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Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Grotstein, J.S. (1991). Reshaping the Psychoanalytic Domain: The Work of Melanie Klein, W. R. D. Fairbairn, and D. W. Winnicott: By Judith M. Hughes. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989. 244 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 60:136-140.

(1991). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 60:136-140

Reshaping the Psychoanalytic Domain: The Work of Melanie Klein, W. R. D. Fairbairn, and D. W. Winnicott: By Judith M. Hughes. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989. 244 pp.

Review by:
James S. Grotstein

The author offers a critical monograph about what she believes to be three of the most important innovations in psychoanalytic theory since Freud, each of which belongs to the British object relations tradition. She then analyzes them from historical, psychohistorical, and substantive perspectives. She states at the outset: "Under one name or another, their work [that of M. Klein, Fairbairn, and Winnicott] has become familiar to clinicians in the United States and elsewhere. But it has been taken up by them in piecemeal fashion without an adequate appreciation of its internal coherence. It is this coherence that I want to establish, and in so doing, I hope to elucidate the strand of psychoanalytic theory which constitutes at once the soundest and most thoroughgoing revision of Freud" (p. ix).

This is a monumental piece of work because of its timeliness and scope, and because of the enormous amount of diligent scholarship it required. The author is a professor of history who is "psychoanalytically informed," both personally and academically, and who was a member of a psychoanalytic interdisciplinary seminar at the San Diego Psychoanalytic Institute. That institute, although classical for the most part, has been strongly influenced by self psychology. The author's analyst, whose name she reveals, is a well-known classical analyst, albeit a respected revisionist of classical theory. How did it come about, then, that a historian from this geopolitical outpost, which is so remote from Great Britain in so many psychoanalytic ways, chanced upon this theme—and is able to present it with such depth of understanding? I ask this because of my admiration for the quality of the author's work, because of my own personal acquaintance with the British School(s), and also because of my interest in the geopolitics of psychoanalysis.

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