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Having a PEP-Web subscription grants you access to IJP Open. This new feature allows you to access and review some articles of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis before their publication. The free subscription to IJP Open is required, and you can access it by clicking here.

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Rubens, R.L. (1996). The Unique Origins of Fairbairn's Theories: From Instinct to Self: Selected Papers of W. R. D. Fairbairn, Vols. I and II, edited by David Scharff and Ellinor Fairbairn Birtles (Northvale, NJ: Aronson, 1994, Vol. 1—xxi + 172 pp.; Vol. 2—xxii + 490 pp.). Psychoanal. Dial., 6(3):413-435.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 6(3):413-435

The Unique Origins of Fairbairn's Theories: From Instinct to Self: Selected Papers of W. R. D. Fairbairn, Vols. I and II, edited by David Scharff and Ellinor Fairbairn Birtles (Northvale, NJ: Aronson, 1994, Vol. 1—xxi + 172 pp.; Vol. 2—xxii + 490 pp.)

Review by:
Richard L. Rubens, Ph.D.

The publication of from instinct to self: selected papers of W. R. D. Fairbairn represents a major landmark in the burgeoning interest in the works of Ronald Fairbairn. In this two-volume work, Scharff and Birtles provide students of Fairbairn with incredibly fertile possibilities for understanding the development and significance of his theories, particularly at the two extremes of his career. Volume I provides convenient access to the more fully mature statement of his theory in Fairbairn's later papers, which appeared subsequent to the publication of Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality in 1952. The availability of these monumental papers—heretofore found only in the journals in which they were originally published (all British, and some far from common)—is an enormous advantage to Fairbairn scholarship. These are the works in which he expressed his ideas in their most clearly elaborated form; and it is in these works that the extraneous coloration of his thinking by the ideas of other psychoanalytic theories—those of Freud and Klein in particular—is progressively less in evidence.

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