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O'Shaughnessy, E. (2001). The Dead Mother: The Work of André Green.: Gregorio Kohon. London: Routledge (New Library of Psychoanalysis). 1999 Pp. 256.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 82(3):619-621.

(2001). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 82(3):619-621

The Dead Mother: The Work of André Green.: Gregorio Kohon. London: Routledge (New Library of Psychoanalysis). 1999 Pp. 256.

Review by:
Edna O'Shaughnessy

On the occasion of André Green's 70th birthday, to celebrate his distinguished contributions to psychoanalysis, Gregorio Kohon assembled this collection of papers by Michael Parsons, Arnold H. Modell, Christopher Bollas, Jed Sekoff, Thomas H. Ogden, André Lussier, Adam Phillips, Rosine Jozef Perelberg, Martin S. Bergmann, plus one paper ‘The intuition of the negative in Playing and Reality’ by Green himself (1997).

After a useful introduction in which he summarises both Green's ‘The dead mother’, from which the book takes its title, and then the papers that follow, Kohon begins the book with a transcript of a long dialogue between Green and himself. In the course of their conversation Green portrays something of both his personal life and his professional journey towards and within psycho-analysis. He reminisces about figures important to him in French psychiatry and psychoanalysis and his early awareness of the plural psychoanalytic scene. He says he saw ‘very quickly that each one had his own originality, his own specificity, his own approach, and that one could not talk of“one” psychoanalysis’ (p. 22). He recalls his complex relations with Lacan, with whom he eventually quarrelled; their association seems to have left Green with a hatred of Lacan the man, whom he proclaims a cynic and a cruel cheat. Green expresses his regard for Bion, and above all, his deep admiration of Winnicott.

Interspersed with comments on his own ideas, we learn Green's opinions of, among others, Hartmann and Klein, and he and Kohon discuss the differing hypotheses that underlie French and British psychoanalysis.

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