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Plakun, E.M. (1993). New Essays on Narcissism: By Bela Grunberger (trans. & ed. David Macey). London: Free Association Books, 1989, 205 pp., $29.50.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41:803-807.

(1993). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 41:803-807

New Essays on Narcissism: By Bela Grunberger (trans. & ed. David Macey). London: Free Association Books, 1989, 205 pp., $29.50.

Review by:
Eric M. Plakun, M.D.

Over the last quarter-century the subject of narcissism has generated a degree of interest which goes well beyond any stimulated by this subject since its introduction in Freud's 1914 paper "On Narcissism." At times that which has been written about narcissism has suffered from imprecision, since the term has been used variously to describe a line of development in all individuals, a particular domain of psychopathology, and a specific personality disorder. The exciting intellectual ferment stimulated by the psychoanalytic study of narcissism has extended into psychiatry, too. A category of narcissistic personality disorder was introduced in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-III), refined in DSM-IIIR and will again be included in DSM-IV in the 1990's. Psychoanalytically trained psychiatrists have recently made important contributions by providing the first empirical data on patients with narcissistic personality disorder (Stone, 1989); (McGlashan and Heinssen, 1989); (Plakun, 1987), (1989), (1990); (Ronningstam and Gunderson, 1989). And in both 1987 and 1990 narcissism was the subject of scientific symposia at annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association. All this suggests that even while the gulf between psychoanalysis and psychiatry has been widening, the concept of narcissism, particularly of a specific narcissistic personality disorder, has been moving from the psychoanalytic domain into the realm of empirical psychiatry.

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