Letter from Carl Jung to Sigmund Freud
I urgently need your advice on a new case, my friend.
The patient is a male hysteric, Valentin Bulgakov, age twenty-one. He is Russian, middle class, well-educated, and had a Christian Orthodox upbringing. For the past two years, he has followed the principles of Tolstoyanism, which demands pacifism, celibacy, teetotalism, and (I think) vegetarianism of its followers.
Bulgakov exhibits several nervous tics, the most pronounced being violent sneezing fits. While the tics do not interfere overmuch with his position as Tolstoy's (yes, the Count!) personal secretary, and are certainly far less debilitating than tics we have seen in other patients, Tolstoy himself paid for Bulgakov's journey to Zurich, and for Bulgakov's treatment and accommodation at the Burgholzli hospital. Tolstoy continues to pay Bulgakov's salary as well; a most generous patron.
You know I have the utmost faith in the talking cure, but in the case of Bulgakov I have been stymied. It is discussing himself which brings on the worst sneezing, almost a seizure. He also hyperventilates to the point of fainting.
In addition, because Bulgakov is not a native German speaker, word association has not been effective in revealing his complexes. I cannot determine if his delayed responses are due to suppression, or to momentary hesitation in translation. Our efforts in French also yielded inconclusive results.
You've long held that the nose can symbolize the penis, so I know what you are going to say: the sneezing indicates thwarted sexual release. Otto would agree with you, I'm sure, even though he still does not wholly accept your theory about the role of the sexual drive in infancy.
But I'm certain there is more to it, and that the something "more" lies in Tolstoyanism. Otto, who examined Bulgakov when he was admitted to the Burgholzli hospital, differs with me strongly on this. He says Tolstoyanism is simply another manifestation of what he calls patriarchal monogamy, and insists the boy's beliefs need to be completely eradicated before he can be freed from his complexes.
There may be a grain of truth to this: after all, why did Bulgakov fall upon Tolstoyanism? To get to the bottom of it, I read several monographs by the leading Tolstoyan, Vladimir Chertkov. They were heavy going: self-aggrandizing, romantic (in the worst sense of the word), and plodding. Bulgakov's Tolstoyan essays are far superior.
I attempted to sidestep Bulgakov's sneezing fits by giving him a daily journal to write in about any topic he pleases. He reacted to my request with poorly concealed dismay at first, which made me more insistent. In any case, he gives me the pages at the beginning of our sessions. So far, however, it has been no help, because the boy has written exclusively about the works of Tolstoy and what they mean to the Russian people.
I appeal to your great insight in these matters. How does one treat a patient who goes into paroxysms of sneezing when he's asked to talk about himself?
Addendum: I've received your presentation for the Salzburg conference, and will be reviewing it straightaway.
Letter from Sigmund Freud to Carl Jung
I'm extremely grateful you will review my presentation. Two heads are better than one.
Your patient Bulgakov sounds intriguing; I have never seen a neurosis manifest as sneezing before. I'm certain this has already occurred to you, but: what is the specific topic Bulgakov deflects with his sneezing fits? I recommend questioning him about subjects which concern him only in passing (his hometown, his university) to ascertain the point at which the subject matter brings on the fits.
The journal was an excellent idea, but, since Bulgakov writes only of Tolstoy, you may need to give Bulgakov "assignments," like a school boy.
Has Bulgakov been prescribed any medication? A solution of cocaine would numb his sinuses and possibly temporarily reduce the sneezing. If the cocaine has no effect, an organic cause for the sneezing could be safely ruled out.
Letter from Carl Jung to Sigmund Freud
Two interesting developments. Much to my surprise, cocaine temporarily reduced the severity of the sneezing fits. Could it have had a placebo effect?
Second: Otto continues to interfere, and says he can tell just by looking at Bulgakov that the boy has never reached orgasm, which is absurd. When I told Otto of your "assignment" idea, Otto suggested I ask Bulgakov to write on the topic of masturbation.
I refused at first. Bulgakov is a sensitive young man, and I am still establishing the necessary rapport with him. But then I had the (brilliant, I think) idea of putting the subject to Bulgakov in the context of Tolstoyan belief: what does Tolstoyanism say about self-pleasure (if anything)?
Bulgakov, after a severe sneezing fit (which is when I administered the cocaine), calmed down enough to say Tolstoyansim has never addressed it. The boy also near enough admitted he has no experience with masturbation. I thereupon ordered Bulgakov to write the first Tolstoyan essay on masturbation, and to bring it to our next session, which is tomorrow.
Letter from Carl Jung to Sigmund Freud
Intriguing results! The "Essay on Onanism," as Bulgakov titled it, was a complete wash. In spite of the title, the boy wrote only about the Tolstoyan concept of universal love.
I believe Otto is right, and so are you. The sneezing represents thwarted sexual release. Sometimes the obvious answer is the answer. But I'm still in the dark as to why the boy is repelled by self-pleasure, which is an entirely natural (if juvenile) act.
Otto says he's formed a theory, but he refused to share it with me because I did not insist on annihilating the boy's belief in monogamy and patriarchy. Otto says treatment will be in vain if that step is not taken. Even more irritating, Otto hints I already have the key to "open Valentin's door," as he oddly put it, but I will be doomed to failure as long as patriarchal monogamy clouds my judgment.
Case Notes of Carl Jung
Valentin weighs on my mind. During our session yesterday, the boy became distraught and broke down in tears. I've had him moved from the hospital to more homelike accommodations a short distance away. His trip to Zurich is his first outside his country; I believe he suffers from loneliness.
Loneliness, however, was not the reason for his collapse: Valentin has formed the belief I intend to stop him from being an adherent of Tolstoy by tearing down his idol.
Unfortunately, the Tolstoyans are hounded mercilessly in Russia (the Czar has imprisoned hundreds), so the boy's persecution complex is fed regularly by the daily papers (note: see if you can limit his access).
While I am used to taking on the role of a negative authority figure in the minds of my patients at a certain point in therapy, it is nevertheless a depressing development, particularly as Valentin seemed to be making progress. If we cannot overcome this, I will have to refer Valentin to another psychoanalyst. But to whom? I would only trust Freud in this.
I gave Valentin cocaine at the beginning of our session, but I shall discontinue it for now. The benefit is not great enough to outweigh the risk of addiction.
Letter from Sigmund Freud to Carl Jung
I've had a letter from Otto. It was most alarming. I will pass over his views on patriarchy in silence, but I cannot ignore his claim that you have lost your detachment regarding Bulgakov. Otto tells me you've had the boy moved to a bed-sit next door to your practice (as I recall, your apartments are above?) and are now seeing Bulgakov daily. Otto also tells me Bulgakov may have developed a persecution complex, and hints you have failed to see the obvious root of Bulgakov's hysteria.
I too have become overly involved in a patient's case, so I do not feel I can comfortably point fingers. But perhaps it would be wise to refer Bulgakov to another psychoanalyst for the time being, at least until his persecution complex is resolved.
I think we are both in agreement, however, that Otto would be unsuitable.
The Private Diary of Carl Jung
I am baffled by Otto's interference in my hysterical sneezing case. What can Otto possibly be up to? I know he is not a petty man, so my refusal to follow his advice cannot be his motive.
I must accept that Otto truly believes my handling of Valentin's case is somehow flawed. I am still shocked he wrote to Freud on the matter. They are usually at loggerheads.
Case Notes of Carl Jung
A breakthrough, perhaps. I re-read the journal entries Valentin has given me so far, making a note of what Valentin fails to say, as well as what he says. In word association, the absence of a response is one of the most telling symptoms of a complex.
Valentin makes little mention of women in his writing, at least not to the extent I expect from a boy of twenty-one. At that age, I thought of nothing but women. Is this a sign of patriarchal suppression, as Gross would have it, or something else?
A possible theory: Valentin is repressing an oedipal trauma, and therefore he cannot think of any aspect of sexuality without bringing on a sneezing fit.
I tested this theory, but it was immediately shot down. When I invited Valentin to tell me about his mother, he did so happily, and at great length. He also spoke warmly of his sisters and an aunt. He did not sneeze once during these recollections.
However, when I reassured Valentin I had no intention of supplanting his hero, Tolstoy, in his affections, Valentin hyperventilated, and I had to carry him to his rooms next door. I fear the boy's persecution complex may be beyond my skill to overcome.
I've referred Valentin to an internist for a complete set of tests; while the hospital examined Valentin when he was admitted, it's possible something was overlooked. I directed the internist to examine the boy's ability to function sexually in particular.
Case Notes of Carl Jung
The internist informed me Valentin is in perfect health, and is capable of engaging in sexual relations with women, so the next step is to address Valentin's apparent disgust with his own body (my working hypothesis is that disgust lies behind Valentin's avoidance of masturbation; what lies behind the disgust is another matter entirely).
I borrowed a set of plates from Gross (a book of drawings of Greco-Roman statuary), which contains many male nudes. I had it delivered to Valentin, with a note directing Valentin to jot down any thoughts which occurred to him while he examined it, telling him we would discuss it the next day.
When I arrived the following day, however, Valentin informed me he had not opened the book. I told him to do so, and asked him to describe anything that sprang into his mind, no matter how trivial.
Normally, I have Valentin take a chair some distance away during free association sessions, but, as I needed to see the images as he reacted to them, I sat next to him on a settee.
