Letter from Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess: April 6th 1897: Known as Letter 59

by Julia Evans on April 6, 1897

Publication dates

1)  In Marie Bonaparte, Anna Freud, and Ernst Kris, (Eds.), (1950a). Aus den anfangen der psychoanalyse. briefe an Wilhelm Fliess, abhandlungen und notizen aus de jahren 1887-1902. London: Imago;

2)  Corrected transcription in J. M. Masson and Michael Schröter, (Eds.), Briefe an Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1986

In English translation:

3) Letter 59: p193

of Marie Bonaparte, Anna Freud, and Ernst Kris, (Eds.), The origins of psycho-analysis: Letters to Wilhelm Fliess, drafts and notes, 1887-1902, (Eric Mosbacher & James Strachey, Trans.), London: Imago, 1954

4) April 6th 1897: p234-235

of The complete letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904. (Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Ed. and Trans.). (1985c). Cambridge, MA, and London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Both translations are available here



This was given as a reference by Vicente Palomera during his presentation on ‘The Names of the Real in the 21st century’ to the Irish Circle of the Lacanian Orientation (New Lacanian School) on September 22nd 2012 in Dublin.

Vicente Palomera was commenting on how signifiers develop a J-value (Jouissance) which seems not to be in use. It is separated from meaning but remains, indelibly, as fossil in the unconscious.


Quote from 6th April 1897 letter, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson translation:

The point that escaped me in the solution of hysteria lies in the discovery of a different source, from which a new element of the product of the unconscious arises. What I have in mind are hysterical fantasies, which regularly, as I see it, go back to things that children overhear at an early age and understand only subsequently. The age at which they take in information of this kind is, strangely enough, from six to seven months on!