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Opere (Writings of Sigmund Freud)


The Italian edition of the Opere (Writings of Sigmund Freud) in twelve volumes was begun in 1966 under the direction of Cesare Musatti and was completed in 1980. The essays that were not published in the Opere were collected into a volume of Complementi in 1993, with a critical apparatus by Angela Richards and Ilse Grubrich-Simitis.

Each of the twelve volumes is accompanied by an introduction by Musatti and a historical essay that describes the context in which Freud's writings can be placed. Each text is also accompanied by an editor's preface, which includes a list of publications and translations. Volume twelve is an index and includes keywords, together with bibliographical references, lists of publications, and a concordance with the complete works in English (Standard Edition ) and German (Gesammelte Werke ).

The Italian edition duplicates the unrevised Standard Edition prepared by James Strachey (1953-1974) and refers to it; consequently it does not include the so-called preanalytic works or the fragments of analytic works revised by Freud, the letters, or minutes of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. Like the English, German, and French editions, the Italian edition is not a critical history because it does not discuss Freudian politics in terms of the circular letters, nor does it enable the reader to grasp Freud's process of development through his writing.

The Italian edition was directed by Paolo Boringhieri, who, with Cesare Musatti, turned over the corrected edition to Renata Colorni and various translators. There were few psychoanalysts in this group other than Giacomo Contri and Elvio Fachinelli. Many translators were unfamiliar with psychoanalysis, while Freud himself wanted to have his work translated only by those trained in psychoanalysis.

Every translation is linguistically situated in the period in which it is undertaken and the Italian edition is no exception. It reflects the psychoanalytic culture of the 1960s, the language that corresponds to the period, and a concept of psychoanalysis as understood by practitioners like Edoardo Weiss. Because it promoted genuine interest in psychoanalysis, the Opere represents the most important psychoanalytic creation yet produced in Italy.

Giancarlo Gramaglia

See also: Italy; Musatti, Cesare.

Source Citation

Freud, Sigmund. (1966-1980 [1886-1938]). Opere. Turin: Boringhieri.


Grubrich-Simitis, Ilse. (1993). Back to Freud's texts: Making silent documents speak. New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 1996.

Ranchetti, Michele. (1993). Prefazione. In Opere, Complementi. Turin: Boringhieri.

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