While the drawings were of nymphs and dryads, Valentin expressed himself easily, and was even capable of leaving Tolstoyanism out of his conversation for minutes at a stretch. But when he reached the plate of the discus thrower, he sneezed violently. A sculpture of Hercules brought on the same reaction, and when he turned to the page depicting Lacoon (a muscular male figure wrestling with a snake), he hyperventilated so severely I had him lie down on a couch.
I then used Freud's pressure technique: I put one hand on Valentin's forehead, and applied steady pressure, lifting my hand away just as I asked a question. To begin with, my questions were innocuous, since I had not determined the direction of my inquiry.
I admit the snake makes things rather plain. Valentin is clearly frightened of the penis, but the trauma behind the fear is still a mystery. Gross will of course say the snake represents the oppression of patriarchal monogamy.
The Private Diary of Carl Jung
I continue my case notes here, because I touch upon a personal matter. I was reluctant to commit any of this to paper, but I must, in the hope I will someday come to terms with it.
As Valentin answered my questions, and slowly regained a sense of calm, a thought struck me with force.
It threw light on Valentin's persecution complex, and on his fear of the male body.
In short, I recalled my own experience as a teenager, when a man I greatly admired seduced me (no one but Freud knows of this). When I admire a man now, such as my crush on Freud (which I have admitted to Freud has erotic overtones), I throw up a defense, which can appear to be a persecution complex. Freud experienced this with Fliess, who, once he broke away from Freud's influence, imagined Freud was persecuting him.
I was convinced Valentin had had the same experience as myself: he has been seduced by an older man he worshiped. Naturally, it occurred to me the man could have been Tolstoy, but I felt instinctually it wasn't the Count; I believe Valentin's symptoms would be far more severe if that were the case, and it would be extremely far-fetched for the Count to send a young man he had seduced to be psychoanalyzed (what with our reputation of being sex-obsessed in the papers).
I eased into the topic by asking Valentin to name a dozen men he admired. Tolstoy was at the top of Valentin's list, followed by Vladimir Chertkov. Valentin showed no signs of agitation while he named names, including that of his father.
I then made what I now realize was a blunder. Instead of allowing Valentin's free association to flow naturally, I asked bluntly, "Has a man you admired ever seduced you? Such as Chertkov, or Tolstoy?"
Valentin sneezed so violently I resorted once again to the cocaine.
Because of my agitation, I made another mistake. I sought to reassure Valentin by telling him of my own experience, and of Freud's and Gross's theories on bisexuality (that bisexuality is a normal stage of human development).
But I then made the greatest blunder of all. I told Valentin that if, like me, he had enjoyed the experience, he was completely normal, and he need not fear any lasting ill effects. The words came out of me in a great torrent, and I would have talked on for hours, but Valentin finally spoke.
"There's a man I admire," Valentin said.
"Yes?" I prompted.
I was triumphant. At last I was helping the boy. I was certain we were about to unearth the trauma at the root of Valentin's complexes.
"Who I wish to seduce me," Valentin said.
I was surprised the seduction was only on the fantasy level, although Freud recently reached the conclusion the suppression of fantasies is enough to produce a sexual complex. Before I could ask another question, however, Valentin sat up, and kissed me.
Up to this point, there is nothing I could not have included in my case notes. There is nothing I am ashamed of. But here, I reacted badly, and returned Valentin's kiss. Moreover, when he moved to sit in my lap, I held him in a tight embrace.
In my defense, I was momentarily stunned. As soon as Valentin's lips touched mine, I recalled a dream in which I made love to a woman. The woman had no face I could discern, and I had the bizarre notion the woman was me. But suddenly I realized that (in the dream) she had Valentin's face, and yet she was still myself.
How far things would have gone, I cannot say. I did not move to halt the proceedings even when Valentin tried to touch me through my trousers.
No, that is not putting it accurately. Even here I censor myself! I am sure I invited the touch; I can recall making a movement (legs, hips), which even Valentin, with his complete lack of experience, could not mistake.
If there had not been a booming noise from below (it was a coalman making a delivery, I later realized), I'm not sure what would have transpired. But the loud rattling caused us both to spring apart.
"I shall send you the latest monographs on bisexuality," I said once my clothing was in order. "By Freud, and by Gross. I must warn you Gross is fixated on patriarchy, so take him with a grain of salt."
I left and found a tavern, where I had a glass of brandy to compose myself.
The facts are these: I am the man Valentin hopes will seduce him. Obviously I am not responsible for Valentin's sneezing fits, which pre-date our acquaintance, but whatever fantasy Valentin originally had has been superseded by fantasies of me. Based on other cases, it is possible Valentin never before put a face to his fantasy. Not until he met me.
When I was calmer, I was filled with shame: Valentin opened up to me, and I responded by recommending monographs! Then I left abruptly, without discussing what had occurred. Without even referencing it.
