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In the Autumn of 1918 a member of the Budapest Psycho-Analytical Society informed me that a Fund had been set aside for cultural purposes from the profits made by industrial undertakings during the war. The decision as to its use lay jointly with himself and the Chief Burgermaster of the city of Budapest, Dr. Stephan Bárczy. They had agreed to devote the considerable sum of money concerned to the purposes of the psycho-analytic movement and to hand over its administration to me. I accepted this commission, and I now fulfil my duty of offering public thanks to the Chief Burgermaster (who soon afterwards received the Psycho-Analytical Congress in Budapest with so much honour) as well as to the anonymous member who has performed such a high service to the cause of psycho-analysis.


The Fund thus placed at my disposal, which was given my name, was allotted by me to the foundation of an international psycho-analytic publishing business. I considered that in the present circumstances this was our most important need.

Unlike many other scientific undertakings, our two periodical publications, the Internationale Zeitschrift für ärztliche Psychoanalyse and Imago, did not come to an end during the war. We succeeded in keeping them in existence, but in consequence of the increasing difficulties, closing of frontiers and rise in prices which accompanied the war, it became necessary to reduce them considerably in size and to allow undesirably long intervals to elapse between the publication of successive issues. Of the four editors of the two journals (Ferenczi, Jones, Rank and Sachs) one, being a subject of an enemy State, was cut off from us; two others had joined the forces and were fully engaged in their military duties; only Dr. Sachs was left at work, and he self-sacrificingly assumed the whole burden. A few of the local psycho-analytical societies found it necessary to suspend their meetings entirely; the number of contributors shrank, as did that of the subscribers. It was easy to foresee that the publisher’s natural dissatisfaction would soon put in question the continuance of the journals to which we attached so much importance. Yet numerous indications, which reached us even from the front-line trenches, pointed to the fact that contemporary interest in psycho-analysis had not diminished. I think I was justified in my intention to put an end to these difficulties and dangers by the foundation of an international psycho-analytic publishing business. This publishing house is already in existence to-day, as a limited liability company; it is under the direction of Dr. Otto Rank, who has been for so many years secretary of the Vienna Society and co-editor of the two psycho-analytic journals, and who has returned after many years’ absence on active service to his earlier work in the service of psycho-analysis.


The new publishing house, supported by the funds of the Budapest endowment, has assumed the task of ensuring the regular appearance and reliable distribution of the two journals. As soon as the difficulties of external circumstances permit, it is intended that they shall be restored to their former dimensions, and that these dimensions may if necessary be increased, without any extra charge to the subscribers. But in addition to this, and without waiting for an improvement, the publishing house will proceed to print books and pamphlets dealing with the field of medical and applied psycho-analysis; and since it is not a profit-making concern, it will be able to pay better heed to the interests of authors than is usually done by commercial publishers.


Simultaneously with the establishment of the psycho-analytic publishing house it was decided to award annual prizes out of the interest on the Budapest endowment, to two outstanding pieces of work, one each in the field of medical and of applied psycho-analysis. These prizes - to the amount of 1,000 Austrian Kronen - are intended to be awarded, not to authors, but to individual works, so that there will be a possibility of the same author winning a prize repeatedly. The decision on the question of which among the writings published during a particular period are to receive prizes has not been transferred to a committee but will be kept in the hands of a single person, the Administrator of the fund for the time being; otherwise, if a committee of adjudicators were to be formed of the most experienced and discerning analysts, their own writings would have to be excluded from consideration, and the scheme might easily fail in its intention of distinguishing exemplary achievements in psycho-analytic literature. If the adjudicator finds himself hesitating between two works of almost equal value, he will be empowered to divide the prize between them, without the award of a half-prize implying any less appreciation of the work in question.


It is intended that these prizes shall in general be awarded every year and that the choice should lie between the whole of the psycho-analytically important literature published during that period, irrespectively of whether the author of the work in question is a Member of the International Psycho-Analytical Association.

The first prizes have already been awarded and relate to papers published during the period of the war, from 1914 to 1918. The prize for medical psycho-analysis has been divided between Karl Abraham’s paper ‘The First Pregenital Stage of the Libido’ (1916) and Ernst Simmel’s pamphlet Kriegsneurosen und psychisches Trauma (1918). The prize for applied psycho-analysis has been awarded to Theodor Reik’s paper ‘Die Pubertätsriten der Wilden’ (1915).




[Two further announcements on the same subject appeared subsequently: ‘Preiszuteilungen’ (Int. Z. Psychoanal., 7, 381 [1921]), and ‘Preisausschreibung’ (ibid., 8, 527 [1922]).]




