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Cooper, P.C. (2007). The poetics of psychoanalysis: In the wake of Klein, Mary Jacobus, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 2005, 320 pp.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 67(2):202-203.
    

(2007). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 67(2):202-203

The poetics of psychoanalysis: In the wake of Klein, Mary Jacobus, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 2005, 320 pp.

Review by:
Paul C. Cooper, LP, NCPsy.A.

The poetics of psychoanalysis: In the wake of Klein provides the reader with a finely tuned explication and critique of the literary aspects of the British object relations school of psychoanalysis. Jacobus takes the stance of a literary critic and offers the disclaimer that “this is not a psychoanalytic book” (p. v). She endeavors “…to maintain a literary critical approach” (p. v). “Rather than ‘applying’ British object relations psychoanalysis to literature and art, or using literature as a pedagogical vehicle to explain psychoanalytic ideas,” (p. vii), Jacobus informs the reader that “I have tried to read psychoanalytic writing in literary ways” (p. vii). While in this reader's opinion, Jacobus accomplishes her goal of speaking from the perspective “in ways that are accessible to non-psychoanalytic readers” (p. v), the psychoanalyst clearly has much to gain by her attention to subtle nuance and to the carefully written and detailed discussions of the various psychoanalysts that take up her attention. The content of the book addresses Melanie Klein's legacy to psychoanalysis between the 1930s and 1970s. Chapters are devoted to major figures such as Joan Riviere, Susan Isaacs, Donald Winnicott, Marion Milner, and Wilfred Bion, as well as Klein's contemporary, Ella Sharpe. Jacobus approaches her subject matter creatively by defining, elaborating and emphasizing the centrality of the literary and esthetic

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