|The Ottohaus on the Rax (where Freud met ‘Katharina ...’ in August 1893) |
A photograph in winter by her brother, Camillo Kronich
Inner Circle Seminar No. 193
Sunday 7 July 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On 20 August 1893 Freud wrote from Reichenau, at the foot of the Raxalpe south of Vienna, that on the 18th and 19th he and a friend had made a ‘tour around and on the Rax’; that on the 19th he had been in the new refuge house on that mountain; and that he had been ‘consulted by the innkeeper’s daughter on the Rax’: ‘it was a beautiful case for me.’ In Studies on Hysteria (1895), Freud disguises the daughter as ‘Katharina …’; the year as ‘189–’; the mountain as in the Hohe Tauern; and her father (who, he says, she told him had sexually molested her) as her ‘uncle’ (though, in a 1924 footnote, he reproaches himself for this particular disguise).
Freud says that his case-histories in the Studies ‘read like novellas’ but that they have the advantage over psychiatric case-histories that they show the relation between ‘Leidensgeschichte’ (‘existential suffering history’, ‘passion narrative’) and ‘illness-symptoms’. The ‘Katharina …’ case study does indeed read like a novella, or even a Sherlock Holmes story; but does it justify Freud’s claim? Was she ‘nervously ill’, as he says she said? Was hers a case of ‘hysteria’, as he diagnoses? Or was she really a ‘schizophrenic’, as psychiatrists such as Goshen have insisted? Was this ‘less an analysed case than one solved by guessing’, as Freud grants? Was it a ‘wild analysis’, as Anna Freud called it? Was his ‘guessing’ correct? Was Freud’s chronology of the case seriously wrong, thereby throwing into doubt his theory of the ‘aetiology’ of ‘hysteria’, as Swales has argued? Did her conversation with Freud help ‘this girl so early wounded in her sexual sensibility’, as he hoped? And, as regards her later life, did ‘Katharina’ and her husband get divorced, as Fichtner and Hirschmüller assert?
To try to answer these questions, Anthony Stadlen has researched the case historically in Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Canada. In this seminar he will report some of his still unpublished findings, for example from interviews with a daughter; a daughter-in-law; and a half-brother and half-sister of ‘Katharina’, her father’s children by her cousin ‘Franziska’ with whom she discovered him having sexual intercourse.
Venue: ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £116, others £145, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: email@example.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/