Anna O

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  • Topic: 1967, 1975, 1977
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1 ANNA O. - BERTHA PAPPENHEIM: A CHRONOLOGY OF HER LIFE AND TREATMENT BY Richard G. Klein (New York City) This chronology will be updated on a regular basis—stay tuned. The chronology that follows was put together in order to help me make better sense of the founding case of psychoanalysis, the case of Bertha Pappenheim or Anna O as she is known in the analytic literature. The text has been divided into five different time divisions. Events found in sections A through D are drawn mainly from Joseph Breuer’s published account of the case (see Studies on Hysteria, Volume II, Standard Edition of Freud’s Complete Psychological Works, page 22). Time E, covering Anna O’s stay at Bellevue Sanatorium, includes information found in Henri Ellenberger groundbreaking essay “The Story of `Anna O’: A Critical Review”. Albrecht Hirschmüller’s biography of Breuer “The Life and Work of Joseph Breuer” as well as Elizabeth Loentz’s wonderful book Bertha Pappenheim (Let me Continue to Speak the Truth) - published in July of 2007 - have helped me to identify a number of key events in Bertha Pappenheim’s life following her “psychoanalytic years”. This chronology, needless to say, remains a work in progress. I have no doubt that psychoanalytic scholars will continue to discover critical information about her life. In addition to the sources already mentioned, the chronology has also benefited from information found in the following books and articles: *) Melinda Given Guttmann’s The Enigma of Anna O.: A Biography of Bertha Pappenheim. Moyer Bell (2001) *) Richard Skues’s Sigmund Freud and the History of Anna O.: Reopening a Close Case. Palgrave Mcmillan (2006). *) Mikkel Borcht-Jacobsen’s Remembering Anna O.: A Century of Mystification. Routledge (1996). *) Published as well as private papers by Peter Swales. *) John Forrester’s “Cure with a Defect”, in The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, No. 80: 929-942 (1999), as well as “The True Story of Anna O.” found in Forrester’s book The Seductions of Psychoanalysis: Freud, Lacan and Derrida. Cambridge University Press (1991)

2 *) Nicholas Rand’s “The Talking Cure: Origins of Psychoanalysis” in Talk, Talk, Talk, the Cultural Life of Everyday Conversation, edited by S.I. Salamensky. Routledge (2000) Studying the psychoanalytic literature on Anna O has led me to group scholars who have written about the case into six separate and distinct camps: 1) The Orthodox Freudians: Anna O was never cured if only because she never married nor had children. 2) The Lacanian Camp: As the first analytic patient and a co-founder of psychoanalysis the Anna O case has still much to teach us. 3) The Organicists Camp: Anna O was not a hysteric (hysteria does not exist) and must have suffered from epilepsy, Tourette’s syndrome, ADD, or autism. 4) The Borcht-Jakobson Camp: Breuer and Freud were conned and so were we. 5) The Alice Millerian Camp: Anna O must have been sexually molested by Siegmund Pappenheim, her father. We need only look more closely at her symptoms 6) The Jewish Feminist Camp: No need to ponder the first part of Bertha Pappenheim’s life and her treatment experience with Josef Breuer. She was the founder of Jewish feminist movement and that in itself is enough to insure her a place in history Bertha Pappenheim experienced a number of ‘absenses’ both before and during her time in treatment with Breuer. These included the absence she suffered after her father passed away and the one that followed after Breuer decided to terminate her treatment. The thought of mapping out the Anna O case in chronological order came to me after I developed the idea of writing an essay wherein I planned to interpret her ‘absences’ by appealing to the linguistic similarity found between the German words ‘Absenzen’ and ‘Abszesse’, the latter being the German term for her father’s illness. The fact that Anna O lost of her ‘mother tongue’ (German) while in treatment with Breuer, I thought, offers an important clue that...
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