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Groarke, S. (2000). Winnicott and the government of the environment. Free Associations, 8(2):74-104.

(2000). Free Associations, 8(2):74-104

Winnicott and the government of the environment

Steven Groarke

The sleeping mother and babe — hush'd, I study them long and long.

Walt Whitman, ‘Mother and Babe’

As the dead prey upon us,

They are the dead in ourselves.

Charles Olson, ‘As the Dead Prey Upon Us’

English Psychoanalysis Emerged After the Second World War with a new set of orientations. This was partly a result of the discussions taking place within the analytic community, essentially, between the British (Kleinian) and Viennese (Anna Freudian) Societies, concerning the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. The occasion of these discussions, however, was itself indissociable from the events of the war; following the invasion of Austria, the Viennese analysts were forced to emigrate and, in 1938, arrived in London. But whilst the Controversial Discussions precipitated certain realignments within the English School, the more far reaching claim is that psychoanalysis emerged after the war as part of a general preoccupation with disaster. This, at least, is my argument: that psychoanalysis, as part of a wider response to the Second World War, contributed towards the postwar reorganization of English culture. This may be true of other European Schools, but it seems to me that the experience of war provided English psychoanalysis with a new set of problems and concerns.

The Controversial Discussions settled none of the major differences between the two Societies, on the contrary, the matter of controversy continues throughout this period to attend the Kleinian development. Notwithstanding the ‘Gentlemen's Agreement’ to subsection the British Society — i.e.,

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