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Richards, A. Lynch, A. (1996). Merton Gill: A View of His Place in the “Freudian” Firmament. Ann. Psychoanal., 24:49-61.
(1996). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 24:49-61
Merton Gill: A View of His Place in the “Freudian” Firmament
Arnold Richards, M.D. and Arthur Lynch, D.S.W.
Merton Gill's psychoanalytic career spanned the 50 years from the early 1940s to 1994, what some might consider the American era of psychoanalysis. The early part of that period had the major figures of continental psychoanalysis (primarily from Central Europe, Austria, and Germany) torn from their roots and dispersed mostly to New York City but also to Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Boston. The development of psychoanalysis was affected, to varying degrees, by where emigrés settled and by their interaction with their American colleagues.
Those rescued by the New York Psychoanalytic Committee, most of them Viennese, accepted the invitation to become a part of that society and, in effect, took over. Hartmann, Kris, Loewenstein, Nunberg, Robert Bak, Edith Jacobson, and the Eisslers established themselves as the dominant theoretical and political force in New York, and their influence carried over to other institutes as well. Sandor Lorand, for example, founded the Downstate (now NYU) Institute. Influential Europeans on the West Coast included the Bernfelds, the Simmels, the Fenichels, and Susan Deri. Although the psychoanalytic community in Topeka, Kansas, where Gill trained, was primarily American, David Rapaport, a Hungarian whom Karl Menninger had found working in a state hospital, transmitted the echt Freudian vision, corpus, and doctrine to his coworkers and students there (and later in Stockbridge, Massachusetts).
Merton Gill's career in psychoanalysis can be viewed as part of a turn that American psychoanalysis took in its increasing disenchantment with Freud's Central European metapsychology.
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