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Fordham, M. (1965). The Self and the Object World: By Edith Jacobson. (New York: Int. Univ. Press, 1964; London: Hogarth, 1965. Pp. 250. $5.00. 35s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 46:525-529.

(1965). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 46:525-529

The Self and the Object World: By Edith Jacobson. (New York: Int. Univ. Press, 1964; London: Hogarth, 1965. Pp. 250. $5.00. 35s.)

Review by:
Michael Fordham

My first impression of this book was exciting. Jacobson's subject features prominently in analytical psychology, for Jung had studied and defined a symbolism of the self in increasing detail over the last forty or so years. An additional predisposition to be interested derived from my application of Jung's thesis to childhood and to the origins and development of the ego; here was evidence that psycho-analysts were taking up the subject, bringing their greater resources in manpower and disciplined analytical method to unravel a difficult field of study which I had found extremely rewarding.

The volume, however, soon caused me considerable difficulty for two reasons: firstly, though many of the concepts were understandable, others needed translating to fit the frame of reference with which I was more familiar; secondly, there was a complete absence of the kind of empirical symbolism data which Jung had taken to represent the self.

This made me decide to start this review as if Jung's observations had not taken place, and to proceed as if I knew enough of psycho-analysis to make myself comprehensible. As occasion arises I can then introduce ideas current in analytical psychology. In this project I have been much helped by Jacobson's lucidity, which makes me confident that if I blunder it will not be her fault.

I shall start by recording first impressions and shall say how this book stimulated me on a first reading.

1. It is a good book, well set out, persuasively written, and well arranged.


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