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Mitchell, S.A. (1991). Fairbairn's Journey Into The Interior. John D. Sutherland. London: Free Association, 1989, xiv + 191 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 78(4):642-644.

(1991). Psychoanalytic Review, 78(4):642-644

Fairbairn's Journey Into The Interior. John D. Sutherland. London: Free Association, 1989, xiv + 191 pp.

Review by:
Stephen A. Mitchell, Ph.D.

As a group, the British object relations school theorists have probably had the most impact on the development of contemporary psychoanalytic thought. The work of Klein, Fairbairn, Winnicott, Bowlby, Balint, Gun-trip, and their associates has shaped the terms of theory building and clinical practice over the past several decades. Yet, it has only been in the past few years that important biographical and critical analysis has appeared to help put their monumental achievements in perspective. Foremost among the biographical treatments has been Phyllis Grosskurth's recent extraordinary biography of Klein.

No one has needed a biographer so desperately as Fairbairn. Klein and Winnicott were both, in a certain sense, very public personalities. They were out in the world of psychoanalysis: making presentations, defending their points of view, attracting devotees to develop their lines of thought. Fairbairn, in contrast, rarely left Edinburgh, made few presentations, did not write a great deal, and attracted no group of followers. His work is not taught in any comprehensive fashion even in the training offered by the British Psychoanalytic Society. His condemnation by Winnicott (Winnicott and Khan, 1953) still seems to hold sway among many contemporary psychoanalysts.

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