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Greif, D. (2016). Farewell. Contemp. Psychoanal., 52(3):360-361.

(2016). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 52(3):360-361


Don Greif, Ph.D.

When I was six-years old I watched my great uncle board a ship from New York City to Africa, where he lived. The only things I knew about Africa was that it has wild animals like lions, elephants, and giraffes and it was very far away. In my imagination Africa was a magical and exotic place—and I was enthralled knowing that a relative of mine lived there.

When I thought of becoming editor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis I felt something akin to what I had felt five decades earlier. The job captivated my imagination and I was eager to take on the challenge, but I had little knowledge of the world I'd inhabit for the next 5 years. The one thing I did know was that I'd only do the job if Ruth and I became co-editors. She had an exceptional ability to edit and write, had an incredible work ethic, was clinically astute, and knew far more theory than she realized.

Although I knew something about editing CP from having been an executive editor (along with Ruth) and an editorial board member for several years, “editor” didn't begin to describe the range of tasks we would handle. For the first couple of years, while we were still a mom-and-pop operation, Ruth and I did everything: marketing, merchandising, responding to subscription problems and reprint permission requests, understanding financial reports, and attending to myriad other matters. I detested most of these tasks—at times it felt like the editorial equivalent of the Bataan Death March—but I had Ruth (and other recruits) I could gripe to, which enabled me to (barely) maintain my sanity.

Fortunately, I found working closely with authors to craft articles—the mainstay of our job—intellectually stimulating and gratifying. Reading a ton of manuscripts, many about unfamiliar topics, expanded my knowledge of psychoanalysis, made me recognize how damn difficult it is to write well, and, consequently, deepened my appreciation of excellent psychoanalytic writing.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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