|Krim, M. (1999). A Review of Otto Rank: A Psychology of Difference. The American Lectures: Robert Kramer. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996. 284 pp; and Separation, Will, and Creativity: The Wisdom of Otto Rank by Esther Menaker. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1996. 234 pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 35:166-170.|
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(1999). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 35(1):166-170
Otto Rank: Unacknowledged Genius
A Review of Otto Rank: A Psychology of Difference. The American Lectures: Robert Kramer. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996. 284 pp; and Separation, Will, and Creativity: The Wisdom of Otto Rank by Esther Menaker. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1996. 234 pp.
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“I HAVE LONG CONSIDERED to be the unacknowledged genius in Freud's circle,” says Rollo May in his introduction to Kramer's book. With time, we have come to see Rank as a genius. At the beginning of his with Freud, he was a star pupil and colleague. When his became so different as to threaten the basic of classical Freudian theory, he was dangerous to the Freudian establishment. and engineered his excommunication from the temple. For years, Rank's voice was silenced. People knew little of him, other than his ideas about the of birth and the setting of a time limit on therapy to replicate psychologically the process of birth, an idea he later gave up.
A basic tenet of Rank's thought was that there is in man a prewired force (he called it will) that strives for separateness, for uniqueness, for individualization, and that this force is more central in human than the classical striving for , sexual (oedipal) possessiveness, and tension release, albeit these strivings also exist.
Rank (1935) defined will as “an autonomous organization to control primarily the impulsive self: This organization, however, represents the total with its constructive capacity not only for ruling, developing, and changing the surrounding world, but for re-creating its ” (Kramer, p. 253). This radical theoretical shift was only one of the ways his differed
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