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(1970). Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:558-559.

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:558-559

Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysis

By Ludwig Eidelberg. New York: The Free Press; London: Collier-Macmillan. 1968. Pp. 571.

A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. By Charles Rycroft. London: Nelson. 1968. Pp. 189.

The omnipresence of psychoanalytic jargon in contemporary English language, be it vulgar or literary, academic or journalistic, has created an urgent need for some guide to the true meaning and character of the analytic concepts. Dr Eidelberg's Encyclopedia, assembled with great diligence, in collaboration with distinguished analytic and psychiatric colleagues, gives us the first comprehensive and reliable conceptual guide to the analytic literature.

In some 643 entries the editor has wisely decided to include concepts that are of very recent origin but which are promising in themselves. No encyclopedia can please everybody, as the editor has anticipated himself. If one encounters concepts like 'Entitlement' and 'Progerism', one looks in vain for a definition of "Depressive Position' and 'Transitional Object'. The bibliographic references at the end of each concept are a real asset of this Encyclopedia, and mostly they are both pertinent and comprehensive in their range. The only exception is the entry on 'Child Analysis'. It is a pity this very important topic has been so badly presented and poorly supplied with references. The statement: 'The Klein system analysts accounted for the absence of the transference by an introductory period of instruction. They believed that the individual actions of the child as he handled the play materials were equivalent to the thoughts and actions that result from a chain of free associations, and interpretations were thus offered on only the basis of these substitutive acts' is self-contradictory and misleading.

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