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Boris, H.N. (1990). Identification with a Vengeance. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 71:127-140.

(1990). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 71:127-140

Identification with a Vengeance

Harold N. Boris


Identifications motivated by envy, in contrast to those based on admiration, a desire for affiliation or augmentation of the self, attempt to wreak vengeance on the object by denying it is as source. Instead of expressing the identity between subject and object, these identifications analogize to it, and then destroy the link. Envy is based on greed. Greed, unlike appetite, is insatiable. The ongoing desirability of the object makes it appear powerful and unforgettable—hence an object of ongoing envy. The question

of what makes people unable to develop appetite is considered both from the point of view of the object and the possible innate unsatisfiability of the subject.

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