dangerous and unacceptable thoughts) through a new aim or a new object, by working with the logic of the unconscious, and by inverting the role of framing theory and example. The framing theory in his (p.77) dialogic-psychoanalytic case studies is rhetorically weak, but captures the reader’s attention with a question or proposition. Meanwhile, the reader is absorbed by an interesting and often roundabout example that does not quite fit the theory outlined. This gives Freud’s case writings an evocative character and well explains readers’ ongoing fascination with his writing.

In the Gradiva study, for instance, Freud’s framework for the case seems straightforward enough – he seeks to illustrate a paradigm developed in Die Traumdeutung (his most famous work at the time), namely that dreams represent fulfilled wishes rather than commonly believed future prognostications.97 The explanation of this paradigm he provides succinctly in the final paragraph, almost as an addendum, while the main focus of the case study is on the analysis of the short novel and his associative explorations of the relationship between psychoanalysis and the arts. The body of his discursive case study, then, provides the reader with an understanding of the terminology involved, and with new reflections, while not allowing the reader to oppose either the creative writer or the psychoanalyst in question. Thus the case study tricks the unconscious of its readers in order to enable them to enjoy and understand the workings of associative thought consciously as well as unconsciously.

To invoke Freud’s own words in relation to genius, a mere generalisation creates a distance which underlines the human fallibility of the creative artists in question and, by extension, the fallibility of the reader who identifies with the artist. It thus insults the reader’s superego, creating resistance. This effect is all the more powerful since Freud also concedes that ambivalence towards the genius is already a given among admirers of creative artists. Hence readers can project their innate ambivalence towards the father and other figures of authority such as the creative artist onto the closed-form pathographies of psychiatry and psychoanalysis.98 From this perspective, middle-class readers’ tendency towards idealisation revealed a decidedly immature streak.

By creating a case study modality that permitted readers to contain their ambivalence, rather than project it onto creative artists or expert writers of pathography, Freud sought to do justice to creative artists. By outlining not their abnormality but their capacity for insight, he drew his reader into a more complex narrative that marked the differences between the scientific endeavour of psychoanalysis and the humanist potential of literary writing.99 Rather than being mere illustrations of a psychoanalytic theory, Freud’s case studies seemingly ‘run away with him’: his meandering associations are perceptive and insightful, yet they do not always obviously connect to the question he set out to answer. Through reference to Jensen’s story and an explanation of the workings of art, Freud provided middle-class readers with the intellectual and emotional rewards that were needed for their embrace of his theories.

If, for Freud, art led to ‘a region in which, as it were, primitive man’s strivings for omnipotence are still in full force’, the question arises of how his insights from case studies of creative artists influenced his case (p.78) writings in general.100 Indeed, Freud conceded what psychiatry could ot: that creative artists are distinguished from psychoanalysts by their methodology, but share a similar understanding of the workings of the human mind:

The author no doubt proceeds differently. He directs his attention to the unconscious in his own mind, he listens to its possible developments and lends them artistic expression instead of suppressing them by conscious criticism. Thus he experiences from himself what we learn from others – the laws which the activities of this unconscious must obey. But he need not state these laws, nor even be clearly aware of them; as a result of the tolerance of his intelligence, they are incorporated within his creations. We discover these laws by analysing his writings just as we find them from cases of real illness; but the conclusion seems inescapable, that either both of us, the writer and the doctor, have misunderstood the unconscious in the same way, or we have both understood it correctly.101

The foregoing discussion has placed Freud’s writing into a much wider context of case writing, and has underlined how specific discourses as well as the attempt to communicate psychoanalytic results to a wider audience shaped his dialogic-psychoanalytic cases. Much has been said about the methodological contradictions between Freud’s published case histories and his therapeutic practice. Sulloway even contends that the reasoning of the former remains pseudo-scientific camouflage.102 In this context it is important to acknowledge that Freud’s preferred method of investigating creative art and artists was not confined to the dialogic-psychoanalytic case study. As sketched in his 1907 study of Gradiva, methodologically Freud envisaged two ways of pursuing analysis of literature. These differed from methods championed by psychiatrists and fellow psychoanalysts:

One [way] would be to enter deeply into a particular case, into the dream-creations of one author in one of his works. The other would be to bring together and contrast all the examples that could be found of the use of dreams in the works of different authors. The second method would seem to be far the more effective and perhaps the only justifiable one, for it frees us at once from the difficulties involved in adopting the artificial concept of ‘writers’ as a class. On investigation this class falls apart into individual writers of the most various worth – among them some whom we are accustomed to honour as the deepest observers of the human mind. In spite of this, however, these pages will be devoted to an enquiry of the first sort.103

In line with the psychoanalyst’s focus on a single patient, Freud viewed psychoanalytic studies of creative genius as intensive analysis of a particular case, and as a broader, thematic and more generalising psychoanalytic literary history. On publication of the Gradiva case study Freud already knew that such works existed, written by his devout pupil and protégé (p.79) Rank. By 1906, Freud was familiar with Rank’s three manuscripts mentioned earlier: the first draft of Der Künstler, and two preliminary versions of thematic analyses, one concerned with the literary motif of incest and the second focused on the motif of the homosexual.104