‘A recent gift made by Dr. Max Eitingon, the director of the Berlin Clinic, has made it possible for me to revive the award of prizes (first made in 1919) for psycho-analytic writings of peculiar merit. The prize for medical psycho-analysis has been awarded to A. Stärcke (of Den Dolder, Holland) for his two publications "Der Kastrationskomplex" and "Psychoanalyse und Psychiatrie" (both of them Congress papers), of which the first appeared in the current volume of this periodical and the second as a supplementary issue. The prize for applied psycho-analysis has gone to Dr. G. Róheim (of Budapest) for his paper "Das Selbst" and his Congress paper on Australian Totemism. The amount of each prize was one thousand marks.




‘At the Seventh International Psycho-Analytical Congress, in Berlin, I laid down as the subject for a prize: "The Relation between Analytic Technique and Analytic Theory." The questions to be discussed are how far the technique has influenced the theory and how far they assist or hinder each other at the present time.

‘Works dealing with this subject should be sent to me at the address given below before May 1, 1923. They should be legibly typewritten. They should have a motto attached and should be accompanied by a sealed envelope enclosing the author’s name. They must be written either in German or English. In judging the works submitted I shall have the assistance of Dr. K. Abraham and Dr. M. Eitingon.


‘The prize amounts to 20,000 marks at the value current at the time of the Congress.

‘Berggasse 19, Vienna IX.







Among the first pieces of news to reach us after the raising of the barrier separating us from the Anglo-Saxon countries comes the painful report of the death of Putnam, the President of the great pan-American psycho-analytic group. He lived to be over seventy-two years old, remained intellectually active to the end, and died peacefully of heart-failure during his sleep in November 1918. Putnam, who was until a few years ago Professor of Neuropathology at Harvard University, was the great support of psycho-analysis in America. His numerous theoretical works (a few of which made their first appearance in the Internationale Zeitschrift) have, by their clarity and wealth of ideas, and by the decisively favourable line they took, contributed immensely towards creating the high esteem which psycho-analysis now enjoys in America both in psychiatric teaching and in public opinion. His example may have been no less effective. He was universally respected for his unimpeachable character, and it was recognized that he was influenced only by the highest ethical considerations. His closer personal acquaintances could not escape the conclusion that he was one of those happily compensated people of the obsessional type for whom what is noble is second nature and for whom any concession to unworthiness has become an impossibility.


J. J. Putnam’s personal appearance was made familiar to European analysts through the part he took in the Weimar Congress of 1911. The editor of the Zeitschrift hopes to include in its next issue a portrait of our honoured friend and a detailed appreciation of his scientific achievements.


[Freud also translated one of Putnam’s papers (1910) anonymously and added the following footnote to the translation (Zbl. Psychoan., 1 (1911), 137): ‘This lecture delivered by the Professor of Neurology at Boston University is offered to our readers as an offset to the many unjust and uncomprehending attacks that are levelled against psycho-analysis, in place of counter-criticisms which might easily lead to embittered feelings. J. Putnam is not only one of the most eminent neurologists in America but also a man everywhere greatly respected for his unimpeachable character and high moral standards. Although he has left his youth far behind him, he took his open stand last year in the front rank of the champions of psycho-analysis.’]





Among the sacrifices, fortunately few in number, claimed by the war from the ranks of psycho-analysis, we must count Dr. Victor Tausk. This rarely-gifted man, a Vienna specialist in nervous diseases, took his own life before peace was signed.

Dr. Tausk, who was only in his forty-second year, had for more than ten years been one of the closer circle of Freud’s followers. Originally a lawyer by profession, he had for some considerable time been acting as a magistrate in Bosnia when, under the stress of severe personal troubles, he abandoned his career and turned to journalism, for which he was peculiarly suited by his wide general education. After working for some time as a journalist in Berlin, he came to Vienna in the same capacity. Here he became acquainted with psycho-analysis and soon decided to devote himself to it entirely. Although he was to longer a young man and was the father of a family, he was not deterred by the great difficulties and sacrifices involved in yet another change in profession, and one which must necessitate an interruption of several years before he could once more earn his living. For he embarked on the tedious study of medicine only as a means to enable him to carry on a psycho-analytic practice.


