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Krasner, R.F. (1984). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, XVIII. 1982: The Narcissistic Economy and Its Relation to Primitive Sexuality. Joyce McDougall. Pp. 373-396.. Psychoanal Q., 53:496.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Contemporary Psychoanalysis, XVIII. 1982: The Narcissistic Economy and Its Relation to Primitive Sexuality. Joyce McDougall. Pp. 373-396.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:496

Contemporary Psychoanalysis, XVIII. 1982: The Narcissistic Economy and Its Relation to Primitive Sexuality. Joyce McDougall. Pp. 373-396.

Ronald F. Krasner

In her introductory remarks McDougall contends that the individual strives to maintain a "narcissistic homeostasis" in the face of both internal and external stress through "object-libidinal investments in his internal world." As she sees it, there is a blurring of the boundary between so-called "narcissistic personalities" and "neurotic disorders," and nosological research is limited in its value. McDougall also criticizes Kohut's work for its minimization of the libido theory, oedipal organization, and the far-reaching effects of infantile sexuality. One manifestation of primitive sexuality involves the type of very early object relationship that is maintained to fend off narcissistic humiliation. Two types are described: one in which individuals attach themselves to their objects as a way of dispersing primitive anxieties; and one in which individuals maintain a distance from the rest of the world. The clinical illustration presented is an example of the latter category. A fragment of the analysis of a thirty-four-year-old woman is given. Her presenting symptom of emptiness and hopelessness was eventually analyzed as a defensive denial of her bodily self. The reasons behind this disavowal had multiple meanings and functions which served both narcissistic/preoedipal and object/oedipal purposes. McDougall admonishes the reader not to neglect the link between these two libidinal expressions.

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Article Citation

Krasner, R.F. (1984). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, XVIII. 1982. Psychoanal. Q., 53:496

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