Das Inzest-Motiv in Dichtung und Sage (The Incest Theme in Literature and Legend, 1912) has been called the ‘most important single work of psychoanalytic criticism’ in relation to literature.105 Already in his 1914 essay on the history of psychoanalysis, Freud acknowledged the importance of Rank’s ‘exhaustive work on the theme of incest’, which he saw ‘easily tak[ing] the first place’ in psychoanalytic studies focused on literature, trumping his own works.106 Over 700 pages, with an encyclopaedic scope consisting of two parts and twenty-four chapters, Rank sets forth an overview of the literary depiction of subconscious incest phantasies between parents and children, and between siblings. His literary examples belong to the classical and Western canon, but also include observations concerning myth, legends and fables, and on the role of incest throughout history. Unlike Freud’s dialogic-psychoanalytic case studies, this work analyses the life histories and oeuvres of writers only occasionally. As Rank outlines in his introductory chapter, more thorough, more specific investigations needed to be postponed until after his study, which, he argues, explores the general and major findings. Indeed, some of Rank’s later works, particularly his evocative study of the doppelgänger motif – written in 1914 and published in 1925 – might be understood as instances of the ‘more thorough investigations’ he had envisioned.107 The sheer breadth of Das Inzest-Motiv in Dichtung und Sage, and its generalising impetus, pushed the case study genre to its limits. Driven by Rank’s need to arrive at an exhaustive explanation of the phenomenon in question and as a case compilation of sorts, it did not allow readers an easy identification through autobiographical case vignettes. Such commitment to generalisability had been manifest years earlier, in his comprehensive attempt to explain the nature of creative sublimation in Der Künstler.

Almost nothing is known about the contemporary reception of Das Inzest-Motiv in Dichtung und Sage. Freud predicted that the study’s ‘subject [was] bound to arouse the greatest unpopularity’.108 If Freud was correct, his assessment might explain why Rank decided against publishing his follow-up volume on homosexuality. It was with limited success, then, that Rank – with Freud’s support – tried to lead the psychoanalytic case study genre beyond Freud’s dialogic-psychoanalytic case study into new territory of the thematic case compilation, and it remains intriguing to ponder why Freud left it to Rank to develop the open-form case study to a more comprehensive level. Rank’s more schematic attempts to explore the nature of genius met a fate similar to psychiatric and psychoanalytic pathographies: these more generalising studies failed to attract the attention of either the psychoanalytic movement or the educated reading public. (p.80)

This chapter has examined the styles of reasoning adopted in biographical case studies of creative artists in the early twentieth century. In psychiatric pathographic writing, the shift from the open- to the closed-form case study developed chronologically, whereas in psychoanalytic writing the same shift occurred simultaneously. This caused friction in Freud’s inner circle of fellow psychoanalysts and a fragmentation of psychoanalytic knowledge about creative artists and their work that continues to haunt the psychoanalytic investigation of literature and artworks.

Writers of the closed-form case studies utilised only the life histories of prominent cultural figures in an attempt to explain certain theories and to normalise specific behaviours. These case writings include the modern psychiatric pathographies of the early twentieth century; the majority of Sadger’s psychoanalytic pathographies (before his late turn to psychography in 1912); and the typologies of artists written by Stekel, Rank and Freud. In very different ways, these closed case studies written by psychiatrists and psychoanalysts provided readers with generalisations concerning literary authors and other artists that did not include consideration of their creative oeuvres. This generated resistance among educated middle-class readers, who, after all, admired ‘cultural greats’ first and foremost for their works, and who had come to admire, idealise and even fetishise their personae through engagement with the results of their creative efforts.

On the other hand, the open-form case studies integrated information about creative artists with consideration of their oeuvre. These examples were thus characterised by a dialogic structure and an appreciation that – as articulated by Möbius for the very first pathography – literary and artistic works belong to a wider educated public, not only to medicine.109 To Freud, Möbius was the forefather of psychotherapy. He was a neurologist and his early pathographies constituted a new kind of medical-biographical expert case study, outlining ways in which hereditary influences shaped the life of a genius as much as the average burgher.110 Due to their open form, and their acknowledgement of the literary or artistic oeuvre, his pathographies encountered much less resistance among the intellectual elite and middle-class readers. Discussion of the oeuvre gave Möbius the opportunity to integrate new insights about his subject, and so afforded a more balanced picture of the gifted individual, one that did not rely on generalising statements alone. A comparable specificity and dialogic structure are inherent in Freud’s famous studies of literary or artistic works and in Rank’s literary historical investigations.

Perhaps the greatest difference between these contributions to debate about creative artists within psychiatry and psychoanalysis lay in the interest shown by Rank and Freud in the mystery of the creative process. In many ways this enabled Freud to carve out what he perceived as a scientific middle ground between psychiatry and literature, which entailed (p.81) a dissociation from both fields of knowledge. The discursive parameters of psychiatry did not favour interest in the workings of the psyche in general, nor in the workings of creative minds in particular; literature and the other arts, according to Freud, produced these insights intuitively rather than scientifically. To psychiatrists and psychoanalysts of the fin de siècle, interrogation of the lives and works of creative artists contributed significantly to the humanisation of certain medical, psychiatric and psychological phenomena. By way of significant contrast, Chapter 3 explores the satirical means through which the creative writer Oskar Panizza resisted psychiatric narratives of genius and madness, and also how these narratives intimately fashioned concepts of the writerly self.


(1) Rob Pope, Creativity. Theory, History, Practice (New York: Routledge, 2005), p. 236.

(2) Christian von Zimmermann, Biographische Anthropologie. Menschenbilder in lebensgeschichtlicher Darstellung (1830–1940) (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2006), p. 8.

