Thursday, November 12, 2009

Write a Letter - Freud Style

"I consider it a good rule for letter writing to leave un-mentioned what the recipient already knows, and instead tell him something new."
According to the  Psychoanalytical Electronic Publishing Web site, neurologist and psychologist Sigmund Freud wrote the above sentence to his friend and fellow doctor Wilhelm Fliess on April 14, 1898. It may or may not take an expert to determine why he wrote this immediately following that sentence:

"I shall therefore not comment on what I heard: that you had a bad time at Easter; you know this anyway. I would rather tell you about my Easter vacation, which I spent in a grumpy mood but from which I returned refreshed."
It seems a little mean, to me, to mention Fliess' bad time. In my opinion, he adds insult to injury by going on to describe his own delightful trip at Easter.

Of course, I don't know the whole story. I just came across the quote of Freud's about letter writing and found the rest of the letter while doing a bit of research. The quote about writing something new seems like a good idea, though.


phonelady said...

I always try to tell my pen pal something new that they may not know and it makes for a better letter if I do say so myself . thanks for sharing and posting this .

emme said...

I can't tell you how delighted I was to learn of your "letter writing" project! I only wish there were more people who would sit down and take the time to write a real, honest-to-goodness letter.


ohjoana said...

I guess that telling something new is good, but now referring to pen palling i guess that old things are good too, because if we are knowing someone little by little the other person shall meet us, what we did since we were born, but of course that news refresh too, a letter should be a mix of both, or each one a chapter of our lives. I guess that people who do pen palling didn't realize that we are constantly writing our autobiography ^^ Isn't that nice?

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