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Schmukler, A.G. (1990). American Imago. XLV, 1988: Uncivil Wars: The Reproduction of Mother-Daughter Conflict and Rosellen Brown's Autobiography of My Mother. Merla Wolk. Pp. 163-185.. Psychoanal Q., 59:516-517.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XLV, 1988: Uncivil Wars: The Reproduction of Mother-Daughter Conflict and Rosellen Brown's Autobiography of My Mother. Merla Wolk. Pp. 163-185.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:516-517

American Imago. XLV, 1988: Uncivil Wars: The Reproduction of Mother-Daughter Conflict and Rosellen Brown's Autobiography of My Mother. Merla Wolk. Pp. 163-185.

Anita G. Schmukler

Mother-daughter relations and the intergenerational effects of inadequate mothering are examined in the fictional work of Rosellen Brown. Wolk traces preoedipal imagery in Brown's work, and cites the writing of Chodorow, who studied the centrality of the mother-daughter relation in the establishment of a girl's sense of self. Wolk examines the ambivalence of both mother and daughter over effective competition between the two—for the daughter, victory in this respect may be perceived as potentially self-destructive, and for the mother, this form of success may presage "intimations of her own death." Implicit in this essay is the profound significance

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of the unconscious identification of boy and girl with both mother and father. It is the conflict over repressed aspects of the primary figure of identification, especially when this involves separation difficulties and fury over deficits in early mothering, that becomes a profound influence in interpersonal relations. Wolk refers to the wider political and societal implications of this novel, clearly expressed in the article's title, "Uncivil Wars." Creative individuals, of course, find relief from conflict in sublimatory activities; symbolic artistic expression shapes their compromise formations.

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Article Citation

Schmukler, A.G. (1990). American Imago. XLV, 1988. Psychoanal. Q., 59:516-517

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