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Atkinson, J. (1988). Clancier, Anne and Kalmanovitch Jeannine. Winnicott and Paradox from Birth to Creation.: London, Tavistock Publications. 1987, Pp. 174. £8.95.. J. Anal. Psychol., 33(2):203-204.

(1988). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 33(2):203-204

Clancier, Anne and Kalmanovitch Jeannine. Winnicott and Paradox from Birth to Creation.: London, Tavistock Publications. 1987, Pp. 174. £8.95.

Review by:
James Atkinson

This is a Festschrift in celebration of the unique contribution to psychoanalysis of Donald Woods Winnicott. One of the authors is a French physician psychoanalyst working with children and adults; the other was a close friend of Winnicott, and translator of most of his writings into French.

The first two-thirds of the book comprise an exposition of the main theoretical ideas of Winnicott, incorporating lengthy quotations from his works, and the other third is devoted to reports of interviews with French analysts who knew him personally or professionally.

He is portrayed as a penetratingly humane, unorthodox non-conformist, a creative genius idiosyncratically developing his theoretical ideas directly from his clinical experience, particularly well-known examples of which are the spatula game and the squiggle game. He is referred to as one who knows he is his parents favourite, especially his mother's favourite’. The notion that there is no such thing as an infant apparently developed from a spontaneous outburst of his at a meeting of the British Psychoanalytical Society. His use of intuition, in conjunction with his basis in personal and clinical experience, is seen as part of a wider capacity to allow his unconscious to function, which, combined with an ability to identify with others at a deep level, informs his prodigious theoretical ideas. The authors' account of these covers territory familiar to readers of Winnicott concerning development described as preceding the attainment of object relations.

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