Shortly before the outbreak of the World War, Tausk had obtained his second doctor’s degree and set up in Vienna as a nerve-specialist. Here, after a relatively short time, he had begun building up a considerable practice and had achieved some excellent results. These activities promised the rising young doctor full satisfaction as well as a means of support; but he was all at once violently torn from them by the war. He was called up immediately for active service and soon promoted to senior rank. He carried out his medical duties with devotion in the various theatres of war in the North and in the Balkans (finally in Belgrade), and received official commendation. It is also greatly to his honour that during the war he threw himself wholeheartedly, and with complete disregard of the consequences, into exposing the numerous abuses which so many doctors unfortunately tolerated in silence or for which they even shared the responsibility.


The stresses of many years’ service in the field could not fail to exercise a severely damaging psychological effect on so intensely conscientious a man. At the last Psycho-Analytical Congress, which we held in Budapest in September 1918 and which brought analysts together once more after many years of separation, Dr. Tausk, who had long been suffering from physical ill-health, was already showing signs of unusual nervous irritability. When, soon afterwards, in the late autumn of last year, he came to the end of his military service and returned to Vienna, he was faced for the third time, in his state of mental exhaustion, with the hard task of building up a new existence - this time under the most unfavourable internal and external conditions. In addition to this, Dr. Tausk, who has left two grown-up sons to whom he was a devoted father, was on the brink of contracting a new marriage. He was no longer able to cope with the many demands imposed on him in his ailing state by harsh reality. On the morning of July 3rd he put an end to his life.


Dr. Tausk had been a member of the Vienna Psycho Analytical Society since the autumn of 1909. He was well known to the readers of this journal from his numerous contributions, which were distinguished by sharp observation, sound judgement and a particular clearness of expression. These writings exhibit plainly the philosophical training which the author was able so happily to combine with the exact methods of science. His strong need to establish things on a philosophical foundation and to achieve epistemological clarity compelled him to formulate, and seek as well to master, the whole profundity and comprehensive meaning of the very difficult problems involved. Perhaps he sometimes went too far in this direction, in his impetuous urge for investigation. Perhaps the time was not yet ripe for laying such general foundations as these for the young science of psycho-analysis. The psycho-analytic consideration of philosophical problems, for which Tausk showed special aptitude, promises to become more and more fruitful. One of his last works, on the psycho-analysis of the function of judgement, which was delivered at the Budapest Congress and has not yet been published, gives evidence of this direction taken by his interest.


In addition to his gift for philosophy and attraction towards it, Tausk possessed a quite exceptional medico-psychological capacity and produced some excellent work in that field too. His clinical activities, to which we owe valuable researches into various psychoses (e.g. melancholia and schizophrenia) justified the fairest hopes and gave him the prospective appointment to a University Lectureship for which he had applied.

Psycho-analysis was particularly indebted to Dr. Tausk, who was a brilliant speaker, for the courses of lectures which he gave over a period of many years to large audiences of both sexes and in which he introduced them to the principles and problems of psycho-analysis. His audiences were able to admire the clarity and didactic skill of his lectures no less than the profundity with which he handled individual topics.


All those who knew him well valued his straightforward character, his honesty towards himself and towards others and the superiority of a nature which was distinguished by a striving for nobility and perfection. His passionate temperament found expression in sharp, and sometimes too sharp, criticisms, which however were combined with a brilliant gift for exposition. These personal qualities exercised a great attraction on many people, and some, too, may have been repelled by them. No one, however, could escape the impression that here was a man of importance.


How much psycho-analysis meant for him, even up to his last moments, is shown by letters which he left behind, in which he expressed his unreserved belief in it and his hope that it will find recognition at a not too distant date. There is no doubt that this man, of whom our science and his friends in Vienna have been prematurely robbed, has contributed to that aim. He is sure of an honourable memory in the history of psycho-analysis and its earliest struggles.3





In the theory of psycho-analysis we have no hesitation in assuming that the course taken by mental events is automatically regulated by the pleasure principle. We believe, that is to say, that the course of those events is invariably set in motion by an unpleasurable tension, and that it takes a direction such that its final outcome coincides with a lowering of that tension - that is, with an avoidance of unpleasure or a production of pleasure. In taking that course into account in our consideration of the mental processes which are the subject of our study, we are introducing an ‘economic’ point of view into our work; and if,in describing those processes, we try to estimate this ‘economic’ factor in addition to the ‘topographical’ and ‘dynamic’ ones, we shall, I think, be giving the most complete description of them of which we can at present conceive, and one which deserves to be distinguished by the term ‘metapsychological’.


