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Rudnytsky, P.L. (2010). Preface. Am. Imago, 67(1):1-4.

(2010). American Imago, 67(1):1-4


Peter L. Rudnytsky

According to my trusty 1966 edition of Webster's New World Dictionary, the primary meaning of “radical” is “of or from the root or roots; going to the center, foundation, or source of something; fundamental; basic; as, a radical principle”; only secondarily does it mean “favoring fundamental or extreme change; specifically, favoring such change of the social structure; very leftist.” Although only the first and last of our essays in this issue could be called radical in the latter sense, all four are radical in that they go “to the center, foundation, or source” of the theory and practice of psychoanalysis.

In “Back to the Roots: The Influence of Ian D. Suttie on British Psychoanalysis,” Gabriele Cassullo masterfully contextualizes the achievement of the author of The Origins of Love and Hate, whose 1935 magnum opus is “one of the by no means rare ‘secret books’ of psychoanalysis,” which has through the years been accorded a “cold reception” by the psychoanalytic establishment out of a well-founded concern that “the ideas advocated therein might jeopardize the very roots of Freudian theory.” For Cassullo, Suttie remains “the very prototype of the Independent analyst” because he combines “an in-depth knowledge of, and interest in, Freudian theory”—however critically he regarded many of its axioms—“with a ‘structure of feeling’ firmly grounded at once in British psychology and psychiatry and the Hungarian psychoanalytic tradition shaped by Ferenczi's legacy.”

As a founder and co-director of the Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of the Imagination, a public forum of the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Francis Levy has placed all friends of psychoanalysis in his debt.

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