“Primordial Chant”. Sándor Ferenczi As An Orphic Poet – The American Journal of Psychoanalysis – article

“Primordial Chant”. Sándor Ferenczi As An Orphic Poet

Galina Hristeva | The American Journal of Psychoanalysis


Ferenczi’s deviations from Freudian thinking have caused enormous controversy. This paper re-examines Ferenczi’s theoretical and technical innovations through the lens of Orpha—one of his most characteristic and valuable contributions, the culmination point of his thought, and the leitmotif of his work. So far research on Ferenczi’s Orpha concept has been relatively sparse and there is still much obscurity about this term that he adopted from or co-created with his “evil genius” Elizabeth Severn. The following paper will attempt to shed more light on the origin, evolution, functions, and the philosophical foundations of the Orpha concept. Along with the theoretical, therapeutic and philosophical aspects, this point of view will enable a better understanding of the poetic value and the lyricism of Ferenczi’s work. Orphic harmony—the fusion of Dionysian ecstasy and Apollonian clarity into the “principal instinct of tranquility” proclaimed by Ferenczi in 1930 and into the “primordial chant of cosmic unity” (Herder), emerges as the essence of the Ferenczian work and worldview.


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