This is by no means the first time something of this nature has happened to me; many female patients have expressed similar sentiments during therapy (though none have tried to kiss me). I have no excuse.
The only good that has come of this is that I am certain Valentin's persecution complex regarding me has been put to rest.
Case Notes of Carl Jung
The case of hysterical sneezing has finally broken open: Valentin appears still to be in the bisexual stage of development, and has fantasies of seducing, or of being seduced by, an older man. There is no indication of a suppressed sexual assault in his past. This supports Freud's theory that actual sexual trauma does not have to take place for neuroses to develop.
As a result of his fantasies, the patient developed a complex about the male body, and about sexuality in general. It is even possible the patient's adherence to Tolstoyanism is a reflection of his repressed bisexuality. Tolstoyanism preaches universal love, which perhaps was the only way the patient could express his desire for sexual relations with males.
The patient's avoidance of masturbation sprang from his repressed sexual drive. He wished to touch a male body, and as a result he could not touch even his own, as doing so would bring his repressed desire from the unconscious to the conscious mind.
The ramifications of the case are intriguing. It is my belief Tolstoyanism served as transference. The patient's repressed sexuality was channeled into a fervent belief in the principles of Tolstoyanism, which allowed the patient to function. But the transference was not enough to keep the fantasies at bay, and, whenever it was insufficient, the patient experienced fits of sneezing, which represented his desire to see a man orgasm.
Since the patient is a highly intellectual and sensitive young man, I believe a cure can be affected through re-education. When the patient understands the source of his complexes, he will be free of their negative effects.
Does this case support Freud's contention that sexual maturity necessarily demands sexual repression? Perhaps. All humans start life as bisexual. During adolescence, male and female alike, the bisexual drive is suppressed and replaced with what Freud terms monosexuality.
Gross, on the other hand, believes monosexuality, like monogamy, is a cultural tool of repression in service of the patriarchy, not an inherent part of our makeup, and that the way forward to mental health is to reject the culture. He has said that sexual immorality is the only way a neurotic can be healthy. Freud has countered that sexual repression can have a civilizing influence.
There is a third factor Freud and Gross have so far overlooked, which I believe is the key in this case, and that is the integration of the conscious and unconscious mind.
If all human beings have both a masculine and feminine side (bisexuality), do these represent (figuratively) the conscious and the unconscious?
Example: there was a Swiss professional man, early thirties, who had dreams of sexual relations with a faceless woman the man later understood to be himself. Did the woman represent the man's unconscious mind (his psyche)? Did the erotic act symbolize integration of the Self, without loss of power of either the conscious or unconscious? Is accepting and understanding bisexuality the key? These questions must be asked.
Letter from Count Leo Tolstoy to Carl Jung
Valentin has frequently mentioned you in his letters, and says you have been the greatest help to him. My gratitude is immense.
I am writing to ask if Valentin is in good health. He has been writing faithfully every week, but I have heard nothing from him for a fortnight.
Please understand that I am not concerned as to when Valentin will be able to resume his duties as my personal secretary. His happiness is the most important thing to me. He is a very special young man.
I apologize for writing in French; my German is terribly rusty.
Letter from Carl Jung to Sigmund Freud
I have news regarding the case of hysterical sneezing, but something else has arisen that takes precedence.
Otto's father, Judge Hans Gross, is petitioning to have Otto committed to the Burgholzli, on the grounds that Otto is an addict at great risk. I have no doubt the judge will succeed.
When Otto is admitted, I have promised to undertake an analysis of him, beginning immediately. It is the least I can do for our friend.
As soon as I find the time, I will send you my notes on the case of hysterical sneezing, and the underlying complex. I believe it will create a sensation at the Salzburg conference, but I must run it by you first. We have already been accused of trying to "shock" people, and this case could cast a negative light on psychoanalysis if I take the wrong approach.
I've reviewed the material you sent me, and I urge you to focus on case work, not theory, during your presentation at the Salzburg conference. Your work with the Rat Man is the greatest achievement of psychoanalysis to date.
The Private Diary of Carl Jung
I am exhausted. My analysis of Otto today continued for thirteen hours.
Several hours into our session, Otto began to analyze me. He got me talking about Valentin's case, and asked if I had discovered the boy's underlying complexes.
I told Otto he had been correct: Valentin has never masturbated to the point of orgasm. Then I gave Otto an abridged version of what took place when Valentin looked at the classical nudes.
Otto's response, I regret to say, was to laugh. I grew angry, and told him everything, even of Valentin's attempt to kiss me. It was, I realize now, wounded pride; I wanted Otto to know I had discovered Valentin's complex: repressed bisexuality.
Otto of course expressed no shock; his pride demands that he be shocked by nothing.
