“THE CHAISE LONGUE”

When Jung, in an outburst of independent judgment, or what was the same for Freud, in a clear gesture of rebellion, acquired for his consultation room not a couch, as Freud had established, but a chaise longue, Freud hit the ceiling: how dared Jung, the chosen one to succeed him, to contravene his instructions concerning furniture? A year earlier, Freud had frowned on the choice by Jung of a vase of flowers instead of a portrait of the father of psychoanalysis to adorn his office. And now, the chaise longue! Was his favorite disciple a sissy? (Freud did not have anything against homosexuals, but he preferred to keep them away). With a chaise longue instead of a couch, Jung’s work with his patients could never fit into the category of “psychoanalysis”. In fact, Freud strictly forbade him to call his sessions “psychoanalysis” thereafter. He suggested instead the denomination of “chaiselonanalysis”. Jung frowned and stared at him with piercing and narrowed eyes. Freud made a high-pitched squeak and hurried to cover his own eyes with a handkerchief tied behind the head. Then he accused Jung of trying to hypnotize him. The discussion went up in tone, although Freud was the only one who spoke: Jung limited himself to puff his pipe gazing at his colleague who was wandering nervously around the room colliding with the walls. According to Freud, if the news of the acquisition of the chaise longue was made public, psychoanalysis would become the laughingstock of the city, now that Viennese society had finally begun to take it seriously (here Freud stumbled upon the chaise longue and gave a somersault falling to the other side, but got up immediately). As he could not convince Jung of the need to get rid of the chaise longue, Freud paid a visit to Otto Rank, who asked him why he was blindfolded and his face full of bruises. Oh, shit! Freud had completely forgotten about the bandage. He took it off and told Rank that he had an assignment for him. But before he could enunciate it, his disciple was already refusing to move anyone to New Caledonia. Freud left Rank’s house believing that a plot was under way in his Society to question his leadership. He imagined that all his disciples had changed the couch for a chaise longue, and decided to fight back. At the next Wednesday meeting of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, his disciples were surprised to see that Freud had replaced the chairs with stools. In the course of the meeting, many of them forgot that they had no support behind, and fell to the ground. Abraham got a bump large like an ostrich egg and Sachs had to be admitted to a hospital due to a concussion.

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