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Jaques, E. (1980). Klein: By Hanna Segal. London: Fontana Modern Masters. 1979. Pp. 189.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 61:88-89.

(1980). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 61:88-89

Klein: By Hanna Segal. London: Fontana Modern Masters. 1979. Pp. 189.

Review by:
Elliott Jaques

Dr Segal has written a vivid account of Melanie Klein's life and work. She has set this account against a deftly sketched-in background of the development of psychoanalysis in Vienna, Berlin and London in the period between the two world wars, with Freud, Abraham and Jones as the principal actors. This mixture of biography and clinical and theoretical development gives a telling introduction to Klein's work. It succeeds in making the book of interest to practising psychoanalysts and candidates, and to the wider public for whom the book was written.

Of particular interest to psychoanalysts is the book's historical tracing of the development of Mrs Klein's thought, including the emergence of new ideas and the revision of earlier ones. It also shows clearly the strong embedding of these developments in classical analytic theory, and the extent to which they went beyond and extended this theory. It is in this approach that the book differs considerably from Dr Segal's Introduction to the Work of Melanie Klein and complements that study.

An example of the interaction between Mrs Klein's personal and scientific experience and development is in the picture which Dr Segal paints of the impact upon Melanie Klein and her thought and outlook, of her early innovative creation of the play technique and the psychoanalysis of small children. She took into this new and uncharted work her identification with Freud's thinking about the unconscious mind, and with the creative energy which he, Abraham, and others were investing in the steady growth of psychoanalytic theory.

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