A Psychology Writer’s Fantasy

“I also had the benefit of being given completely free rein to wander into any office, basement, attic or storeroom at Chestnut Lodge over a five-year period and read whatever I found there.  Because the Lodge’s archives were being created during precisely these years, I was allowed the pleasure of reading each manuscript, listening to each tape, and studying each photograph within a few months of its discovery.  This is every biographer’s dream: being handed the keys to a room filled with treasures and told simply to turn out the lights at the end of the evening.  (Since I was on the grounds of a still-vibrant mental hospital, I was also told that if I wanted lunch or dinner in the cafeteria as a break from working, I should simply sign myself in under ‘guests.’)  Researchers who must rely on archives constructed according to someone else’s plan have to spend a lot more time searching for what they need than I did.”

~ From Gail Hornstein’s (excellent) biography of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, To Redeem One Person Is to Redeem the World

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