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Pye, F. (1995). Neumann, Erich. The Child: Structure and Dynamics of the Nascent Personality. Trans. Ralph Manheim. New York: C. Putnam & Sons; London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1973.. J. Anal. Psychol., 40(3):465-466.
    

(1995). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 40(3):465-466

Neumann, Erich. The Child: Structure and Dynamics of the Nascent Personality. Trans. Ralph Manheim. New York: C. Putnam & Sons; London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1973.

Review by:
Faye Pye

… The substance of the book is a psychological constellation which brings together much that is familiar and much that is new in analytical psychology and sets it not only in a context of mythology, anthropology and ethology, but also in intimate critical relation to psychoanalysis. The author makes it clear that he stands on ground prepared by Jung, and he distinguishes his position both in general terms and in detail from the reductive system of Freud and from the concretizing emphasis of Klein. ‘Analytical psychology’ he says (p. 8), ‘must devise a new terminology, because borrowing terms created by Freud and his school tends to blur the profound differences between our thinking and theirs’. Nevertheless, he focuses his attention on the early years of childhood, and the importance of early development and early relationships for the whole life-span. The pre-ego phase, for instance, is seen to be governed by a manifold movement of the Self between mother and child, containing both in a ‘dual union’, a state of objectless unity. Failure in this phase produces primary guilt but success generates primary morality. At the same time the basis is laid not only for all subsequent relationships but also for the characteristic changes and exchanges between ego and self that appear in the second half of life. Matriarchal morality and the matriarchal self stand in contrast to the patriarchal super ego and its secondary morality. The masculine principle is mediated to the child both by the personal father and by the animus of the personal mother.

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