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Zuckerman, J.R. (2016). The Legacy of Sándor Ferenczi: From Ghost to Ancestor, edited by Adrienne Harris and Steven Kuchuck, Routledge, New York, 2015, 300pp.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 76(4):414-417.

(2016). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 76(4):414-417

Book Reviews

The Legacy of Sándor Ferenczi: From Ghost to Ancestor, edited by Adrienne Harris and Steven Kuchuck, Routledge, New York, 2015, 300pp.

Review by:
Janet Rivkin Zuckerman, Ph.D.

The moment it seemed, was innocent-enough. I was engrossed in a dreamy, Sunday afternoon walk when two young girls peddled toward me on their leisurely bike ride. They looked to be about seven, carefree and lovely. I couldn't help but overhear the one nearest me announce with full-bodied emotion, “Carly, I haven't seen you in soooo long!” Carly, obviously confused, turns toward her friend and sets the record straight, “Casey, we saw each other yesterday!” I never did discover how Casey managed to survive the micro-affront, but the moment brought to mind my subject—intimacy and distance, heart and mind, warmth and remove.

Sándor Ferenczi embodied a full-hearted, vulnerable and devoted approach to the subject of psychoanalysis and to his patients. His humane mutuality and tenderness spoke to me, as it did to many of my colleagues. It was thus a thrill to travel through this new collection of contributions from international Ferenczi scholars, edited by Harris and Kuchuck, resting on the shoulders of Harris and Lewis Aron's groundbreaking edited work, The Legacy of Sándor Ferenczi (1993). This new work unites a variety of diverse subjects, including: new historical data concerning Ferenczi, his personal history, his historical surround, the ways he suffered from disparaging reactions to his ideas (especially Freud's) and the prominence of his pioneering insights today. The essays also continually weave around the painful reminder of the colossal loss to psychoanalytic wisdom when our history is dismissed and our forefathers exiled.

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