“… The wound of isolation beckons” 1
Although he resisted scientific work, Neumann received his doctorate in 1927 in Erlangen for his dissertation on the Romantic Arnold Kanne. His study focused on Kanne’s mystical linguistic philosophy and search for an original language.
Neumann’s dissertation anticipates his later writings on mysticism. He felt more at home devising his own theoretical positions: in his Kafka Studies, of which one chapter was published in 1952, he devoted himself to the experience of inner alienation, whereby the transition to a new, transformed life only succeeds by traversing a deadly zone. Here Neumann’s idea of transformation surfaces for the first time as a process of negativity. Neumann sent his Kafka Studies to Martin Buber, who offered his critical opinion. As previously, only one chapter was published of Neumann’s novel Der Anfang (1932), which makes reference to his later analysis with C.G. Jung.