It is of no concern to us in this connection to enquire how far, with this hypothesis of the pleasure principle, we have approached or adopted any particular, historically established, philosophical system. We have arrived at these speculative assumptions in an attempt to describe and to account for the facts of daily observation in our field of study. Priority and originality are not among the aims that psycho-analytic work sets itself; and the impressions that underlie the hypothesis of the pleasure principle are so obvious that they can scarcely be overlooked. On the other hand we would readily express our gratitude to any philosophical or psychological theory which was able to inform us of the meaning of the feelings of pleasure and unpleasure which act so imperatively upon us. But on this point we are, alas, offered nothing to our purpose. This is the most obscure and inaccessible region of the mind, and, since we cannot avoid contact with it, the least rigid hypothesis, it seems to me, will be the best. We have decided to relate pleasure and unpleasure to the quantity of excitation that is present in the mind but is not in any way ‘bound’; and to relate them in such a manner that unpleasure corresponds to an increase in the quantity of excitation and pleasure to a diminution

. What we are implying by this is not a simple relation between the strength of the feelings of pleasure and unpleasure and the corresponding modifications in the quantity of excitation; least of all - in view of all we have been taught by psycho-physiology - are we suggesting any directly proportional ratio: the factor that determines the feeling is probably the amount of increase or diminution in the quantity of excitation in a given period of time. Experiment might possibly play a part here; but it is not advisable for us analysts to go into the problem further so long as our way is not pointed by quite definite observations


We cannot, however, remain indifferent to the discovery that an investigator of such penetration as G. T. Fechner held a view on the subject of pleasure and unpleasure which coincides in all essentials with the one that has been forced upon us by psycho-analytic work. Fechner’s statement is to be found contained in a small work, Einige Ideen zur Schöpfungs- und Entwicklungsgeschichte der Organismen, 1873 (Part XI, Supplement, 94), and reads as follows: ‘In so far as conscious impulses always have some relation to pleasure or unpleasure, pleasure and unpleasure too can be regarded as having a psycho-physical relation to conditions of stability and instability. This provides a basis for a hypothesis into which I propose to enter in greater detail elsewhere. According to this hypothesis, every psycho-physical motion rising above the threshold of consciousness is attended by pleasure in proportion as, beyond a certain limit, it approximates to complete stability, and is attended by unpleasure in proportion as, beyond a certain limit, it deviates from complete stability; while between the two limits, which may be described as qualitative thresholds of pleasure and unpleasure, there is a certain margin of aesthetic indifference. . . .’


The facts which have caused us to believe in the dominance of the pleasure principle in mental life also find expression in the hypothesis that the mental apparatus endeavours to keep the quantity of excitation present in it as low as possible or at least to keep it constant. This latter hypothesis is only another way of stating the pleasure principle; for if the work of the mental apparatus is directed towards keeping the quantity of excitation low, then anything that is calculated to increase that quantity is bound to be felt as adverse to the functioning of the apparatus, that is as unpleasurable. The pleasure principle follows from the principle of constancy: actually the latter principle was inferred from the facts which forced us to adopt the pleasure principle. Moreover, a more detailed discussion will show that the tendency which we thus attribute to the mental apparatus is subsumed as a special case under Fechner’s principle of the ‘tendency towards stability’, to which he has brought the feelings of pleasure and unpleasure into relation.


It must be pointed out, however, that strictly speaking it is incorrect to talk of the dominance of the pleasure principle over the course of mental processes. If such a dominance existed, the immense majority of our mental processes would have to be accompanied by pleasure or to lead to pleasure, whereas universal experience completely contradicts any such conclusion. The most that can be said, therefore, is that there exists in the mind a strong tendency towards the pleasure principle, but that that tendency is opposed by certain other forces or circumstances, so that the final outcome cannot always be in harmony with the tendency towards pleasure. We may compare what Fechner (1873, 90) remarks on a similar point: ‘Since however a tendency towards an aim does not imply that the aim is attained, and since in general the aim is attainable only by approximations. . . .’


If we turn now to the question of what circumstances are able to prevent the pleasure principle from being carried into effect, we find ourselves once more on secure and well-trodden ground and, in framing our answer, we have at our disposal a rich fund of analytic experience.

The first example of the pleasure principle being inhibited in this way is a familiar one which occurs with regularity. We know that the pleasure principle is proper to a primary method of working on the part of the mental apparatus, but that, from the point of view of the self-preservation of the organism among the difficulties of the external world, it is from the very outset inefficient and even highly dangerous. Under the influence of the ego’s instincts of self-preservation, the pleasure principle is replaced by the reality principle. This latter principle does not abandon the intention of ultimately obtaining pleasure, but it nevertheless demands and carries into effect the postponement of satisfaction, the abandonment of a number of possibilities of gaining satisfaction and the temporary toleration of unpleasure as a step on the long indirect road to pleasure. The pleasure principle long persists, however, as the method of working employed by the sexual instincts, which are so hard to ‘educate’, and, starting from those instincts, or in the ego itself, it often succeeds in overcoming the reality principle, to the detriment of the organism as a whole.


