Here is another S.P., agreed (I mean a secret de Polichinelle), but I would put my hand into the fire, it's really the only one.For the rest, they will understand nothing about my clinamen, even if the are sure of everything, especially in that case, the worst one.Especially there where I speak trully they will see only fire.On this subject, you know that Freud's Sophie was cremated.
[J.D. The postcard, p.255]
"This afternoon we received the news that our sweet Sophie in Hamburg had been snatched away by influenzal pneumonia, snatched away in the midst of glowing health, from a full and active life as a competent mother and loving wife, all in four or five days, as though she had never existed. Although we had been worried about her for a couple of days, we had nevertheless been hopeful; it is so difficult to judge from a distance. And this distance must remain distance; we were not able to travel at once, as we had intended, after the first alarming news; there was no train, not even for an emergency. The undisguised brutality of our time is weighing heavily upon us. Tomorrow she is to be cremated, our poor Sunday child! . . . Sophie leaves two sons, one of six, the other thirteen months, and an inconsolable husband who will have to pay dearly for the happiness of these seven years. The happiness existed exclusively within them; outwardly there was war, conscription, wounds, the depletion of their resources, but they had remained courageous and gay. I work as much as I can, and am thankful for the diversion. The loss of a child seems to be a serious, narcissistic injury; what is known as mourning will probably follow only later."
On October 15, 1926, Freud wrote to Ludwig Binswanger, "For me, that child took the place of all my children and other grandchildren, and since then, since Heinele's death, I have no longer cared for my grandchildren, but find no enjoyment in life either. This is also the secret of my indifference—it has been called courage—towards the threat to my own life." On March 11, 1928, he returned to the subject in a letter to Ernest Jones: "Sophie was a dear daughter, to be sure, but not a child. It was only three years later, in June 1923, when little Heinele died, that I became tired of life permanently. Quite remarkably, there is a correspondence between him and your little one. He too was of superior intelligence and unspeakable spiritual grace, and he spoke repeatedly about dying soon. How do these children know?"
you should be able to guess, to say it in my place, for we have said everything to each other.
I would have liked, yes, to give you everything that I did not give you, and this does not amount to the same.At least this is what you think, and doubtless you are right, there is in this Necessity.
I will ask myself what to turn around has signified from my birth on or thereabouts.I will speak to you again, and of you, you will not leave me but I will become very young and the distance incalculable.
Tomorrow I will write to you again, in our foreign language.I won't retain a word of it and in September, without my even having seen you again, you will burn
you will burn it, you, it has to be you.
[J.D.The postcard, p.256, end of envois]