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A Young Girl´s Diary with letter by Sigmund Freud

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FIRST YEAR Age 11 to 12
SECOND YEAR Age 12 to 13
THIRD YEAR Age 13 to 14
LAST HALF-YEAR Age 14 to 14 1/2


THE best preface to this journal written by a young
girl belonging to the upper middle class is a letter
by Sigmund Freud dated April 27, 1915, a letter
wherein the distinguished Viennese psychologist
testifies to the permanent value of the document:

"This diary is a gem. Never before, I believe, has
anything been written enabling us to see so clearly
into the soul of a young girl, belonging to our social
and cultural stratum, during the years of puberal
development. We are shown how the sentiments pass
from the simple egoism of childhood to attain maturity;
how the relationships to parents and other members
of the family first shape themselves, and how
they gradually become more serious and more intimate;
how friendships are formed and broken. We
are shown the dawn of love, feeling out towards its
first objects. Above all, we are shown how the mystery
of the sexual life first presses itself vaguely on
the attention, and then takes entire possession of the
growing intelligence, so that the child suffers under
the load of secret knowledge but gradually becomes
enabled to shoulder the burden. Of all these things
we have a description at once so charming, so serious,
and so artless, that it cannot fail to be of supreme
interest to educationists and psychologists.

"It is certainly incumbent on you to publish the
diary. All students of my own writings will be grateful
to you."

In preparing these pages for the press, the editor
has toned down nothing, has added nothing, and has
suppressed nothing. The only alterations she has
made have been such as were essential to conceal the
identity of the writer and of other persons mentioned
in the document. Consequently, surnames, Christian
names, and names of places, have been changed.
These modifications have enabled the original author
of the diary to allow me to place it at the free disposal
of serious readers.

No attempt has been made to correct trifling faults
in grammar and other inelegancies of style. For the
most part, these must not be regarded as the expression
of a child's incapacity for the control of language.
Rather must they be looked upon as manifestations of
affective trends, as errors in functioning brought
about by the influence of the Unconscious.
(ID 36082)

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