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Bornstein, M. (2002). Prologue. Psychoanal. Inq., 22(1):1-2.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 22(1):1-2


Melvin Bornstein, M.D.

Homer Gave the World the Odyssey, an epic poem of Ulysses' journey home after fighting in the Trojan War. In 24 sections he spun a tale of adventure, courage, determination, and living life fully. This epic poem was the first written description in which the past was understood from the perspective of the present to convey the historical character of human experience.

In the past two decades, the pages of Psychoanalytic Inquiry have been filled with a diversity of psychoanalytic ideas. During this time psychoanalysis has gone through change and transformation. Arnold Cooper, writing in the pages of Psychoanal. Inq. (1991), predicted that the nineties would be recognized as a period of plurality and depolarization of psychoanalytic ideas. Cooper's prediction was correct and, presently, depolarization and plurality have become the terms frequently used in a description of the state of psychoanalysis.

A contribution to the understanding of the changes in psychoanalysis should include personal experiences of the psychoanalysts who have lived through the era and who have contributed to the changes. We need chronicles like the one that Homer left about the motivations, adventures, and responses to events of our own last half-century. We know we cannot separate the events from the people living through the events. A look at the meanings and motivations of some of the psychoanalysts who have lived through these times will bring more clarity to our understanding of the current state of psychoanalysis.

We have asked nine analysts to write about their odysseys beginning with their training in ego psychology. Each paper reveals the evolving psychoanalytic adventures of the writer: Theodore Jacobs, Roy Schafer, Sander Abend, Evelyne Schwaber, Melvin Bornstein, James Grotstein, Peggy Hutson, Ernest Wolf, and Arthur Malin.

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