"And I suppose you think the solution is to reconcile him to monosexuality," Otto said.
"Not at all," I said. "But I must help him channel his fixations. First Tolstoyanism, then myself, served as vehicles of transference. He must move forward somehow."
Otto prodded me to explain how Valentin could move forward, so I told Otto of my dream of the faceless woman, and my theory that in men, the unconscious, or the innermost self (I have begun to think of it as the soul, but I did not use that word, knowing Otto would mock me for it) takes on the figurative appearance of a woman. In women, I argued, the unconscious takes on the appearance of a man.
I called my unconscious self the anima, and told Otto I believed uniting the male and female sides of our nature was necessary for emotional health.
Otto was excited, but for the wrong reason. He believed I was finally rejecting patriarchy, and that I agreed matriarchy was the wave of the future, just as it had been the state of society in our remote past. To end his rant, which was exhausting him, I agreed to read Engels's The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State.
This led to a sad discovery. To reduce Otto's agitation and induce sleep, I administered morphine, and it had very little effect. I had to give Otto nearly three times the usual dose, so he must be habituated to the drug (as his father suspected).
When Otto was calm, but still lucid, he said, "You've told me a bunch of nonsense about what you intend to do about Valentin. But what do you really mean to do?"
"To help him," I said.
"By yammering to him about a faceless woman? Do you think that kind, Carl?"
That struck a nerve, because I had not seen Valentin since the day he kissed me, although I had sent him notes, telling him of my preoccupation with Otto, to which Valentin had responded warmly. Valentin is very fond of Gross (surprising, considering how different they are temperamentally), so he was eager for any details I could give him.
It also struck a nerve because I had concealed something from Otto I knew to be absolutely crucial: that my anima had not remained faceless, but had briefly taken on Valentin's features.
Otto, even under the influence of a narcotic, easily discerned my inner turmoil.
"It astounds me that you believe someone as miserably inhibited as yourself can help me," Otto said.
"I shall see you in the morning," was all I said in reply, and I left after giving the nurse instructions.
After I took my leave of the Burgholzli, I stopped at Valentin's to see how he was getting on, even though it was already ten in the evening. Arriving so late, I was unsure of my reception. I was relieved when Valentin admitted me promptly to his rooms.
Before I could apologize to Valentin, and tell him our sessions would have to be postponed a few days, Valentin asked, "How is Doctor Gross?"
I was about to give a pat answer, such as, "As well as can be expected, under the circumstances," but, looking at Valentin's kind and open expression, the aching worry I had suppressed all day while in Otto's presence overcame me.
As I stood there, unable to think of anything to say, my eyes smarting, Valentin stepped forward and greeted me in the Eastern fashion: an embrace and three kisses on each cheek. It was the first time he had done so, and I regret to say I was too surprised to return his gesture.
After putting me at ease, Valentin demanded I devote myself to Otto, and assured me he was staying busy by catching up on his correspondence.
It was then I remembered Tolstoy's letter. I was about to urge Valentin to write to Tolstoy, if he hadn't already done so. But I did not.
Describing the event in hindsight, I realize I was afraid Valentin would confide in Tolstoy, perhaps even accuse me of attempting to seduce him. I am heartily ashamed such a thought crossed my mind. Valentin is utterly incapable of such a low act.
My visit with Valentin was brief, but I arrived home in a vastly improved state of mind.
Letter from Carl Jung to Sigmund Freud
Otto is addicted to opiates, and his moods fluctuate wildly. I am neglecting my other duties while I help our friend, but I assure you I will be prepared for the Salzburg conference.
The Private Diary of Carl Jung
Another exhausting day with Otto. I finally reached home at seven in the evening, and sent for Valentin to join me for supper.
When Valentin arrived, I was momentarily rendered speechless at his changed appearance.
Even after his arrival in Zurich, Valentin wore the garb of a Russian peasant: baggy trousers tucked into slouching boots, a linen smock belted at the waist, and a shapeless knit hat. I had hoped the boy would eventually grow out of it.
Apparently Valentin has. He was dressed in a smart, close-fitting suit, and his hair was in perfect order. His unkempt beard was shaved off.
Food was brought in for both of us, and as we ate we discussed Otto's case.
As I have noted before, it is remarkably easy for intelligent patients to examine the neuroses of others, even when they are unable to see their own, and Valentin is no exception. He had many useful insights, and even suggested Otto's obsession with patriarchy sprang from Otto's difficult relationship with his father. The thought had occurred to me as well, so we did not lack for things to say.
At the end of the meal, when we retired to my study, Valentin thanked me for remembering he was a vegetarian.
"The rice casserole was delicious," Valentin said.
In spite of my weariness, I had an epiphany.
