• The prologue consists of a series of letters between Sigmund Freud, his colleagues, and their friends.
• The main focus of most of the letters is the unusual psychosexual writings of one of Freud's young patients.
• The first letter is from Freud to Sandor Ferenczi which discusses a conference Ferenczi, Freud, and Jung are attending, as well as the relationship between the men.
• Ferenczi worries about the commitment from his already-married girlfriend, Gisela.
• Freud's daughter has died.
• The young woman's letters inspire Freud to examine the death instinct, which he later writes about and sends to his colleagues.
• The respectable, shy young woman is a musician before her illness; when she first leaves Freud in Vienna, she is thin and ill, but is in much better health upon returning from the health resort of Bad Gastein and writing her journal.
Chapter 1, Don Giovanni, Section 1
• A poem, addressed to...
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