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Lester, E.P. (2000). Normal and Pathological Narcissism in Women. Changing Ideas In A Changing World: The Revolution in Psychoanalysis. Essays in Honour of Arnold Cooper, 87-93.

Lester, E.P. (2000). Normal and Pathological Narcissism in Women. Changing Ideas In A Changing World: The Revolution in Psychoanalysis. Essays in Honour of Arnold Cooper, 87-93

Normal and Pathological Narcissism in Women Book Information Previous Up Next

Eva P. Lester, M.D.

Since Freud's 1914 original essay “On Narcissism: An Introduction”, narcissistic issues, narcissistic love and object choice, narcissistic pathology, and, ultimately, the very essence of narcissism have been the subject of extensive writings in the psychoanalytic and the psychiatric literature. Furthermore, the terms narcissism and narcissistic have invaded everyday language. By becoming such an over-inclusive concept, narcissism is in danger of losing its theoretical and clinical specificity (Taylor, 1992).

This brief essay will examine the question of normal and pathological female narcissism, as well as the differences between the type of object choice among men and women as proposed by Freud in view of subsequent developments on gender and on the earliest stages of object relations. Freud himself was aware of the many unanswered questions his monograph raised. As quoted by Jones (see the Editor's Notes for Freud, 1914c), Freud wrote to Abraham, The Narcissism had a difficult labour and bears all the marks of a corresponding deformation (p. 70).

The Concept of Primary Narcissism

Long before infant observations had established that the human infant is equipped from birth to enter the world of human objects and to interact with such a world, M.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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