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Ferenczi24: A Worldwide Celebration

Updated: Apr 21, 2023


Ferenczi24 is a celebration of the life and work of the medical doctor and psychoanalyst Sándor Ferenczi, born in 1873 in Miskolc, then part of Austro-Hungary, and a close colleague of Sigmund Freud from 1908, the year of their first meeting, up till his death in 1933 in Budapest.


(Sándor Ferenczi in 1922)


As a longtime correspondent of Freud, the third president of the International Psychoanalytical Association, and the founder of the Hungarian Psychoanalytical Society (in 1913), Sándor Ferenczi is today considered a colossus in the history of the psychoanalytic movement noted for extending Freud’s design to explore uncharted regions of analytic technique and theory. His essays represent not only an unparalleled contemporary elucidation of Freud’s ideas but their critique as he set about adumbrating his own picture of psychoanalysis, notably by evoking the abusive potential of an erotic, traumatogenic confusion that may arise between the child and an adult and by plunging into the mutuality of the analytic encounter in which the depths of the analyst’s self experience is revealed, to a point, at least, in relation to the analysand’s. The Clinical Diary, written in the last year of his life but published only decades later, counts among the most searching, and bold, pages in the analytic literature of his time and ours.


What is Ferenczi24, and how will it take place? We’ll gather over the full twenty-four hours of Saturday, April 22nd in different cities across the planet, from Auckland to Guadalajara and more than twenty other sites in between (including my own elected city, Paris), or tuned into the Free Association Lisbon’s Facebook page from which the meetings will be live-streamed (https://m.facebook.com/freeassociationlisbon), to read and discuss a selection of Ferenczi’s works. Individual meetings themselves are scheduled to last two hours.


Ferenczi24 is a public happening made possible by the helping hand of local committees to which friends and practitioners of psychoanalysis, or simply those open to learning more, are invited to attend and join in the discussion. All said, it promises to be a unique occasion, so why not drop by to partake in this convivial get together?


The year 2023 marks the 150th anniversary of Sándor Ferenczi’s birth. Coming up in June, the Sándor Ferenczi Society, in collaboration with the Hungarian Psychoanalytical Society and the Free Association Lisbon, has also organized an international gathering in Budapest. For the curious, full details may be found here: https://ferenczi150budapest.org/.


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