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Zabarenko, L.M. (1991). Psychoanalysis: Toward the Second Century edited by Arnold M. Cooper, Otto F. Kernberg, and Ethel Spector Person New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989, ix + 228 pp., $27.50. Psa. Books, 2(2):170-175.
(1991). Psychoanalytic Books, 2(2):170-175
Psychoanalysis: Toward the Second Century edited by Arnold M. Cooper, Otto F. Kernberg, and Ethel Spector Person New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989, ix + 228 pp., $27.50
Review by: Lucy M. Zabarenko, Ph.D.
When a venerable psychoanalytic institute celebrates the 40th anniversary of its founding with a collection of papers, it is enough to make a reviewer quake. While one applauds the achievement that occasioned the volume, there is still the obligation to assess the product objectively.
The risks in issuing such compilations are no secret. Beyond knowing that each chapter was meant to be an individual gift, it is often difficult to find much else in the way of a unifying theme. If the book is offered as a sort of intellectual time capsule, historical immediacy may be the point, but most readers also need a sense of consistency.
Some authors contribute summaries of their sustaining life interests; others seize the opportunity to expound enthusiasms that have been lurking about in their minds, waiting for an audience and just such an opportunity; still others have been harboring incendiary opinions they need to air.
As always, the editors' unenviable task is balance: to preserve the feel of the celebration for the institution's sake yet provide substantially novel and coherent fare for the reader; to steer clear of narrow parochialism and still allow authors excursionary freedom; to avoid self-aggrandizement yet allow a lustrous faculty its rightful due; to eschew precious reminiscences yet record important historical currents; to give every voice space yet tie the whole together sensibly enough to permit intelligent study.
Arnold Cooper, Otto Kernberg, and Ethel Spector Person have edited 11 papers by members of the faculty of the Columbia University Psychoanalytic Center. The papers were delivered in April 1985.
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