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Letter to the Editor   |    
Remembering Max Schur
RALPH COLP, JR., M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 2002;159:1443-b-1443. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.159.8.1443-b

To the Editor: I would like to add some personal recollections to the recent Image in Psychiatry about Max Schur by Stephen M. Wittenberg, M.D., and Lewis M. Cohen, M.D. (1). My association with Dr. Schur largely consisted of being in analysis with him for almost 10 years, from November 1959 until his death in early October 1969. During these years, analysis became a powerful intellectual and emotional force in my life, teaching me new insights about myself (sometimes quite painful) that then often enabled me to make changes in relationships with my father, mother, wife, and two young daughters and to begin to develop the professional identity of a psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapist.

At this time I also formed an interest in the biography of Charles Darwin and began transcribing many of Darwin’s unpublished letters. And after hearing Dr. Schur lecture on his physician-patient relationship with Freud and then on a study of unpublished letters that showed Freud’s early negative thoughts about his friend and colleague Wilhelm Fleiss (24), I was influenced to think about Darwin’s protracted illness and his ambivalent feelings for his geological mentor, Charles Lyell. Years later, having gained an intimate knowledge of Darwin’s life, I published a book on his illness (5), followed by an essay delineating the mental conflicts he experienced with Lyell and others over his evolutionary theory (6).

I continue to be guided in my personal and professional life by the insights I learned in analysis. I often remember the attributes of Dr. Schur: his vitality, sense of humor, curiosity about many things, medical and psychological acumen, and empathy (shaped, I believe, by years of medical and psychoanalytic work) for the sufferings of the patients he treated.

Reprints are not available; however, Letters to the Editor can be downloaded at http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org.

Wittenberg SM, Cohen LM: Max Schur, M.D., 1897-1969. Am J Psychiatry  2002; 159:216
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Schur M: The problem of death in Freud’s writings and life. Psychoanal Q  1965; 34:144-147
 
Schur M: Some additional "day residues" of "The Specimen Dream of Psychoanalysis," in Psychoanalysis: A General Psychology. Edited by Loewenstein RM, Newman LM, Schur M, Solnit AJ. New York, International Universities Press, 1966, pp 48-85
 
Schur M: Freud: Living and Dying. New York, International Universities Press, 1972
 
Colp R Jr: To Be an Invalid: The Illness of Charles Darwin. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1977
 
Colp R: "Confessing a murder": Darwin’s first revelations about transmutation. Isis  1986; 77:9-32
[PubMed]
 
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References

Wittenberg SM, Cohen LM: Max Schur, M.D., 1897-1969. Am J Psychiatry  2002; 159:216
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Schur M: The problem of death in Freud’s writings and life. Psychoanal Q  1965; 34:144-147
 
Schur M: Some additional "day residues" of "The Specimen Dream of Psychoanalysis," in Psychoanalysis: A General Psychology. Edited by Loewenstein RM, Newman LM, Schur M, Solnit AJ. New York, International Universities Press, 1966, pp 48-85
 
Schur M: Freud: Living and Dying. New York, International Universities Press, 1972
 
Colp R Jr: To Be an Invalid: The Illness of Charles Darwin. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1977
 
Colp R: "Confessing a murder": Darwin’s first revelations about transmutation. Isis  1986; 77:9-32
[PubMed]
 
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