Freud began writing this unfinished Abriss der Psychoanalyse—his, last work of any considerable length—in London on July 22nd, 1938. A few weeks later he broke it off at a point where, to all appearances, it cannot have been very far from completion. He never returned to it, but, in the following October, started upon a similar project, to which he gave an English title, Some Elementary Lessons in Psycho-Analysis. This second version, however, included in Vol. V of Freud’s Collected Papers, extends to only a few pages.
The present Outline was first published in German in the Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse und Imago, XXV (1940), and is included in Vol. XVII of Freud’s Gesammelte Werke. An English translation appeared in the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, XXI (1940), and is now reprinted with considerable revisions.
The third chapter, unlike the rest of the book, was noted down by the author in a series of abbreviated jottings in telegraphic style. These are, however, perfectly clear and consecutive, and it has been easy for the editors of the German edition to expand them, without any other alteration, into complete sentences. Part I bears no title in the original manuscript and one has been supplied by me.
I have to thank Miss Anna Freud for much valuable help.