(3) See Birgit Lang and Katie Sutton, ‘The Aesthetics of Sexual Ethics: Geschlecht und Gesellschaft and Middle-Class Sexual Modernity in Fin-de-Siècle Germany’, Oxford German Studies, 44:2 (2015), pp. 177–98.

(4) Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into Category of Bourgeois Society, trans. Thomas Burger (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1989), pp. 50f.

(5) Important titles of a general nature are Marilyn Charles, Psychoanalysis and Literature: The Stories We Live (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015); Shoshana Felman, Literature and Psychoanalysis: The Question of Reading, Otherwise (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982); Lilian R. Furst, Just Talk: Narratives of Psychoanalysis (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1999); Jean-Michel Rabaté, The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and Psychoanalysis (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014); Shlomith Rimmon-Kennan, Discourse in Psychoanalysis and Literature (Routledge Revivals) (Hoboken: Taylor & Francis, 2014); Steve Vine, Literature in Psychoanalysis: A Reader (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005); Linda Ruth Williams, Critical Desire: Psychoanalysis and the Literary Subject (London: Edward Arnold, 1995); Paul Williams and Glen O. Gabbard, Key Papers in Literature and Psychoanalysis (London: Karnac, 2007).

(6) Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, vol. I: An Introduction, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Vintage Books, 1990), p. 140; Susanne Hilken, Matthias Bormuth and Michael Schmidt-Degenhard, ‘Psychiatrische Anfänge der Pathographie’, in Matthias Bormuth, Klaus Podoll and Carsten Spitzer (eds), Kunst und Krankheit. Studien zur Pathographie (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2007), pp. 11–26; Jutta Person, Der pathographische Blick. Physiognomik, Atavismustheorien und Kulturkritik (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2005), p. 11. In the context of criminality, a Foucaultian approach was influentially first promoted in Peter Becker, Verderbnis und Entartung. Eine Geschichte der Kriminologie des 19. Jahrhunderts als Diskurs und Praxis (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2002).

(8) See Anne Hunsaker Hawkins, Reconstructing Illness: Studies in Pathography, 2nd edition (West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 1999).

(p.82) (9) Burkhard Madea, ‘Case Histories in Forensic Medicine’, Forensic Science International, 165 (2007), pp. 111–14, p. 111.

(10) On the complex history of Möbius’s departure from his university employer see Holger Steinberg, ‘Als ob ich zu einer steinernen Wand spräche’. Der Nervenarzt Paul Julius Möbius. Eine Werkbiografie (Bern: Huber, 2005), pp. 58–112.

(11) Holger Steinberg, Kraepelin in Leipzig. Eine Begegnung von Psychiatrie und Psychologie (Bonn: Narrenschiff, 2001).

(12) Emil Kraepelin, Psychiatrie: ein Lehrbuch für Studirende und Aerzte, 6th edition (Leipzig: Barth, 1899). Möbius discusses Kraepelin’s new categories in Paul Julius Möbius, “Über Entartung”, in Leopold Löwenfeld and Hans Kurella (eds), Grenzfragen des Nerven- und Seelenlebens (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1900), pp. 95–123, p. 102.

(13) Ulrich Palm and Hans-Jürgen Möller, ‘Reception of Kraepelin’s Ideas 1900–1960. Review Article’, Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 65 (2011), pp. 318–25, p. 318. On Kraepelin’s status in the history of psychiatry see Paul Hoff, Emil Kraepelin und die Psychiatrie als klinische Wissenschaft (Berlin: Springer, 1994); Richard Noll, American Madness: The Rise and Fall of Dementia Praecox (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011), pp. 66–73.

(14) Paul Julius Möbius, Über das Pathologische bei Goethe (Leipzig: Barth, 1898), p. 16.

(15) Möbius’s special interest in creative artists of outstanding cultural importance began with a study of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1889. In the opening pages of this study, he refers to the merit of Rousseau’s works, which, he points out, belong to the educated public, not only to medicine. Möbius justifies his project by noting that the biographical literature available in French and German clearly lacks an understanding of Rousseau’s medical history. If anything, Möbius acknowledges concerns about the propriety of bringing medical knowledge to a wider public. Paul Julius Möbius, J.-J. Rousseau’s Krankheitsgeschichte (Leipzig: Vogel, 1889), p. v. His monograph on philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, first published in 1899, represents another example of an early pathography. Paul Julius Möbius, Über Schopenhauer (Leipzig: Barth, 1903).

(16) Paul Julius Möbius, Über das Pathologische bei Goethe (Leipzig: Barth, 1898), p. 6.

(17) Paul Julius Möbius, Über den physiologischen Schwachsinn des Weibes, 5th edition (Halle a.S.: Marhold, 1903), p. 43.

(19) Paul Julius Möbius, Goethe (Leipzig: Barth, 1903), pp. 37–66.

(20) Gall’s categories are simplified to the following: ‘life instinct, drive to eat, group sense and sense of order’. Möbius, Goethe, p. 39.

(21) The complete list encompasses life instinct, drive to eat, sex drive, love of children, friendship and attachment, group sense, bravery, activity (in the sense of both thirst for action and vehemency of character), cunningness, acquisitiveness, vanity, thoughtfulness, religion, wit, power of judgement, sense of order, sense for mimicry, poetry, philology, philosophy, visual arts, architecture, music and mathematics.