I understood why Tolstoyanism had served so well as a transference for Valentin's repressed sexuality: Tolstoyanism forbade many pleasures of the flesh, such as eating meat and drinking alcohol. Therefore, Tolstoyanism perfectly symbolized Valentin's rejection of his sensual nature! This was the something more I had known lay beneath the surface. Not for the first time (and I pray not for the last), I marveled at how neatly, how fittingly, the human mind hides its truths.
I had not yet explained the theory of transference to Valentin, and decided to plunge into it. I gave him my views, as well as those of Freud and Otto.
Valentin listened attentively, then said, "Doctor Jung, you are an amazing man."
To cover my embarrassment at his effusiveness, I launched into an overview of my new insight into the anima. And then I went too far.
I confessed to Valentin I had dreamt of him in the guise of my anima, my inner self.
Valentin's reaction was immediate, and devastating to me. He paled, and briefly covered his face with his hands.
"I do not see you as a woman," I said, afraid he had misunderstood me. "Please do not take it that way, Valentin."
In case he hyperventilated, I helped him to the sofa. Otto's words, Do you think that kind, echoed in my head, and I was sick at heart.
Automatically, I fetched brandy, and offered Valentin a generous glass. Before I recalled Valentin did not drink, Valentin took the glass from me and downed the contents.
In my muddled state, the symbolism of his act took a while to penetrate. Then I understood. Valentin drank because he intended to no longer reject pleasure. My pulse raced, but the first words out of my mouth were clinical and cold.
"Have you masturbated?" I asked.
Valentin flushed, but he did not sneeze. "Yes."
"To the point of orgasm?"
"The first time was when?"
Valentin flushed deeper. "Four nights ago."
I nodded reassuringly, then realized it was the day he had kissed me. It took me a moment to recover.
"Very good," I said. "I noticed you have not sneezed even once this evening. Congratulations are in order. I believe you are cured."
I began to outline in my head the progress report I would send to Tolstoy in the morning, in which I would pronounce Valentin freed from his complexes. It would be a week before my letter reached Tolstoy, and his reply to me would take just as long. So two weeks was perhaps all the time left to us; surely Tolstoy would ask Valentin to return immediately.
"Doctor Jung, thank you," Valentin said. "You have been exceptionally kind to me."
"Please call me Carl," I said. "In celebration of your change of status, Valentin. From patient to friend."
"I am honored you think me worthy of your friendship," Valentin said, and blushed tremendously.
I must pause here to own up to something.
Even here, in my private diary, I have not been entirely candid.
Just prior to Otto's hospitalization, I re-read my case notes on Valentin, as well as the entries in my personal diary which concern him. I analyzed my entries not only to make note of what I included, but what I left out.
My omission was obvious. I have not once mentioned that Valentin is an extremely attractive young man.
I must confess his appearance has had a profound effect on how I conducted his treatment, in particular the frequency and length of our sessions. If Valentin had been plain and ill-formed, would I have devoted myself to his case with the same zeal? I'm afraid the answer is no. Equally, my zeal would have been less had he been unintelligent, or unkind.
But I can at least put an end to my oversight: Valentin is exceptionally good-looking, with a red mouth, and (although I have seen only his face, neck, and hands) what I am sure is flawless skin. He smiles readily, and invariably has a sweet expression. His Russian accent is indescribably charming. Most devastating, however, are his eyes, which are a brilliant blue whenever he stares at me in intense absorption. Which is almost always.
I know now my physical reaction to Valentin is what Otto referred to when he suggested I was blind to Valentin's complexes. Otto must have noticed how I looked at Valentin, how I reacted to Valentin's company, how I sought Valentin out. And Otto saw how I concealed this from myself.
That is not all. I have obscured the fact that Valentin began as Otto's patient, and that I more or less stole Valentin away. Otto didn't "interfere" in Valentin's case, as I have implied; Otto was simply trying to treat his patient.
I have also failed to mention Valentin has figured in my dreams several times, not just the single instance I've described. It took me some time to realize this, for he initially appeared as a glowing heart in the sky. It took me an embarrassingly long time to make the connection between Valentin and the heart (an instance of symbolism as subtle as a tree falling on one's head).
When Valentin looked for somewhere to set his empty brandy glass, I took it from him and placed it on the floor. My hand shook.
"I have upset you," Valentin said.
"Not at all," I said, and it was perhaps one of the larger lies I have told.
Valentin's presence did affect me, and powerfully. We were still sitting side by side on the couch, and I was keenly aware of many things. The lateness of the hour. That Valentin and I were alone. That, as was my usual habit in the evening, I had locked the door to my study.
"You have had a long day," Valentin said. "I should not keep you."
On the contrary, you should, flashed into my mind. Perhaps my expression revealed more than I intended, because Valentin flushed, and studied his hands in his lap.
