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Meredith-Owen, W. (2008). ‘Go! Sterilise the Fertile With Thy Rage’ Envy as Embittered Desire. J. Anal. Psychol., 53(4):459-480.

(2008). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 53(4):459-480


‘Go! Sterilise the Fertile With Thy Rage’ Envy as Embittered Desire

William Meredith-Owen

This paper is concerned with the operation of envy: it considers its origins and their repercussions, in particular its compulsion to sterilize the evidence of fertility, exemplified by Roger Money-Kyrle's evocation of ‘the parental intercourse as the supremely creative act’. The inevitable impact on the analytic relationship is considered in the context of two clinical examples of impasse. It is argued that such fundamentally negative transferences, one full of overt aggression and enactment, the other more covertly sabotaging, derive from envious retaliatory impulses originating in experiences—whether phantasied or factual—of exclusion from the anticipated ‘good’. Significant recent Jungian contributions to this area are considered and the absence of references to ‘envy’—so characteristic of Kleinian discourse—is noted. The ongoing value of integrating Jungian and Kleinian approaches is affirmed.

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