(22) ‘[G]esunde Weiber und nicht Gehirndamen.’ Möbius, Über den physiologischen Schwachsinn des Weibes, p. 43; Steinberg, ‘Als ob ich zu einer steinernen Wand spräche’, pp. 225–6; Heinz-Jürgen Voß, Making Sex Revisited. Dekonstruktion des Geschlechts aus biologisch-medizinischer Perspektive (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2010), pp. 178–80.

(23) ‘Die Dichter und Künstler sind im Allgemeinen Leute von hohem Streben, indessen sind sie eine sinnlich, geschlechtlich reizbare Rasse und höchst unregelmässig in ihrer Lebensweise.’ Paul Julius Möbius, Über Kunst und Künstler (Leipzig: Barth, 1901), p. 79.

(24) The expressions of outrage included but were in no way limited to works of German suffragettes such Hewig Dohm’s Die Antifeministen (1902), Oda Olberg’s (p.83) Der Weib und der Intellectualismus (1902) and Johanna Elberskirchen’s treatise Feminismus und Wissenschaft (1903). Steinberg discusses Möbius’s understanding of gender and its reception through second-wave feminism in Als ob ich zu einer steinernen Wand spräche’, pp. 225–6.

(25) Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Prologue to Venus in Furs, in Gilles Deleuze and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Masochism: Coldness and Cruelty, and Venus in Furs, trans. Jean McNeil (New York: Zone Books, 1991), pp. 143–271, p. 145.

(26) See in particular Richard J. Evans, ‘In Search of German Social Darwinism. The History and Historiography of a Concept’, in Manfred Berg and Geoffrey Cocks (eds), Medicine and Modernity: Public Health and Medical Care in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 55–80; also Alfred Kelly, The Descent of Darwin: The Popularization of Darwinism in Germany, 1860–1914 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981). In Germany, Max Nordau directed his critique against selected modernist artists in his controversial Entartung (1892); much of this thought was inspired by Cesare Lombroso’s attempts to conceptualise the effects of degeneration in men of genius.

(27) In chronological order, the relevant titles are: Paul Julius Möbius, Über das Pathologische bei Nietzsche (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1900); Albert Eulenburg, Sadismus und Masochismus (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1902); Ferdinand Probst, Der Fall Otto Weininger (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1904); Isidor Sadger, Konrad Ferdinand Meyer. Eine pathologisch-psychologische Studie (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1908); Gaston Vorberg, Guy de Maupassants Krankheit (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1908); Isidor Sadger, Heinrich von Kleist. Eine pathographisch-psychologische Studie (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1909); Oswald Feis, Hector Berlioz. Eine pathographische Studie (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1909); Alfred Storch, August Strindberg im Lichte seiner Selbstbiographie (Munich: Bergmann, 1921); Adolf Heidenhain, J. J. Rousseau (Munich: Bergmann, 1924); Walther Riese, Vincent van Gogh in der Krankheit (Munich: Bergmann, 1926). Other titles that relate more generally to the arts: Leopold Löwenfeld, Über die geniale Geistesthätigkeit mit besonderer Berücksichtigung des Genies für bildende Kunst (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1903); Ernst Anton Jentsch, Musik und Nerven, 2 vols (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1904 and 1911); Leopold Löwenfeld, Hypnose und Kunst (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1904); Leopold Löwenfeld, Über die geistige Arbeitskraft und Hygiene (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1905); Otto Hinrichsen, Zur Psychologie und Psychopathologie des Dichters (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1911); Otto Hinrichsen, Sexualität und Dichtung. Ein weiterer Beitrag zur Psychologie des Dichters (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1912).

(28) The published titles were: Erich Ebstein, Chr. D. Grabbes Krankheit (Munich: Reinhardt, 1906); Ferdinand Probst, Edgar Allan Poe (Munich: Reinhardt, 1906); Sigismund Rahmer, August Strindberg. Eine pathologische Studie (Munich: Reinhardt, 1907); Alfred Lichtenstein, Der Kriminalroman. Eine literarische und forensisch-medizinische Studie mit Anhang: Sherlock Holmes zum Fall Hau (Munich: Reinhardt, 1908).

(29) ‘[S]pitzfindige psychiatrische Differentialdiagnostik.’ Isidor Sadger, ‘Von der Pathographie zur Psychographie’, in Jens Malte Fischer (ed.), Psychoanalytische Literaturinterpretationen (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1980), pp. 64–85, p. 65.

(30) Alan Dundes, ‘Introduction’, in Isidor Sadger, Recollecting Freud, ed. Alan Dundes (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005), p. 8. Sadger had arrived in the Austrian capital from Galicia aged sixteen to study at the prestigious medical faculty of the University of Vienna, from which he graduated eight years later, in 1891.

(31) Ulrike May, ‘Ein Traum (1897) und ein Brief (1902): Zur frühen Beziehung zwischen Freud und Isidor Sadger’, Luzifer-Amor. Zeitschrift zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse, 12:24 (1999), pp. 25–48, p. 27.

(32) See Ulrike May-Tolzmann, ‘Zu den Anfängen des Narzißmus: Ellis-Näcke-Sadger-Freud’, Luzifer-Amor. Zeitschrift zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse, 4:8 (1991), pp. 50–88; May, ‘Ein Traum (1897) und ein Brief (1902)’. (p.84)

(34) Birgit Lang and Katie Sutton, ‘The Queer Cases of Psychoanalysis: Rethinking the Scientific Study of Homosexuality, 1890s–1920s’, German History, 34:3 (2016), pp. 419–44, p. 431.

