Anna O. [Bertha Pappenheim] - In the Junk Shop and Other Stories
Anna O. [Bertha Pappenheim] (1859-1936), a friend of Freud's wife in Vienna, is regarded as the first patient of psychoanalysis. It was she who invented the concept of "the talking cure" under the care of Josef Breuer in Vienna, where she was being treated for hysteria, anorexia, paralysis, hallucinations, phantom pregnancy, suicidal thoughts and morphine addiction. Breuer published her case history "Fräulein Anna O." in 1895, and it is considered the first significant document in the history of psychoanalysis. It is the first case of psychoanalytic literature, introducing Breuer and Freud's Studies on Hysteria.
In 1888 Bertha Pappenheim published (anonymously) her first book of five fairy tales, “Little Stories for Children” (Kleine Geschichten für Kinder). These tales have never been translated before, nor have they appeared in German since their original publication. They reflect on Pappenheim's treatment, dealing with guilt, evil and death. They are not just for children, but also serve as parables for adult visions. They allowed Pappenheim to be reborn, transformed, serving as a kind of "writing cure."
In 1890 she published another collection of fairy tales, “In the Junk Shop” (In der Trödelbude). In these nine tales, nine domestic objects tell their tales of woe and misery to each other, as if they were engaged in a nocturnal therapy session. We hear, for example, the melancholy story of the Old Lace, the Little Doll, the Coffee Grinder, the Music Box.
After Bertha Pappenheim was "cured" in Vienna, she became a successful social worker, leader of the German-Jewish Women's movement in Frankfurt, an ardent feminist and translator of Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792). Breuer's treatment of Anna O. inspired Freud to write that "on this day (November 18, 1882) I first became aware of the power of the unconscious."
Renate Latimer has been teaching German and Austrian literature Auburn University. Her previous translations for Ariadne Press include Herbert Eisenreich, Farewell
to Love and Other Misunderstandings (1993) and Inge Merkel, Odysseus
and Penelope. An Ordinary Marriage (2000).
- Author: Anna O. [Bertha Pappenheim]
- Title: In the Junk Shop and Other Stories
- Binding: Paperback
- Translation by: Renate Latimer
- Publishing House: Ariadne Press
- Pages: 152
- Illustrations: Cover Design by Beth A. Steffel
- Date Published: 2008
- ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-57241-165-4