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Atlan, C.L. (2019). British psychoanalysis: New perspectives in the Independent tradition: edited by Gregorio Kohon, New Library of Psychoanalysis, London, Routledge, 2018, £29.99, ISBN 9781138579057. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 100(4):792-795.

(2019). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 100(4):792-795

Book Reviews

British psychoanalysis: New perspectives in the Independent tradition: edited by Gregorio Kohon, New Library of Psychoanalysis, London, Routledge, 2018, £29.99, ISBN 9781138579057

Ch. Lechartier Atlan

This fascinating book is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the polyphonic texture of British psychoanalysis. Kohon himself is a good illustration—born in Argentina, he trained in England, left to live for a time in Australia, where he founded and ran a centre for psychoanalytic studies with his wife and returned to England, where he became a training analyst and co-authored a book with André Green; this already testifies to a vast international culture. He shows an admirable breadth of reading and capacity for synthesis. His book is entitled British Psychoanalysis: New Perspectives in the Independent Tradition, indicating that it is a sequel to The British School of Psychoanalysis: The Independent Tradition, published in 1986. It is these new perspectives that I will address, while heeding his statement that this is not just a new edition but a new book.

Kohon asserts the subjective quality of his book and his choice of authors. He has kept the four major themes of 1986: the early environment, the analytic encounter, regression and female sexuality. All these express strong elements of Independent thought. He takes as reference points a large proportion of the texts of the period—tradition implies being rooted in history—but he has the excellent idea of having these commented on by younger Independent authors such as Josh Cohen, Steven Groarke, Hannah Browne and Megan Virtue.

What is this Independent tradition? The first part of the book is mainly devoted to this reflection, which combines the history of ideas and history.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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