FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS OF FREUD'S INTRODUCTORY LECTURES ON PSYCHOANALYSIS, WONDERFULLY INSCRIBED BY FREUD TO HIS COLLEAGUE AND FRIEND RUDOLF REITLER, THE FIRST PRACTITIONER OF PSYCHOANALYSIS AFTER FREUD
FREUD, Sigm[und], Prof. Dr. Vorlesungen zur Einfuhrung in die Psychoanalyse. Leipzig und Wien: Hugo Heller, 1916-17. Three volumes. Octavo, original tan paper wrappers; housed in a custom clamshell box. $25,000.
First edition in original wrappers of all three volumes of one of Freud's most popular works, the Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, inscribed in Volume II on the front wrapper to Rudolf Reitler, a friend and colleague of Freud who was instrumental in the development of psychoanalysis as a discipline and the first person after Freud himself to perform analysis on patients: "Herr Dr. R. Reitler mit herzlichen Gruss. Verf[asser]" [Dr. R. Reitler with warm regards. The Author.].
One of Freud's most popular works, Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis was for Freud himself not so much an introduction as it was a culmination. Twenty-some years earlier, Freud had begun a series of publications that announced the development of a new field, tentatively at first with Studies in Hysteria (1895) and then with growing confidence in The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901), Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious (1905) and Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905). By 1915, he was internationally famous, a respected doctor and a professor at the University in Vienna. In October of that year, "Freud began giving his accustomed lectures on 'An Introduction to Psychoanalysis.' He found, evidently to his surprise, an audience of seventy, a great contrast to the audience of three when he gave his fist lecture on dreams only fifteen years before; in the following month it had mounted to over a hundred. So he decided to prepare them more carefully than usual, and after a little reflection made up his mind to publish them in book form. The acute [Otto] Rank at once interpreted this as a plan to make further lectures unnecessary, and he was right. Freud had been lecturing for thirty years… these lectures were his last" (Jones, Life and Work of Sigmund Freud II: 218). Rudolf Reitler, to whom the second volume in this set is inscribed, was a close friend and colleague of Freud. The two had attended university together, and both were doctors in Vienna treating patients with psychological symptoms. "In the autumn of 1902 Freud addressed a postcard to these four men, [Alfred] Adler, [Max] Kahane, Reitler, and [Wilhelm] Stekel, suggesting that they meet for discussion of his work at his residence. Stekel said it was he who had first made that suggestion to Freud… so Stekel may be accorded the honor, together with Freud, of having founded the first psychoanalytic society. At all events, from then on they formed the habit of meeting every Wednesday evening for discussions in Freud's waiting-room" (Jones, II:8). Within a few years this group would develop into the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society; it was, in a very real sense, the beginning of psychoanalysis as a movement. Reitler himself was "the first person to practice psychoanalysis after Freud" (Jones II:7), a fact often acknowledged be Freud. He died unexpected in 1917, only one year after this inscription.
Modest soiling to all volumes, with expert repairs to Volume II. A wonderful inscribed item, with an association linking it to the very beginnings of the psychoanalytic movement.