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Steiner, R. (1983). Il Codice Vivente: By F. Fornari. Turin: Boringhieri. 1982.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 64:355-356.

(1983). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 64:355-356

Il Codice Vivente: By F. Fornari. Turin: Boringhieri. 1982.

Review by:
Riccardo Steiner

F. Fornari's 'The Living Code' [Il Codice Vivente], is based upon study and analysis of the dreams of women during pregnancy, parturition and post-partum. Fornari supplements this with the dreams of psychotic patients who have, during analysis, produced phantasies and other material concerned with their own pre-natal life and birth.

The work is the result of more than twenty years of research, in which the author has been assisted by gynaecologists, such as Professor Miraglia of Milan, to whom the work is dedicated.

'The Living Code' possibly represents the climax of Fornari's research. He is known, in Italy and on the Continent, as a leading analyst, who has, in a very original manner, studied and developed the work of Melanie Klein and that of her pupils: this has been particularly significant in the field of applied psychoanalysis. One recalls his pioneering and impressive 'Psychoanalysis of the War' (1975) which was followed by a series of works which sought to demonstrate the usefulness of the psychoanalytic approach, when applied to the study of language and to social and educational problems.

The thesis of 'The Living Code' could be summarized as follows: after having analysed the dreams of more than thirty women, at all stages from conception, through pregnancy and parturition, to the post natal phase, Fornari concludes that the unconscious phantasies of the mothers are characterized by what he terms 'primary paranoia'. He terms this 'primary paranoia' because these anxieties are related to the actual survival of mother, foetus and baby.

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