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(1969). Book Notices. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 17:268-280.

(1969). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 17:268-280

Book Notices

VINCENT VAN GOGH: A PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDY. By Humberto Nagera. Foreword by Anna Freud. New York: International Universities Press, 1967, 182 pp., $6.50.

This psychoanalytic study of Van Gogh is based on his letters. The author traces the recurrent themes of oedipal conflict, struggle with inner violence, fear of failure and of success, tempestuous changes of mood, preoccupation with death, ambivalent attitudes toward various members of his family, etc., in this passionate and tragic genius whose life ended in suicide when he was only thirty-seven years old. As Anna Freud says in her Foreword, "it is the essential conclusion implied by the author that even the highly prized and universally envied gift of creative activity may fail tragically to provide sufficient outlets or acceptable solutions for the relief of intolerable internal conflicts and overwhelming destructive powers active within the personality."

THE PREDICAMENT OF THE FAMILY. Edited by Peter Lomas. Contributions by John Bowlby, Gillian Elles, Ilse Hellman, Ronald Laing, Peter Lomas, Derek Miller, Rhona Rapoport, Donald Winnicott. London: Hogarth Press, The International Psycho-Analytical Library, No. 71. New York: International Universities Press, 1967, 219 pp., $5.50.

Of the nine contributions to this volume, seven are newly printed. The subject matter, approached from the psychoanalytic point of view, comprises a study of the contemporary family, the mother-child relationship, the impact of family interaction on adolescent therapy, a family pattern of distress, simultaneous analyses of mother and child, family and individual structure, the meaning of postpartum breakdown, childhood mourning and psychiatric illness, and the study of marriage as a critical transition for personality and family development.

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