"May I tell you something, Carl?" Valentin said.
"Anything," I said.
"I thought you would not wish to see me again, after the other night. Much less welcome me into your home."
The polite, expected response was It was nothing, I assure you, don't mention it, and I was completely incapable of saying it. It had not been nothing.
Valentin said, "To a man like you, it must have been–"
"Like me?" I was genuinely puzzled. Older? A doctor? Swiss?
"Experienced," Valentin said, giving me a swift look before returning to the study of his hands. "Not a virgin."
I smiled. "I'm not that experienced, I assure you. The man, you know of. There was also a woman in Vienna."
"Oh," Valentin said. "But still."
"Valentin." I took his hand, which forced him to look at me. "There is no one I'd rather have here with me."
I shocked myself with my honesty, but Valentin actually rocked back slightly, and pulled his hand out of mine.
But then his hand crept back, and landed on my knee.
Instinctively, I spread my legs apart, and angled my body toward his.
Valentin breathed heavily through his mouth as his hand slid up my thigh with agonizing slowness. At last his hand reached my crotch. When he felt how aroused I was, he let out a low, desperate sound.
I seized his wrists and pulled him to me. I had to have his mouth on mine; I felt I would explode otherwise.
Exploring Valentin's mouth occupied me completely at first, until I ran my fingernails down the length of his back. He arched against me, his body momentarily slack in my arms, and then he fell back on the couch, his legs spread. I lay between them, bringing our groins together.
The sensation astounded me.
My earlier experience with a man had been entirely one-sided. He had taken me in his mouth; I had not been permitted to touch him. Each time, we had both remained almost completely clothed. The woman, whom I saw several times, had been a professional, and passionless.
There had been nothing like this frantic grinding and thrusting. I had the presence of mind to remove my glasses before they were crushed, and then I was entirely committed.
I quickly realized it was enough to bring me off, and knew I should stop, but I was incapable of stopping unless Valentin did so first.
Valentin did not. His hands clutched me as if he would never let go.
I remembered when I had first been touched intimately by another, how vastly more pleasurable it was than when I touched myself, and how the knowledge transformed me. What does it tell us about humanity, that we are so dependent on the touch of others of our kind, from infancy to old age?
Within minutes, Valentin tensed under me, and thrust up hard, his moan making it clear what had happened.
"I'm sorry," Valentin said, and tried to cover his face.
I pulled his hands away, and held them in mine. "Absolutely not," I said, not sure what I was forbidding.
We came up with three handkerchiefs between us. I stuffed them down the front of Valentin's trousers, inside his underclothes. When my hand touched his wet skin, I seized his mouth in a kiss.
"Stop," Valentin said. "Let me." His hands worked at my trouser buttons.
When he took hold of me, my eyes clenched shut, but I opened them to find Valentin looking at me in his hand, his expression of (I must say it) awe destroying any remaining reserve I possibly possessed.
I guided Valentin's other hand to me as well, which for some reason made him moan. He gradually lost his tentativeness, seizing me almost brutally in a two-handed grip, until his determined strokes reduced me to gasps. When I thrust upward into his hands, he kissed me so hard it was almost painful.
I muffled my moans against his neck, my orgasm shattering me with its intensity.
After I caught my breath, I said, "Don't go. Stay here tonight."
"Of course," Valentin said, as if I had made a common request.
"I'll have bedding and linen brought for you." I summoned a servant, and went upstairs to my bedroom to change into nightclothes.
When I was sure the servant had departed, I returned to the study. My intention was only to make sure Valentin was comfortable on the couch, but it was nearly dawn when I went to my own bed. Nothing more transpired; I simply held him as he slept.
Letter from Count Leo Tolstoy to Valentin Bulgakov
I have received a letter from Doctor Jung, in which he assured me you are well, and proclaims your sneezing fits cured. I am so happy for you, my boy.
But my happiness is tempered by alarming news. I have learned the Czar's secret police are seeking you because of your essays on land reform. You must remain in Zurich for now.
Please understand, my dear Valentin, that you would do no one any good by languishing in the Czar's prisons. We all miss you, but I insist that you do not come home.
You have my blessing to establish a Society of Tolstoy in Switzerland; by the time you receive this, Chertkov will be on his way to Paris to found the French chapter.
Letter from Valentin Bulgakov to Count Leo Tolstoy
I am honored by your trust in me, sir. I will not let the movement down.
Your news had an unexpected benefit. When I went to tell Doctor Jung of your letter, I found him in low spirits. His colleague, Doctor Gross, left the hospital where he was being treated, and cannot be found.
Doctor Jung was Gross's primary physician, as well as his close personal friend, so he has been devastated by this development. I am greatly relieved I do not have to leave Doctor Jung at this time. It is terrible to see a good man suffer.
