A YOUNG GIRL'S DIARY
Prefaced with a Letter by Sigmund Freud
Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul
FIRST YEAR Age 11 to 12
SECOND YEAR Age 12 to 13
THIRD YEAR Age 13 to 14
LAST HALF-YEAR Age 14 to 14 1/2
THE best preface to this journal written by a young girl belonging to
the upper middle class is a letter by Sigmund Freud dated April 27,
1915, a letter wherein the distinguished Viennese psychologist testifies
to the permanent value of the document:
"This diary is a gem. Never before, I believe, has anything been written
enabling us to see so clearly into the soul of a young girl, belonging
to our social and cultural stratum, during the years of puberal
development. We are shown how the sentiments pass from the simple egoism
of childhood to attain maturity; how the relationships to parents
and other members of the family first shape themselves, and how they
gradually become more serious and more intimate; how friendships are
formed and broken. We are shown the dawn of love, feeling out towards
its first objects. Above all, we are shown how the mystery of the sexual
life first presses itself vaguely on the attention, and then takes
entire possession of the growing intelligence, so that the child suffers
under the load of secret knowledge but gradually becomes enabled to
shoulder the burden. Of all these things we have a description at once
so charming, so serious, and so artless, that it cannot fail to be of
supreme interest to educationists and psychologists.
"It is certainly incumbent on you to publish the diary. All students of
my own writings will be grateful to you."
In preparing these pages for the press, the editor has toned down
nothing, has added nothing, and has suppressed nothing. The only
alterations she has made have been such as were essential to conceal the
identity of the writer and of other persons mentioned in the document.
Consequently, surnames, Christian names, and names of places, have been
changed. These modifications have enabled the original author of the
diary to allow me to place it at the free disposal of serious readers.
No attempt has been made to correct trifling faults in grammar and other
inelegancies of style. For the most part, these must not be regarded
as the expression of a child's incapacity for the control of language.
Rather must they be looked upon as manifestations of affective
trends, as errors in functioning brought about by the influence of the
THE EDITOR. VIENNA, _Autumn_, 1919.
FIRST YEAR, AGE ELEVEN TO TWELVE
July 12, 19 . . . Hella and I are writing a diary. We both agreed that
when we went to the high school we would write a diary every day. Dora
keeps a diary too, but she gets furious if I look at it. I call Helene
"Hella," and she calls me "Rita;" Helene and Grete are so vulgar. Dora
has taken to calling herself "Thea," but I go on calling her "Dora." She
says that little children (she means me and Hella) ought not to keep a
diary. She says they will write such a lot of nonsense. No more than in
hers and Lizzi's.
July 13th. Really we were not to begin writing until after the holidays,
but since we are both going away, we are beginning now. Then we shall
know what we have been doing in the holidays.
The day before yesterday we had an entrance examination, it was very
easy, in dictation I made only 1 mistake--writing _ihn_ without _h_. The
mistress said that didn't matter, I had only made a slip. That is quite
true, for I know well enough that _ihn_ has an _h_ in it. We were both
dressed in white with rose-coloured ribbons, and everyone believed
we were sisters or at least cousins. It would be very nice to have
a cousin. But it's still nicer to have a friend, for we can tell one
July 14th. The mistress was very kind. Because of her Hella and I are
really sorry that we are not going to a middle school. Then every