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Tip: To see Abram’s analysis of Winnicott’s theories…

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In-depth analysis of Winnicott’s psychoanalytic theorization was conducted by Jan Abrams in her work The Language of Winnicott. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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J., E. (1924). The Unconscious Mind: By S. Herbert, M.D., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., Associate Member of the British Psycho-Analytical Society. (A. & C. Black, Ltd., London, 1923. Pp. 224.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:100-100.

(1924). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5:100-100

The Unconscious Mind: By S. Herbert, M.D., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., Associate Member of the British Psycho-Analytical Society. (A. & C. Black, Ltd., London, 1923. Pp. 224.)

Review by:
E. J.

This book begins with a history of the discovery of the unconscious, with a description of its bearing on the psychopathology of everyday life, dreams, and nervous disorders. The next two chapters deal with the relation of the sexual instinct to the ego and the various theories of the unconscious (Freud, Jung, Maeder, Adler, and Rivers). The last three chapters, on mythology, folk-lore and religion, on wit and art, and the unconscious in the scheme of evolution respectively, are the best in the book.

There is not much to be said about the book. It is not very good and not very bad. In view of the numerous introductory books on psychoanalysis now available, such a book as this could justify its existence only if it were written with special skill, which it certainly is not. We have not found any serious error in it, and yet on reading it one has the constant feeling that things are not just as the author depicts them. The author seems to have grasped in a facile way the outer aspects of many problems without possessing a sufficiently fundamental comprehension of them.

In the discussion of rival theories the author might have pointed out the derivation of Maeder's views on dreams from Adler's. He controverts Jung's views by expressing a subjective preference for a materialistic rather than a spiritual conception of the universe, instead of dealing with them in a purely technical way. Faith in the author's general trustworthiness will be shaken in the minds of many readers by the constant stream of minor inaccuracies and misquotations, which indicate a lack of care in exact observation.

On the other hand, it must be said that the book is well arranged and also that it indicates wide reading on the part of the author. Let us hope that it will serve a purpose in interesting a further circle in its subject-matter.

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