(35) Alan C. Elms, ‘Sigmund Freud, Psychohistorian’, Annual of Psychoanalysis, 31 (2003), pp. 65–78, pp. 68–71; Charles B. Strozier and Daniel Offer, ‘Freud and His Followers’, in Charles B. Strozier and Oliger Abdyli (eds), The Leader: Psychological Essays (New York: Springer, 2011), pp. 13–30, pp. 14–15; Edward Timms, Karl Kraus, Apocalyptic Satirist. Culture and Catastrophe in Habsburg Vienna (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986), p. 104.

(36) Davis Whitney, for example, has argued that ‘Sadger essentially offered documentation and reportage, not analysis and interpretation. It was Freud who took this rich and often remarkably contemporary raw material and reshaped it to reflect his own philosophy’. Davis Whitney, Queer Beauty: Sexuality and Aesthetics from Winckelmann to Freud and Beyond (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010), p. 210.

(37) Isidor Sadger, ‘Henrik Ibsen. Eine pathologische Studie’, Neue Freie Presse (4 February 1896), pp. 1–2.

(38) Isidor Sadger, ‘Kranke Dichter und Krankendichtung’, Deutsche Revue, 22:4 (1897), pp. 36–44, p. 38.

(44) Isidor Sadger, Belastung und Entartung. Ein Beitrag zur Lehre vom kranken Genie (Leipzig: Demme, 1910), p. 73. Möbius translated many of Magnan’s works into German, but used the term ‘Entartungsirresein’ for the French ‘dégénéré supérieur’. For the translation of these terms see ‘Psychopathie – psychopathische Persönlichkeiten’, in Christian Müller (ed.), Lexikon der Psychiatrie: Gesammelte Abhandlungen der gebräuchlichsten psychopathologischen Begriffe (Berlin: Springer, 2013), pp. 402–6, p. 402.

(47) ‘Schließlich kann man “belastet” sein, d. h. ein Päckchen ins Leben mitbringen, und doch von außerordentlicher Begabung, sowie in den Augen vieler Menschen “nervös” zu sein fast gleichbedeutend ist mit dem Anerkennungsdiplom für höhere Intelligenz.’ Sadger, Belastung und Entartung, p. 73.

(48) Sadger, Heinrich von Kleist, p. 12. Sigismund Rahmer was well aware of the appeal that Kleist’s biography held for the emerging homosexual public of the fin de siècle, as shown by his publication of a letter by an openly homosexual literary critic in his second Kleist volume. Even so, Rahmer deemed Sadger’s elaborations too speculative. Sadger found it possible to legitimate his interpretation through his particular theory of degeneration, which took account of both hereditary and environmental arguments (the latter founded in psychoanalytic theory) and his own groundbreaking psychoanalytic work with openly homosexual patients. Rahmer’s first Kleist volume was Das Kleist-Problem auf Grund neuer Forschungen zur Charakteristik und Biographie Heinrich von Kleists (Berlin: Reimer, 1903); the second, Heinrich von Kleist als Mensch und Dichter. Nach neuen Quellenforschungen (Berlin: Reimer, 1909) (letter appears pp. 348–9).

(50) Sadger, Belastung und Entartung, p. 71. Paradoxically, Sadger’s opposition to the more populist notions of degeneration overemphasised negative traits, sacrificed (p.85) the positive aura attributed to genius and highlighted that which the genius shared with more ordinary members of the human race. Earlier in his work Sadger outlines how the subjects of his research relate to the norms that they deviate from. Unlike Möbius, he chooses quite crass examples of Belastung, and concludes that his choice of severe cases is justified, since he found in ‘lesser’ cases a less pronounced symptomatology. To him, these negative qualities in the genius represent the commonality between genius and imbecility; that is, they represent the character traits common to dégénéré supérieur and dégénéré inférieur. Sadger, Belastung und Entartung, p. 9.

(52) Peter Rudnytsky, Reading Psychoanalysis: Freud, Rank, Ferenczi, Groddeck (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002), p. 59.

(53) Louis Rose, The Freudian Calling: Early Viennese Psychoanalysis and the Pursuit of Cultural Science (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1998), p. 14; Frank J. Sulloway, ‘Reassessing Freud’s Case Histories. The Social Construction of Psychoanalysis’, Isis, 82 (1991), pp. 245–75, p. 265.

(54) ‘Die Psychoanalyse hat zwar, von der Pathologie her, den wenig durchschauten Anteil der unbewußten Phantasiebildung grell beleuchtet, vermochte es jedoch in dem an mancherlei Unfaßbarkeiten grenzenden Bereich der Kunst zu vereinzelten Einsichten in den komplizierten Vorgang der dichterischen Produktion zu bringen, die noch zu keiner abschließenden Darstellung gediehen sind.’ Otto Rank, ‘Das Volksepos. Psychologische Beiträge zu einer Entstehungsgeschichte. II. Die dichterische Phantasiebildung’, Imago, 5 (1919), pp. 372–93, p. 372.

