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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Shengold, L. (1994). Envy and Malignant Envy. Psychoanal Q., 63:615-640.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:615-640

Envy and Malignant Envy

Leonard Shengold, M.D.


Envy begins early in psychic development and is initially characterized by destructive primal hatred. With maturation, envy becomes modified in intensity. Its primal murderous quality is attenuated, and, as object relationships develop, it becomes partly transformed into jealousy. Malignant envy is a retention of, or regression to, the original primal murderous affective mix. Clinically, one sees in malignant envy the phenomenon of the subject feeling with delusional intensity that what the envied one has is not only urgently wanted but has been stolen from the self—an intensity that is reacted to defensively by projection and delusion formation. This operates as a formidable resistance in analytic work.

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