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Rudnytsky, P.L. (2004). Preface. Am. Imago, 61(4):419-426.

(2004). American Imago, 61(4):419-426


Peter L. Rudnytsky

The theme of this issue of American Imago is close to my heart. In my own psychoanalytic odyssey, I long ago came to the conclusion that the most promising way forward from the foundational but in some respects deeply flawed work of Freud was opened up by the Independent tradition of British psychoanalysis, whose best-known representative is D. W. Winnicott. Needless to say, I recognize that I am far from alone in my admiration for Winnicott, and also that many distinguished scholars and analysts would place other luminaries from the past—and the traditions they embody—higher in their personal pantheons.

As an editor, I am committed to including the broadest possible range of theoretical perspectives—as well as thoughtful critiques of psychoanalysis—in the pages of American Imago. But it gives me particular pleasure to be able to present to our readers a sampling of those who are speaking up on behalf of what I personally believe to be the best that psychoanalysis has to offer.

Apart from their theoretical differences, what most profoundly sets Winnicott apart from those figures who represent alternative traditions of psychoanalysis—most notably, Melanie Klein and Jacques Lacan—is that Winnicott resolutely opposed dogmatism and fanaticism and refused to turn psychoanalysis into a religious cult. As the incomparable Nina Coltart, who is quoted by both Linda Hopkins and Stuart Pizer in their contributions to this issue, put it in her interview with Anthony Molino (1997), “The Kleinians are religious. They are a religious movement, while the rest of us aren't. And fanatical religious movements believe that they possess the truth, and are prepared to impose it at practically any cost on other people” (172).1

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