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Holland, N.N. (1986). Twenty-Five Years and Thirty Days. Psychoanal Q., 55:23-52.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 55:23-52

Twenty-Five Years and Thirty Days

Norman N. Holland, Ph.D.


One can imagine the history of psychoanalytic literary criticism (like psychoanalysis itself) as three phases, each enlarging and including the previous one: a classical phase that studied the oedipal conflicts of literary figures; an ego psychology that addressed literary structures; now, a psychology of the self that uses associations to unfold and deepen one's relations to literature. Psychoanalytic criticism used to be disdained in literary circles, but has become highly fashionable, for today other kinds of criticism also use associations. They do not acknowledge the critic's self or countertransference, however, and their psychoanalysis is not the clinician's.

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