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Fogel, G.I. (1987). Self Psychology and the Humanities: Reflections on a New Psychoanalytic Approach: By Heinz Kohut. Edited with an Introduction by Charles B. Strozier. New York & London: W. W. Norton. 1985. Pp. 290. $27.95.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 68:555-559.

(1987). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 68:555-559

Self Psychology and the Humanities: Reflections on a New Psychoanalytic Approach: By Heinz Kohut. Edited with an Introduction by Charles B. Strozier. New York & London: W. W. Norton. 1985. Pp. 290. $27.95.

Review by:
Gerald I. Fogel

It is curious that Kohut's work has not attracted greater attention from the academic world, especially when one considers the major impact he has had upon psychoanalysis and its allied clinical disciplines. Within psychoanalysis, many who disagree with him profoundly have nevertheless been influenced in some degree. In fact, controversies and discussions surrounding his ideas have contributed importantly to the renewed interest in and rich rethinking of psychoanalytic theory we have seen in recent years. Although many psychotherapists who are not analysts have taken him up with great interest, however, fewer have apparently done so in the allied academic disciplines. In Kohut's posthumously published book, Self Psychology and the Humanities: Reflections on a New Psychoanalytic Approach, the editor, Charles Strozier, suggests an explanation.

Strozier reasons that although Kohut often uses historical, socio-political, literary, or aesthetic subjects to apply or illustrate his ideas, these instances are too widely scattered through his work to be easily accessible to scholars. Additional, Kohut published no papers dealing exclusively with such subjects using the concepts of self psychology. Strozier, a professor of history at Sangaman State University in Illinois, hopes that this book will fill this gap. It is comprised of three sections, and provides, firstly, selected and edited previously unpublished papers which are examples of the application of Kohut's ideas to the humanities; secondly, a selection from previously published papers which both touch on Kohut's historical, literary, and aesthetic interests and can also serve to introduce a new reader to the central theoretical tenets of self psychology; and finally, interviews by Strozier in which Kohut reflects, amplifies, clarifies, and responds to questions.

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