(56) Sadger was the first to promote psychoanalysis to a wider medical audience in the prestigious Centralblatt fuer Nervenheilkunde und Psychiatrie (Central Journal for Neurology and Psychiatry) and his writing of popular scientific articles may well have helped to attract Freud’s invitation to join the WPV. See Isidor Sadger, ‘Die Bedeutung der psychoanalytischen Methode nach Freud’, Centralblatt für Nervenheilkunde und Psychiatrie, 30 (1907), pp. 41–52. In the same volume, Sadger also favourably reviewed Rank’s Der Künstler, published the same year, calling the study ‘the shortest, most compendious yet best summary of Freud’s teachings’.

(57) Ernest Jones claims the book was suggested to Freud by C. G. Jung; Peter Rudnytsky argues that Wilhelm Stekel recommended the novella to Freud. See Ernest Jones, Sigmund Freud Life and Work, vol. 2: Years of Maturity 1901–1919 (London: Hogarth Press, 1955), p. 382; Rudnytsky, Reading Psychoanalysis, p. 2.

(58) E. James Lieberman, Acts of Will: The Life and Work of Otto Rank (New York: Free Press, 1985), p. 26.

(59) Like Freud, Stekel and Sadger had graduated from the renowned Medical Faculty at the University of Vienna (Sadger ten years after Freud, in 1891, Stekel in 1897).

(60) Other examples are: Hanns Sachs’s talk on 15 February 1911 on the applicability of psychoanalysis to literary works, and Bernhard Dattner on 8 March 1911 on the psychoanalytic problems of Raskolnikov, the main character in Fjodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (1866). (p.86)

(61) ‘Zusammenhang zwischen den Kindheitseindrücken und Lebensschicksalen des Künstlers und seinen Werken als Reaktionen auf diese Anregungen gehört zu den anziehendsten Objekten der analytischen Betrachtung.’ Sigmund Freud, ‘Das Interesse der Psychoanalyse für die nicht psychologischen Wissenschaften (1913)’, in Sigmund Freud, Gesammelte Werke, chronologisch geordnet, ed. Anna Freud, in collaboration with M. Bonaparte, E. Bibring, W. Hoffer, E. Kris and O. Isakower, vol. VIII (London: Imago, 1957), pp. 403–20, p. 416; Sigmund Freud, ‘The Claims of Psycho-analysis to Scientific Interest’, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, ed. James Strachey, with Anna Freud, Alix Strachey and Alan Tyson, vol. XIII (London: Hogarth Press and Institute for Psychoanalysis, 1955), pp. 163–90, p. 186.

(62) C. G. Jung, ‘Letter from C. G. Jung to Sigmund Freud, November 2, 1907’, in William McGuire (ed), The Freud/Jung Letters: The Correspondence Between Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974), pp. 95–6. The stories mentioned comprise Jensen’s volume Übermächte (1892). Rank later confirmed the importance of sibling relationships in his study of the incest theme in literature and legend. See Otto Rank, Das Inzest-Motiv in Dichtung und Sage: Grundzüge einer Psychologie des dichterischen Schaffens (Leipzig: Deuticke, 1912) and, in English, Otto Rank and Gregory C. Richter, The Incest Theme in Literature and Legend: Fundamentals of a Psychology of Literary Creation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992).

(63) Hermann Nunberg and Ernst Federn (eds), Protokolle der Wiener Psychoanalytischen Vereinigung, vol. II (Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag, 2008), pp. 354–6.

(64) Fritz Wittels’s novel about Kraus was titled Ezechiel, der Zugereiste (Berlin: Fleischel, 1910). For details on the Kraus affair see (in alphabetical order): Leo Lensing, ‘“Freud and the Child Woman” or “The Kraus Affair”? A Textual “Reconstruction” of Fritz Wittels’s Psychoanalytic Autobiography’, German Quarterly, 69 (1996), pp. 322–32; Margarete Mitscherlich-Nielsen, ‘Sittlichkeit und Kriminalität. Psychoanalytische Bemerkungen zu Karl Kraus’, Psyche, 29:2 (1975), pp. 131–53; Lutz D. H. Sauerteig, ‘Loss of Innocence: Albert Moll, Sigmund Freud and the Invention of Childhood Sexuality Around 1900’, Medical History, 56:2 (2012), pp. 156–83; Edward Timms (ed.), Freud and the Child Woman: The Memoirs of Fritz Wittels (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995); Edward Timms, ‘The “Child–Woman”: Kraus, Freud, Wittels, and Irma Karczewska in Fin-de-Siécle Vienna’, in Edward Timms and Ritchie Robertson (eds), Vienna 1900: From Altenberg to Wittgenstein (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1990), pp. 87–107; Harry Zohn, Karl Kraus and the Critics (Columbia: Camden House, 1997).

(65) Nunberg and Federn (eds), Protokolle, vol. I, p. 62.

(66) Katja Guenther, Localization and Its Discontents: A Genealogy of Psychoanalysis and the Neuro Disciplines (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), pp. 84–5.

(67) Nunberg and Federn (eds), Protokolle, vol. I, p. 65.

(68) Nunberg and Federn (eds), Protokolle, vol. II, p. 203.

(69) See, for example, Michael Rohrwasser, Freuds Lektüren. Von Arthur Conan Doyle bis zu Arthur Schnitzler (Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag, 2005).

(70) Nunberg and Federn (eds), Protokolle, vol. I, p. 249.

(71) Nunberg and Federn (eds), Protokolle, vol. I, p. 249; vol. II, p. 252.