There can be no doubt, however, that the replacement of the pleasure principle by the reality principle can only be made responsible for a small number, and by no means the most intense, of unpleasurable experiences. Another occasion of the release of unpleasure, which occurs with no less regularity, is to be found in the conflicts and dissensions that take place in the mental apparatus while the ego is passing through its development into more highly composite organizations. Almost all the energy with which the apparatus is filled arises from its innate instinctual impulses. But these are not all allowed to reach the same phases of development. In the course of things it happens again and again that individual instincts or parts of instincts turn out to be incompatible in their aims or demands with the remaining ones, which are able to combine into the inclusive unity of the ego. The former are then split off from this unity by the process of repression, held back at lower levels of psychical development and cut off, to begin with, from the possibility of satisfaction. If they succeed subsequently, as can so easily happen with repressed sexual instincts, in struggling through, by roundabout paths, to a direct or to a substitutive satisfaction, that event, which would in other cases have been an opportunity for pleasure, is felt by the ego as unpleasure. As a consequence of the old conflict which ended in repression, a new breach has occurred in the pleasure principle at the very time when certain instincts were endeavouring, in accordance with the principle, to obtain fresh pleasure. The details of the process by which repression turns a possibility of pleasure into a source of unpleasure are not yet clearly understood or cannot be clearly represented; but there is no doubt that all neurotic unpleasure is of that kind-pleasure that cannot be felt as such.¹


The two sources of unpleasure which I have just indicated are very far from covering the majority of our unpleasurable experiences. But as regards the remainder it can be asserted with some show of justification that their presence does not contradict the dominance of the pleasure principle. Most of the unpleasure that we experience is perceptual unpleasure. It may be perception of pressure by unsatisfied instincts; or it may be external perception which is either distressing in itself or which excites unpleasurable expectations in the mental apparatus - that is, which is recognized by it as a ‘danger’. The reaction to these instinctual demands, a reaction which constitutes the proper activity of the mental apparatus, can then be directed in a correct manner by the pleasure principle or the reality principle by which the former is modified. This does not seem to necessitate any far-reaching limitation of the pleasure principle. Nevertheless the investigation of the mental reaction to external danger is precisely in a position to produce new material and raise fresh questions bearing upon our present problem.


¹ No doubt the essential point is that pleasure and unpleasure, being conscious feelings, are attached to the ego8




A condition has long been known and described which occurs after severe mechanical concussions, railway disasters and other accidents involving a risk to life; it has been given the name of ‘traumatic neurosis’. The terrible war which has just ended gave rise to a great number of illnesses of this kind, but it at least put an end to the temptation to attribute the cause of the disorder to organic lesions of the nervous system brought about by mechanical force.¹ The symptomatic picture presented by traumatic neurosis approaches that of hysteria in the wealth of its similar motor symptoms, but surpasses it as a rule in its strongly marked signs of subjective ailment (in which it resembles hypochondria or melancholia) as well as in the evidence it gives of a far more comprehensive general enfeeblement and disturbance of the mental capacities. No complete explanation has yet been reached either of war neuroses or of the traumatic neuroses of peace. In the case of the war neuroses, the fact that the same symptoms sometimes came about without the intervention of any gross mechanical force seemed at once enlightening and bewildering. In the case of the ordinary traumatic neuroses two characteristics emerge prominently: first, that the chief weight in their causation seems to rest upon the factor of surprise, of fright; and secondly, that a wound or injury inflicted simultaneously works as a rule against the development of a neurosis. ‘Fright’, ‘fear’ and ‘anxiety’ are improperly used as synonymous expressions; they are in fact capable of clear distinction in their relation to danger. ‘Anxiety’ describes a particular state of expecting the danger or preparing for it, even though it may be an unknown one. ‘Fear’ requires a definite object of which to be afraid. ‘Fright’, however, is the name we give to the state a person gets into when he has run into danger without being prepared for it; it emphasizes the factor of surprise. I do not believe anxiety itself can produce a traumatic neurosis. There is something about anxiety that protects its subject against fright and so against fright-neuroses. We shall return to this point later.¹

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