Beyond The Pleasure
Beyond The Pleasure
Alter Yayıncılık

While Freud did not explicitly make this claim, one may regard Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920) as the first, still somewhat tentative resolution of the troubling theoretical problem he had raised in the paper on narcissism (see above, pp. 545-62). The Ego and the Id, published three years later, was his second, definitive response. He now replaced the pairing of driveslibidinal and egoistic-that had served him for more than a decade of psychoanalvtic theorizing and that he had called into question not long before the World War, with a new, more dramatic pair of contestants: life against death. Aggression, to which Freud had earlier devoted a measure of attention that he now deemed inadequate, became from 1920 on the equal adversary of Eros.
Freud's preoccupation with death, marked in Beyond the Pleasure Principle and much of his later writing, has invited the suggestion that his thinking was colored darkly by the death of his charming and attractive daughter Sophie in January 1920, during the great influenza epidemic that claimed so many victims across Europe and the United States. Indeed, Fritz Wittels, an early associate of the Vienna psychoanalytic circle, said so explicitly in his biography of Freud (the first), of which he sent an advance copy to his subject in late 1923. Freud acknowledged that Wittels's argument was plausible enough. But he vigorously denied that he had developed his theory of the death drive as a consequence of grieving for his Sophie: the chronology was against it. He had in fact virtually completed Beyond the Pleasure Principle in 1919, and circulated the manuscript among a few intimates, while Sophie was still flourishing and enjoying perfect health. The essay must be read not as an exercise in autobiography, but as a turning point in theory.