When Freud received the letter in which Rank told him the premonitory dream he had witnessed, he feared that after all Jung was right and there was a supernatural component in the human psyche. “That’s all we needed!” he thought. Since his breakup with the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, Jung was also living in America. So Freud could not help thinking that maybe such supernatural component was only present there. So he decided to go to America and find out by himself.
When, on his arrival in New York at midnight, Freud saw from the deck of the ship the Statue of Liberty with its illuminated torch, the Oedipus complex immediately came to his mind. Not the Oedipus Von Stroheim that had been the cause of his discrediting in Vienna but the authentic Oedipus: the one who had killed his father to marry his mother. The Statue of Liberty symbolized for him the mother for whom the Americans had get rid of their father Great Britain. Rank was waiting for him on the dock in the company of his private driver. On the way to Rank’s stately home in Brooklyn Heights, Freud could not help comparing the comfortable economic situation that his disciple seemed to enjoy there with the countless hardships he was forced to endure in Vienna. Definitely, there was a very mysterious component in everything that had to do with America. Rank himself seemed less ugly in America than in Vienna.
When they arrived at the “palace” of Rank, Freud was devilish sleepy, but still a surprise awaited him. As soon as he entered the large hall, an emotional welcome song began to sound. A multitude of American admirers and former disciples of Freud now settled in New York had wanted to join Freud’s welcome. After all, he was the father of Psychoanalysis and he deserved that and much more. True to his characteristic coldness, Freud was not impressed and just asked what was the way to the bedroom, “in case there is a habit of sleeping in America” he added causing the hilarity of those present. Among them, he recognized Adler and Jung, the two great traitors to the psychoanalytic movement, which caused him an involuntary shudder.
Already in his bedroom, Freud contemplated the mouth of the East River dotted with lights. He had gotten out of bed to block the door with a chair, since he could not sleep thinking about the Oedipus complex again. Not the damned Oedipus Von Stroheim of Vienna (although this one also took away his sleep sometimes) but the one who had killed his father to marry his mother. After all, it was said, America was like a mother for Psychoanalysis and he, Sigmund Freud, was the father. Then he ran to place another chair against the door. Yes: Freud feared for his life. Suddenly he heard a suspicious noise coming from the balcony and hurried to hide under the bed. From there, he saw a silhouette against the night sky. Anxious, he saw it struggling with the glass door and, in a reflex act of terror, adopted the foetal position and began to suck his thumb.
Minutes later, he heard a woman’s seductive voice calling him by his name and felt someone pulling him out from under the bed. He kept sucking his finger in a foetal position, as if he were invisible that way. Then the woman pounced on him. Fearing having been discovered, he began to gesticulate to defend his life. Until he realized that what the woman wanted was not to take away his life but his virginity (Freud considered himself a virgin all his life, no matter how many times he had made love). But he was not willing to be unfaithful to the Libido, so he refused the innuendos and threw that woman out of his room. Then he closed the balcony and went to bed thinking about the dangers that haunted him in America.