Columbia Library columns (v.7(1957Nov-1958May))

(New York :  Friends of the Columbia Libraries.  )



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  v.7,no.1(1957:Nov): Page 18  

llic Otto Rank Collection, and its
Relation to Freud and Psychoanalysis


IN May of 1924, there arrived in New York City from Vienna
a young man who came to undertake the practice of psycho¬
analysis in this country over a period of several months. His
name was Otto Rank, and he came as the first emissaty from Freud's
inner circle. He was just forty, though looking much younger. His
degree was Ph.D., not M.D., and he was a comparative unknown
here except to those who were in touch with German publications
and the journals which he had edited for years, including Imago
and Die Internationale Zeitschriftfur Psychoanalyse. Apparently there
was no lack of applicants for analytic therapy, for, as he quotes in
a letter to Sandot Fercnczi in Budapest, they were said to be "lined
up the whole length of Btoadway." The majority of his patients,
if one may call them so, were the psychiatrists whom Freud had
analyzed earlier, and who now, needing further help, applied to
Rank with Ftcud's full blessing. A letter from Freud in this collec¬
tion indicates his awareness of the situation and in effect wishes
Rank joy of them, for Freud could never seem to think of America
or Americans, including the psychiatrists he hiinself had analyzed,
without considerable aversion.

This was Rank's first trip to America and his first major contact
with the language. However, he managed to read a paper in English
before the American Psychoanalytic Association in June which I
had the good fortune to hear. Despite his strong accent, his slight,
unimpressive figure, and sober German-student demeanor, I was
left in no doubt that here was a man who had something important
to say. What I did not know, nor, I imagine, did the others present,

  v.7,no.1(1957:Nov): Page 18