(72) Nunberg and Federn (eds), Protokolle, vol. II, p. 201. In 1907 Wilhelm Stekel and Ernst Federn had reacted aggressively enough to Sadger’s elaborations on Conrad Ferdinand Meyer that Fritz Wittels felt the need to distance himself from their emotional reaction. Nunberg and Federn (eds), Protokolle, vol. I, p. 249.

(73) ‘Die Theorien können nur Schaden leiden, und für den Gegenstand schaut dabei nichts heraus.’ Nunberg and Federn (eds), Protokolle, vol. I, p. 250.

(75) ‘Die rein medizinische Analyse, die Pathographie, trägt zur Erkenntnis des dichterischen Prozesses deshalb wenig bei, weil sie sich nur mit jenen Hemmungen beschäftigt, nicht mit den positive dichterischen Kräften.’ Nunberg and Federn (eds), Protokolle, vol. I, p. 249.

(76) The German original reads: ‘Um nachzuweisen, dass jeder Mensch diese typischen Fundamentalregungen habe, sind uns die Dichter zu gut.’ Nunberg and Federn (eds), Protokolle, vol. II, p. 202.

(p.87) (78) ‘Aus den Werken lasse sich nichts mit Sicherheit konstatieren, was der Dichter Reales erlebte, weil nichts das Reale vom Illusionierten unterscheide; man wisse nicht, wo die Wahrheit aufhöre und die Dichtung beginne. Der Weg aus den Werken sei also sehr unverläßlich.’ Nunberg and Federn (eds), Protokolle, vol. I, p. 243.

(80) Nunberg and Federn (eds), Protokolle, vol. II, pp. 200–2. Rudolf Reitler had already raised the issue of evidence in the context of Sadger’s Meyer pathography. See Nunberg and Federn (eds), Protokolle, vol. I, p. 174.

(81) Rahmer, August Strindberg; Sigismund Rahmer, Nikolaus Lenau als Mensch und Dichter. Ein Beitrag zur Sexualpathologie (Berlin: Curtius, 1911).

(83) McGuire, The Freud/Jung Letters, pp. 17–19. As McGuire also states, Löwenfeld published Freud’s monograph Über den Traum in 1901 in the series ‘Grenzfragen des Nerven- und Seelenlebens’, and included contributions by Freud in two other books: ‘Freud’s Psycho-analytic Procedure’ in Die psychischen Zwangserscheinungen (1904); and ‘My Views on the Part Played by Sexuality in the Aetiology of the Neuroses’ in the fourth edition of Sexualleben und Nervenleiden (1906).

(84) C. G. Jung, ‘Besprechung von Sadger Konrad Ferdinand Meyer. Eine pathographisch-psychologische Studie. Das symbolische Leben. Verschiedene Schriften’, in C. G. Jung, Gesammelte Werke, vol. XVIII (Stuttgart: Patmos, 2011), pp. 795–6, p. 795. The text was originally published in 1909, and reads: ‘Sadger bestrebt sich vielmehr, die Entwicklung der ganzen Persönlichkeit psychologisch zu erfassen, das heißt wirklich innerlich zu verstehen’. Oskar Pfister, The Psychoanalytic Method, trans. Charles Rockwell Payne (Milton Park: Routledge, 1999 [German original 1913]), p. 117.

(85) Sigmund Freud, ‘Eine Kindheitserinnerung des Leonardo da Vinci’, in Gesammelte Werke, vol. VIII, pp. 128–211; Sigmund Freud, ‘Leonardo Da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood’, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. XI, pp. 57–138; Sigmund Freud, ‘Das Motiv der Kästchenwahl’, in Gesammelte Werke, vol. X, pp. 24–37; Sigmund Freud, ‘The Theme of the Three Caskets’, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. XII, pp. 289–302; Sigmund Freud, ‘Der Moses des Michelangelo’, in Gesammelte Werke, vol. X, pp. 172–201; Sigmund Freud, ‘The Moses of Michelangelo’, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. XIII, pp. 209–38.

(87) ‘[U]ns mit [ihren Werken] so zu ergreifen, Erregungen in uns hervorzurufen, deren wir uns vielleicht nicht einmal für fähig gehalten hätten.’ Sigmund Freud, ‘Der Dichter und das Phantasieren’, in Gesammelte Werke, vol. VII, pp. 213–23, p. 223; Sigmund Freud, ‘Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming’, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. IX, pp. 141–54, p. 153.

(89) Freud, ‘Der Dichter und das Phantasieren’, p. 213, translated here by Birgit Lang. Strachey’s translation reads ‘their kind and the common run of humanity’. Freud, ‘Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming’, p. 141.

(90) ‘[E]in Normalmensch und das Maß der Menschheit.’ Sigmund Freud, ‘Der Wahn und die Träume in W. Jensens “Gradiva”’, in Gesammelte Werke, vol. VII, pp. 31–122, p. 72. The English translation given here is by Birgit Lang, since Strachey translates too decisively ‘for we readers are the normal people and the standard of humanity’. Sigmund Freud, ‘Delusions and Dreams in Jensen’s “Gradiva”’, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. IX, pp. 1–96, p. 44.

(94) ‘Aber Menschenbilder können sich nicht wiederholen, es fehlt auch nicht an tiefgehenden Unterschieden zwischen den beiden Großen.’ Sigmund Freud, ‘Brief an Dr. Alfons Paquet’, in Gesammelte Werke, vol. XIV, pp. 545–50, p. 547; Sigmund Freud, ‘The Goethe Prize’, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. XXI, pp. 205–14, p. 208.

