In the Freud Archives by Janet Malcolm: Completed Dec 24, 2011
A few of my favorite bits:
"…unlike many relationships that begin and flourish in the benign, self-inventing atmosphere of letters and then wither in the rugged terrain of actuality, the friendship of Masson and Eissler was grounded in personal magnetism, in the attraction between their two personalities."
"We are all perpetually smoothing and rearranging reality to conform to our wishes; we lie to others and to ourselves constantly, unthinkingly. When, occasionally—and not by dint of our own efforts but under the pressure of external events—we are forced to see things as they are, we are like naked people in a storm. There are a few among us—psychoanalysts have encountered them—who are blessed or cursed with a strange imperviousness to the unpleasantness of self-knowledge. Their lies to themselves are so convincing that they are never unmasked. These are the people who never feel in the wrong, who are always able to justify their conduct, and who in the end—human nature being what it is—cause their fallible fellow-men to turn away from them."
"Creative work in any established system of thought takes place at the boundaries of the system, where its powers of explanation are least developed and its vulnerability to outside attack is most marked."
"Human nature is such that when we are suddenly taken up by someone whom we consider superior and admirable, we accept his attentions calmly, whereas when we are dropped we cannot rest until we feel we have got to the bottom of the person’s profound irrationality. Nor can we easily accept the verdict sent down to us through the mortifying silences of someone who has found us wanting and has packed up and moved on. We protest it, each in our way—our futile way, since the more effective is our protest the more surely do we drive away the person whose love we have lost not because of anything we did, but because of who we are."