The Private Diary of Carl Jung
When Valentin and I arrived at the hotel, I was still in a poor frame of mind. We went for a long walk by the lake before retiring to our rooms.
Not up to putting myself on display in the public dining room, I had supper sent in. After the meal, when we rose from the table, I realized I had said almost nothing all day.
"I'm afraid I've been poor company, Valentin. I am sometimes too much in my head."
"I know." Valentin smiled. "But I have no complaints."
"Yet I am still sorry for dragging you into…" I waved a hand to indicate Otto, and everything else. "It must seem incredibly sordid, after your time on the Count's estate. I hear it's an earthly paradise, a place of harmony and brotherhood–"
Valentin laughed, and took me by the shoulders. "People are the same everywhere, Carl. They want things they cannot have. They do not appreciate what they do have. And they do not know what they want."
On the last phrase, he became serious. The naked emotion in his face was nearly too much for me to look upon. When he embraced me, I dropped my head on his shoulder, and breathed in his reassuring scent of ink and paper.
"Take off your glasses," Valentin said softly.
Tugging at our clothing, we made our way to the carpet before the fire. Valentin spread a blanket on the floor and sat upon it, holding a hand out to me. I took it and tried to lower myself with dignity, but then more or less fell on him. He laughed, and kissed me.
"There is something I do not understand," I said.
Then I lost my train of thought for a while, because we were finally free of our clothing. Chests, legs, mouths pressed together.
"What is it?" Valentin asked.
"You do not seem to want anything of me," I said.
Valentin shook his head, smiling. "I want a great many things."
I rolled on top of him, then slid down to take him into my mouth. The selfish pleasure of it surprised me. I paid little heed to Valentin's reactions, only to my own sensations, until I placed a hand on his chest, to keep my balance while I rose onto my knees.
The weight of my hand drew a gasp out of him, so I pressed down harder, my other hand sliding beneath him to push him into me. The movement of his hips became haphazard. I knew he was close, and when he tried to push me away, I held him down until he spilled into my mouth.
The warmth of the fire and the heat of our lovemaking left us sheened with sweat, so our bodies slid easily against each other. I kissed him, ground against his thigh, and was about to spend that way, when Valentin twisted beneath me. He produced a tin of salve from the heap of his clothing, and rubbed the salve on me, nearly undoing me in the process.
He got on his hands and knees, and for a moment I just stared at his skin, golden in the firelight. At last I moved behind him. But our impatience, combined with our inexperience, turned out to be a formidable barrier. I was apologetic, Valentin increasingly frustrated, until we realized I should hold perfectly still while he pressed back against me.
When I was sheathed in him, it was as if the minutes of desperate fumbling had never existed for either of us. Valentin slowly pushed back, then moved forward, my hands resting on him lightly. Finally, Valentin reached back to clasp my hand, and pressed it against his hip. I took this as permission to move.
I knew, from the confessions of patients, that the pleasure of what we were doing might not be one-sided, that it could be more to Valentin than something to be endured for my sake. But my clinical, cold knowledge did nothing to prepare me for his reaction. He reached back to pull my hair, until his arms gave out, then he moaned, face down, into the blanket. He moved against me, until his legs were shaking and no longer under his command. Then I gripped his shoulders and took what he was giving me.
His body suddenly turned rigid, his back arched, in what I knew instinctually were the throes of extreme pleasure. I saw his hands were beneath him, that he was mindlessly touching himself as I took him, and the knowledge of his transformation, from stifling shyness to sensuality, from repression to love, overwhelmed me. I climaxed powerfully, Valentin straining towards me until the end.
For a time, we lay unmoving before the fire. Valentin pulled the blanket up to our waists. I supported myself on one elbow so I could look at Valentin's flushed face, and touch his smiling mouth.
"But you set no conditions," I said eventually. "That makes all the difference."
We spent the next day hard at work, preparing for the Salzburg conference. Valentin has undertaken the translation of the German language papers submitted to the conference into French and Russian.
The case of hysterical sneezing is not among the German works.
There is no news of Otto; he is still missing.
On the day I learned Otto had vanished, I collapsed entirely. I shall never forget my relief at the sight of Valentin that evening. Valentin embraced me, and said over and over, "I am not leaving," until I was at last able to take it in.
Here at the lake, with Valentin, I can focus again on my work.
The conference is nearly upon us. While it is called merely the First Congress for Freudian Psychology, it will be the first international conference for psychoanalysis that has ever been held, anywhere. Its importance to the future of psychoanalysis cannot be underestimated.
It is now ten in the evening. I'm in a comfortable chair, catching up on my diary, an oil lamp providing sufficient illumination to write by. Valentin continues to labor on his translations; these past two hours, I have been enjoying the sight of him at the desk.
Soon, it will be time for bed.