(96) Gert Üding and Bernd Steinbrink, Grundriss der Rhetorik. Geschichte – Technik – Methode (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2011), pp. 268–9.

(97) Another example is Freud’s essay ‘Der Dichter und das Phantasieren’, where he closes with an apology for not having resolved the original question.

(100) ‘[E]in Gebiet, auf dem die Allmachtbestrebungen der primitiven Menschheit gleichsam in Kraft verblieben sind.’ Freud, ‘Das Interesse der Psychoanalyse für die nicht psychologischen Wissenschaften’, p. 417; Freud, ‘The Claims of Psycho-analysis to Scientific Interest’, p. 187.

(101) ‘Wir schöpfen wahrscheinlich aus der gleichen Quelle, bearbeiten das nämliche Objekt, ein jeder von uns mit einer anderen Methode, und die Übereinstimmung im Ergebnis scheint dafür zu bürgen, daß beide richtig gearbeitet haben. Unser Verfahren besteht in der bewußten Beobachtung der abnormen seelischen Vorgänge bei anderen, um deren Gesetze erraten und aussprechen zu können. Der Dichter geht wohl anders vor; er richtet seine Aufmerksamkeit auf das Unbewußte in seiner eigenen Seele, lauscht den Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten desselben und gestattet ihnen den künstlerischen Ausdruck, anstatt sie mit bewußter Kritik zu unterdrücken. So erfährt er aus sich, was wir bei anderen erlernen, welchen Gesetzen die Betätigung dieses Unbewußten folgen muß, aber er braucht diese Gesetze nicht auszusprechen, nicht einmal sie klar zu erkennen, sie sind infolge der Duldung seiner Intelligenz in seinen Schöpfungen verkörpert enthalten. Wir entwickeln diese Gesetze durch Analyse aus seinen Dichtungen, wie wir sie aus den Fällen realer Erkrankung herausfinden, aber der Schluß scheint unabweisbar, entweder haben beide, der Dichter wie der Arzt, das Unbewußte in gleicher Weise mißverstanden, oder wir haben es beide richtig verstanden.’ Freud, ‘Der Wahn und die Träume’, pp. 120–1; Freud, ‘Delusions and Dreams in Jensen’s “Gradiva”’, p. 91.

(102) Sulloway, ‘Reassessing Freud’s Case Histories’, pp. 265–6; Marina Leitner, Ein gut gehütetes Geheimnis. Die Geschichte der psychoanalytischen Behandlungs-Technik von den Anfängen in Wien bis zur Gründung der Berliner Poliklinik im Jahr 1920 (Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag, 2001), p. 13–19; David J. Lynn and George E. Vaillant, ‘Anonymity, Neutrality, and Confidentiality in the Actual Methods of Sigmund Freud: A Review of 43 Cases, 1907–1939’, American Journal of Psychiatry, 155:2 (1998), pp. 163–71, pp. 169–70; Anne Sealey, ‘The Strange Case of the Freudian Case History. The Role of Long Case Histories in the Development of Psychoanalysis’, History of the Human Sciences, 24:1 (2011), pp. 36–50, p. 37.

(104) The Otto Rank Papers held in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia University in New York City date the fragments of the relevant manuscripts to 1906. Judging from a footnote in the 1912 study, Rank still planned to publish this work. Rank, Das Inzest-Motiv, p. 31.

(105) James M. Ford, Patriarchy and Incest from Shakespeare to Joyce (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1998), p. 2; see also Rudnytsky, Reading Psychoanalysis, pp. 58–85.

(106) Sigmund Freud, ‘On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement’, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. XIV, pp. 1–66, p. 36. These remarks are also proof of the close collaboration between Freud and Rank at this point, also reflected in the fact that The Interpretation of Dreams contained, from its fourth to its seventh editions (1914–22), two essays by Rank: ‘Dreams and Creative Writing’ and ‘Dreams and Myths’. These were printed at the end of Chapter 6, but were subsequently omitted. See also the relevant remark by James Strachey in Sigmund Freud, ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. IV, pp. ix–627, p. xii. On the relationship between Freud and Rank see Marina Leitner, Freud, Rank und die Folgen. Ein Schlüsselbegriff für die Psychoanalyse (Vienna: Turia & Kant, 1998); Lieberman, Acts of Will; E. James Lieberman and Robert Kramer (eds), The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank. Inside Psychoanalysis (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011); Esther Menaker, Otto Rank: A Rediscovered Legacy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982); Peter Rudnytsky, The Psychoanalytic Vocation: The Legacy of Otto Rank and Donald Winnicott (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991); Rudnytsky, Reading Psychoanalysis, pp. 58–85; Jessie Taft, Otto Rank (New York: Julian, 1958); Anton Zottl, Otto Rank: Das Lebenswerk eines Dissidenten der Psychoanalyse (Munich: Kindler, 1982). (p.89)

(108) ‘Inhalt [ist] der größten Unliebsamkeit sicher.’ Sigmund Freud, ‘Zur Geschichte der psycho-analytischen Bewegung’, in Gesammelte Werke, vol. X, pp. 44–113, p. 77; Freud, ‘On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement’, p. 36.

(110) Pathography in this context does not mean a description of a personal experience of illness – as Anne Hunsaker Hawkins defines the genre – but a specific medical and psychiatric expert case study that mapped signs of degeneration to the artistic mind. See Hawkins, Reconstructing Illness, p. 1.