Freud's stated purpose in writing The
is actually quite humble.
Since "no means has been found of in any way introducing into the reproduction of
an analysis the sense of conviction which results from the analysis itself'
analyses such as this are not published in order to produce conviction in the
minds of those whose attitude has hitherto been recusant and skeptical. The
intention is only to bring forward some new facts for investigators who have
already been convinced by their own clinical experiences (159).
The claim is somewhat misleading. Although he cannot "produce conviction" in the
avowed enemies of psychoanalysis, Freud believes he can change the minds of those
in the analytic community "who have already been convinced" by presenting them
with irrefutable "facts." The "investigators" he has in mind, we should remember, are
those wayward analysts whose "twisted interpretations" of the psychoanalytic
enterprise is a form of "resistance to its findings" (155). Freud's goal is not only
edification of an open-minded analyst, then, but the conversion of a hostile insider.
This curious mix of deference and aggression toward the reader is amplified in
a candid footnote where Freud maintains that he, not Jung or Adler, first considered
the possibility that repressed memories are inventions of adulthood. He concludes the
note with a plea:
If, in spite of this, I have held to the more difficult and more improbable view,
it has been as a result of arguments such as are forced upon the investigator by
the case described in these pages or by any other infantile