Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > Health Sciences > 157. Sigmund Freud

157.  Sigmund Freud (1856-1939).  Totem und Tabu. Autograph document, Essay II, section 3. Vienna, ca. 1912-13. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections

In Totem und Tabu, a study in cultural anthropology and psychoanalysis, Freud made use of Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough to theorize about early human culture. He believed that the Oedipus complex was at the root of civilization's origin–when, Freud asserted, a dominant patriarch was slain and eaten by a primal horde.

Freud gave the manuscript of part II, sections 3 and 4, to his Hungarian disciple Sandor Ferenczi. After Ferenczi's death his family held the manuscript, which was nearly destroyed in 1945 when the family home caught fire during the Soviet capture of Budapest. The manuscript later passed to Ferenczi's literary executor, Dr. Michael Balint, whose son, Dr. John Balint, later donated it to the Health Sciences Library.

Gift of John Balint, M.D., 1998

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