‘For our garden of remembrance is somewhere else’: Narratives of separation through the eyes of Freud's patients

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This article presents a unique collection of narratives of separation – unique because the separation here is from psychoanalysis and from Freud as analyst. These narratives were published as part of memoirs written about Freud by three of his patients. Their narratives of separation give us an innovative point of view on the psychoanalytic process, in particular with respect to the importance they place on the termination phase of the analysis at a time when Freud himself had not given it much consideration. The three autobiographical texts are Abram Kardiner's memoir (1977); the memoir of Sergei Pankejeff, known as the Wolf Man (Gardiner,); and ‘Tribute to Freud’, by the poet H.D. (). These three distinguished narratives are discussed here as works of translation, as understood by Walter Benjamin (1968 [1955]), Paul Ricoeur (2006 [2004]), and Jean Laplanche (1999 [1992]). They express translation under three aspects: reconstruction of the past (the work of memory), interpreting the conscious residues of the transference (the work of mourning), and, as a deferred action, deciphering the enigmatic messages received from Freud as the parental figure. This representation of the analysand's writing suggests that the separation from analysis is an endless work of translation within the endless process of deciphering the unconscious.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1719-1739
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Psychoanalysis
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 Institute of Psychoanalysis


  • Abram Kardiner
  • case study
  • Freudian theory
  • H.D.
  • history of psychoanalysis
  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe
  • memoir
  • Mignon
  • Sigmund Freud
  • The Wolf Man (Sergei Pankejeff)
  • translation theory
  • Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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