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Ledermann, R. (1989). Spillius, Elizabeth Bott (ed.). Melanie Klein Today. Developments in Theory and Practice. Volume i: Mainly Theory. London & New York, Tavistock, The New Library of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 7, 1988. Pp. 358.. J. Anal. Psychol., 34(1):96-98.
(1989). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 34(1):96-98
Spillius, Elizabeth Bott (ed.). Melanie Klein Today. Developments in Theory and Practice. Volume i: Mainly Theory. London & New York, Tavistock, The New Library of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 7, 1988. Pp. 358.
Review by: Rushi Ledermann
Spillius, a Kleinian training analyst, has selected eighteen papers by eminent Kleinian analysts written during the past thirty years, most of them since Melame Klein's death in 1960. With the exception of three papers, one by Rosenfeld, one by Betty Joseph and one by Henri Rey, which have previously appeared in books, all papers were published in the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis between 1955 and 1987. Hence readers of this Journal will be familiar with many of these papers, particularly as they contain such ‘classics’ as Bion's ‘Attacks on linking’ and ‘A theory of thinking’; Segal's ‘Notes on symbol formation’; Bick's ‘The experience of the skin in early object relations’, and Meltzer's ‘The relation of anal masturbation to projective identification’, to name only a few.
A great value of the book is that the papers are arranged in four parts with the titles i) The analysis of psychotic patients; 2) Projective identification; 3) On thinking 4) Pathological organisations. Each part is admirably introduced by Spillius. Her lucid exposition of Bion's ideas deserves special mention (p. 153). She has also written an excellent general introduction, in which she discusses the essence of Klein's ideas and theories, which, she says, have not undergone any change since her death, and she gives an exposition of the research done by Klein's colleagues and followers since then. Spillius has selected the papers according to topic rather than according to author; hence many important papers and several authors are not included because they have not written on the topics selected.
The book pre-supposes familiarity with Klein's ideas: her formulation of the paranoid-schizoid and depressive position, the deathinstinct and constitutional envy, present from the moment of birth, are still the central concepts.
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