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Green, A. (2010). Sources and Vicissitudes of Being in D. W. Winnicott's Work. Psychoanal Q., 79(1):11-35.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 79(1):11-35

Original Articles

Sources and Vicissitudes of Being in D. W. Winnicott's Work

André Green

The author questions the reasons for the appearance of the concept of being in Winnicott's work four years before his death. Winnicott illustrated his concept of being by describing a patient in whom he found a complete dissociation of male and female elements. Insisting on the role of the environment and the part played by the mother, Winnicott considered that the pure female element relates to the breast or the mother, in the sense that the baby is becoming the breast. He opined that instinct or drive has nothing to do with this. The present paper discusses this viewpoint at length, comparing Winnicott's and Freud's positions. It is noted that Winnicott introduced his concept of being at a time when he felt threatened by his own mortality.

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