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Fairfield, S. (1994). The Kore Complex: The Myths and Some Unconscious Fantasies. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:243-263.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:243-263

The Kore Complex: The Myths and Some Unconscious Fantasies

Susan Fairfield


Drawing on ancient legends involving the goddesses Demeter and Kore/Persephone, this study describes highly overdetermined unconscious fantasies associated with the acute anxieties and conflicts of separation-individuation. These fantasies, often aggressive in nature, involve condensation of generational and gender roles, and of oral and genital motifs. It is suggested that the pre-oedipal child of either sex experiences itself as a 'kore' (Greek for 'girl'), that is, as feminine in primary identification with the mother, and that the set of anxieties underlying these fantasies may therefore be called the Kore complex, a developmentally earlier counterpart of the Oedipus complex.

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