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Jucovy, M.E. (1973). Basic Psychoanalytic Concepts on Metapsychology, Conflicts, Anxiety and Other Subjects. The Hampstead Clinic Psychoanalytic Library, Vol. IV: By Humberto Nagera, et al. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1971. 233 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 42:440-441.
(1973). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 42:440-441
Basic Psychoanalytic Concepts on Metapsychology, Conflicts, Anxiety and Other Subjects. The Hampstead Clinic Psychoanalytic Library, Vol. IV: By Humberto Nagera, et al. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1971. 233 pp.
Review by: Milton E. Jucovy
The volume and complexity of Freud's writings pose a formidable and intimidating intellectual challenge for students of psychoanalysis. An attempt to reorganize and restructure this work in terms of basic concepts has been made by members of the Concept Research Group of the Hampstead Clinic under the chairmanship of Dr. Humberto Nagera. Anna Freud, in her foreword to The Hampstead Clinic Psychoanalytic Library, points out that this effort is intended for readers concerned with the history of psychoanalytic concepts. In endorsing the aims of the group, she stresses the importance of understanding the terminology in which psychoanalytic thoughts have been expressed and the need to define concepts according to their relevance for the historical phase of psychoanalytic theory in which they have arisen, as well as for their individual significance. Sources of confusion and misunderstanding which invade psychoanalytic literature may thus, hopefully, be reduced and students of psychoanalysis inspired to further constructive and critical thinking.
The present volume, the fourth in the Library, contains eighteen chapters. It begins with a consideration of metapsychology and the dynamic, economic, topographical and genetic points of view. There are sections devoted to Principles of Mental Functioning, Cathexis and Freud's Theory of Conflict. The concepts of fixation and regression, anxiety, ambivalence, reality testing, transference and countertransference, and masturbation are also included. A summary of Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality with historical revisions will aid the reader to identify significant corrections and additions that this work has undergone in various editions. As in the other volumes, the text consists mainly of quotations or paraphrases from the Standard Edition of Freud's Complete Psychological Works, together with clarifying comments by the author of each chapter. References are available on each page.
The authors and the editor have succeeded admirably in assimilating, condensing, and presenting this vast array of material in a cogent and eminently readable style.
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