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McDonnell, J. (1992). Adam Limentani, Between Freud and Klein: The Psychoanalytic Quest for Knowledge and Truth, London: Free Association Books, 1989, xiv + 281 pages, hb, £30.00. Free Associations, 3(2):291-297.
(1992). Free Associations, 3(2):291-297
Adam Limentani, Between Freud and Klein: The Psychoanalytic Quest for Knowledge and Truth, London: Free Association Books, 1989, xiv + 281 pages, hb, £30.00
Review by: Jennie McDonnell
Otto Kernberg, in his appreciative Foreword to this book, remarks on the aptness of the title, as Adam Limentani's long and fruitful career was born in the days of controversy between Anna Freud and Melanie Klein, when the Middle Group (since 1973 known as the ‘Independent Group’) was formed, with its avowed intent of holding the middle ground somewhere between the Freudian and Kleinian training streams. These collected papers, published between 1964 and 1986, are presented chronologically, with the exception of the leading 1983 paper in appreciation of Anna Freud and Melanie Klein, which paints a fascinating picture of the early history of the British Psycho-Analytical Society as it affected Limentani's training.
His pride in the identity and achievement of the Independent Group is luminous, and he challenges the inadequate resolutions of transferences to the charismatic analytic leaders, and the limitations imposed on the search for truth by the orthodoxies constellating around these leaders, while admitting in his even-handed, and at times gently ironic fashion, that the bedrock of his own identity as a psychoanalyst is an unresolved transference to psychoanalysis itself.
The reader will be impressed throughout by the surefooted yet open-minded and searching way he distils, from the vastness of his clinical experience, theoretical positions that are true to this experience, yet informed at the same time by the experience of others.
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