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Hewison, D. (2008). Glocer Fiorini, L., Bokanowski, T. & Lewkowicz, S. (Eds). On Freud's ‘Mourning and Melancholia’. London: International Psychoanalytic Association, 2007. Pp. 240. Pbk. £17.95.. J. Anal. Psychol., 53(3):449-450.

(2008). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 53(3):449-450

Glocer Fiorini, L., Bokanowski, T. & Lewkowicz, S. (Eds). On Freud's ‘Mourning and Melancholia’. London: International Psychoanalytic Association, 2007. Pp. 240. Pbk. £17.95.

Review by:
David Hewison

Edited by:
Linda Carter and Marcus West

Freud's ‘Mourning and Melancholia’ is a key paper in the development of psychoanalytic thought, which extended his thinking into psychotic states and which, some say, began the development of object relations thinking and intersubjective psychoanalysis. This collection of papers is a revitalization of a series last published by the IPA in 2001 looking at particular papers of Freud's and commenting on them from different contemporary psychoanalytic perspectives. The paper being discussed is included in the book so that readers have immediate access to the original and can cross-reference and check different understandings of various points for themselves. The previous series included such things as ‘Analysis Terminable and Interminable’, ‘On Narcissism: An Introduction’, ‘Observations on Transference-Love’, and ‘A Child is Being Beaten’ and they are well placed to be used as both primers and advanced texts for the study of each of these. One of the features of the series is that psychoanalysts of differing persuasions are invited to comment on the text from whatever perspective they wish, giving rise to a ‘polyphony’ of voices. This means, inevitably, that the collection contains papers with dissimilar theoretical concerns, leading to a loss of cohesion to the advantage of multiple perspectives.

There are nine papers commentingon ‘Mourning and Melancholia’, plusanoverarch-ing introduction from a very senior American psychoanalyst, Martin S Bergmann, who writes of the reward as well as the difficulty of introducing these papers at the age of 93.

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