Gesammelte Schriften

views updated


The twelve volumes of the Gesammelte Schriften constitute the first publication of Freud's complete (or almost complete) works in his native language. They were published by the Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag.

This edition was undoubtedly planned when Freud was ill with cancer in 1923, and it was originally limited to ten volumes. Volumes 4, 5, 7, 8, and 10 appeared in 1924, volumes 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9 in the following year. Since Freud remained productive despite his illness, an eleventh volume containing his writings from the interim was published in 1928, and in 1934 a final volume appeared that brought together "the writings of 1928-33" and various additions to Volumes 1-11. Anna Freud and Adolf Josef Storfer served as editors for Volumes 1-11 and Otto Rank as their co-editor on Volumes 4, 5, 7, 8, and 10. Anna Freud and Robert Waelder made the selection and provided editorial commentary for Volume 12. As indicated on the endpapers, all volumes were "prepared with the collaboration of the author," and in correspondence Freud several times referred to the Gesammelte Schriften as the "complete edition" of his works.

This was not a critical edition, however. The somewhat random composition of Volumes 11 and 12 was the result, to be sure, of their belated conception. Volumes 1-10, envisioned as a whole, were organized by theme. Scholarly apparatus and commentary were minimal. There was no introductory statement of the principles governing the editors' choices and aims, nor was any bibliography or index provided. The only editorial decision of any moment concerned The Interpretation of Dreams, the first edition of which magnum opus, Freud's dream-book in its initial form, was offered as the second volume of the Gesammelte Schriften, while Volume 3 assembled the many and often voluminous additions that Freud made to the book in its subsequent editions. It was Freud himself who proposed this original way of presenting his great work.

Prior to the publication of the Gesammelte Schriften, Freud had for the most part published his work in the form of monographs, articles in journals or annals, or contributions to anthologies and collections. After the founding, in 1919, of his own publishing house, the Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, he generally published there. It was thus the "twelve volumes in dictionary format" (to quote the publishers' promotional matter) of the Gesammelte Schriften that gave readers their first general view of the full scope and import of Freud's work.

Ilse Grubrich-Simitis

See also: Gesammelte Werke ; "Moses of Michelangelo, The"; Studies on Hysteria


Grubrich-Simitis, Ilse. (1993). Back to Freud 's texts. Making silent documents speak. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

. (2000). Metamorphosen der Traumdeutung. In Jean Starobinski, Ilse Grubrich-Simitis, and M. Solms, (Eds.) Hundert Jahre Traumdeutung von Sigmund Freud. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag.