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Blau, A. (1960). Psychopathy. A Comparative Analysis of Clinical Pictures: By Carl Frankenstein, Ph.D. New York and London: Grune and Stratton Inc., 1959. 198 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 29:421.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:421

Psychopathy. A Comparative Analysis of Clinical Pictures: By Carl Frankenstein, Ph.D. New York and London: Grune and Stratton Inc., 1959. 198 pp.

Review by:
Abram Blau

The author resurrects the old nosological concept of psychopathy, which he proposes to clarify, as he states frankly in the first sentence of the preface, by 'a study in clinical semantics'. The monograph bears this out. It is a discursive discussion with no clinical material, many disagreements with other authors, and a synthesis of Jung's typological scheme, together with some unique psychological concepts of his own designated as 'expansion', 'staticness', 'ego inflation', 'polarization'. Psychopathy, he postulates, is based on a constitutional weakness for experiencing anxiety, which may be congenital or due to early trauma in the mother-child relationship. He makes a special point of the difference between his structural theory and the psychodynamic psychoanalytic school, on the one hand, and the physiological hereditary neuropsychiatric school, on the other. The principle of structuralization which he stresses accounts for the irreversibility of psychopathy. This means, psychological function has its counterpart in cerebral structure, and that early patterns become structured organically.

This book is not easy to read or understand. I do not think it has much to offer psychoanalysts and since it presents no clinical material, I question its value as a contribution to psychiatric nosology and theory.

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