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(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. V, 1957: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Confessions of St. Augustine. Charles Kligerman. Pp. 469-484.. Psychoanal Q., 29:284-285.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. V, 1957: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Confessions of St. Augustine. Charles Kligerman. Pp. 469-484.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:284-285

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. V, 1957: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Confessions of St. Augustine. Charles Kligerman. Pp. 469-484.

The Confessions is regarded as an exhaustive and insightful study of the self by one of the great minds of history. Biographical material displays the childhood of St. Augustine and describes the intense conflicts he had with his parents. His writing is described as having the spontaneous quality of free association and Kligerman thinks that it clearly indicates the important role of earliest infancy in personality development. St. Augustine is viewed as having been overstimulated as a child which resulted in a character type who sought constantly to master his overwhelming tension yet never found adequate discharge. His

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possessive mother did not permit him to identify with his father and insisted that he relinquish sexuality in favor of the church. Kligerman points out that unconsciously this meant that he should belong to his mother forever. The struggle in this conflict and his efforts to defy his mother are described in detail. This included a direct re-enactment of the story of Aeneas and Dido which had preoccupied him in boyhood. However, his mother did not commit suicide when he fled to Rome but joined him there. Apparently from that moment, he surrendered to her will and ended up with a profound identification with her, developing a passive feminine attitude to his father whom he displaced to God. The instability of this equilibrium is viewed as providing the motivation for a lifelong series of polemics 'supposedly to convince others, but also to still his own doubts and externalize the conflict'.

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Article Citation

(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. V, 1957. Psychoanal. Q., 29:284-285

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