Cite as: Marie Kolkenbrock, Dr. Freud meets Dr. Schnitzler: Ambivalent Intersections between Psychoanalysis and Literature, lecture, ICI Berlin, 23 April 2019, video recording, mp4, 39:53 <>
23 Apr 2019

Dr. Freud meets Dr. Schnitzler

Ambivalent Intersections between Psychoanalysis and Literature
By Marie Kolkenbrock
Arthur Schnitzler (1862–1931) was a central figure of Viennese modernism, living and working in the Habsburg metropolis at the same time as Sigmund Freud (1856–1939). The talk will introduce the productive, but also extremely ambivalent intellectual and personal relationship between Freud and this literary writer. In a famous letter to Schnitzler, Freud admitted to the so-called ‘doppelganger anxiety’ he felt towards the other man. And indeed, Freud’s texts contain several references to Schnitzler’s work. A medical doctor himself, Schnitzler remained sceptical about some of the key assumptions of psychoanalysis. His writings, however, have been read as literary case studies that subtly illuminate the complex pitfalls of human relationships. Taking its cue from this particular relationship between Freud and Schnitzler, the talk will explore the intersections between literature and psychoanalysis more broadly and discuss whether literature can become a source of psychoanalytic insight or vice versa.

Marie Kolkenbrock is a Research Associate and Affiliated Lecturer at the German and Dutch Section of the University of Cambridge and at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Theory of Biography in Vienna. She holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge (2014), as well as a BA and MA from the Freie Universität Berlin (2004 and 2008 respectively). Her monograph Stereotype and Destiny in Arthur Schnitzler’s Prose: Five Psycho-Sociological Readings was published in 2018. She was lead curator of the recent exhibition ‘Ein gelernter Österreicher’: Arthur Schnitzler und der Erste Weltkriegat the Austrian National State Archive in Vienna. For more information:


ICI Berlin
(Click for further documentation)

Organized by

Wilhelm Brüggen
Monika Englisch
Andreas Gehrlach
A cooperation of the BIPP, the Department of Cultural History and Theory of the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, and the ICI Berlin

Further details:

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:39:53
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin