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Etchegoyen, R.H. Nemas, C.R. (2003). Salieri's Dilemma: A counterpoint between envy and appreciation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 84(1):45-58.

(2003). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 84(1):45-58

Salieri's Dilemma: A counterpoint between envy and appreciation Language Translation

R. Horacio Etchegoyen and Clara R. Nemas

Taking as its starting point Klein's concepts of 1957, this paper stresses certain characteristics of envy that have not yet been taken into account in psychoanalysis. Klein described the conflict between envy and gratitude as inherent in the human being; she suggested an interesting link between envy and admiration, but never developed this idea in her theory. The hypothesis that we put forward in this paper is the existence of a particular intolerance—related to envy—of one's own capacity to recognise the valuable aspects of the object. This situation leads to the paradox that the same faculty that allows the patient to appreciate the good qualities of the object is at the same time the source of unbearable pain. The capacity to recognise the good aspects of the object—whether they are perceived or attributed by projective identification—cannot be accepted as a valuable aspect of the self and is taken as a proof of the self's unworthiness. We think that the description of this intolerance towards admirative appreciation introduces a change in the understanding of idealisation simply as a defence against envy and enriches the conflict expressed in the immediacy of the transferencecountertransference.

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