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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Ostow, B. (1955). Linkage Fantasies and Representations. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 36:387-392.

(1955). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 36:387-392

Linkage Fantasies and Representations

Bortimer Ostow, M.D.


The instinctual need to be united first with mother and later with a substitute object may be expressed by fantasies of linkage with the object. For these fantasies the notion of linkage of the child with its mother by the umbilical cord is paradigmatic. Representations of such linkage include pipelike carriers of fluid, electric cords, hoses, tubes, and clasped hands. It is not necessary to make the incredible assumption that there is infantile knowledge of the umbilical cord. It is more reasonable to assume that when the knowledge of the umbilical cord is acquired in later years, it is used as a paradigm to label (and screen) linkage fantasies which existed much earlier. They themselves come into being when actual experiences of such linkage in infancy act upon the neural constitutional basis for learning and employing the technique of linkage.

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