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Radomisli, M. (1964). Culpa Y Depresion (Guilt and Depression). By Leon Grinberg. Argentine: Buenos Aires, Paidos. 247 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 51C(3):198.

(1964). Psychoanalytic Review, 51C(3):198

Culpa Y Depresion (Guilt and Depression). By Leon Grinberg. Argentine: Buenos Aires, Paidos. 247 pp.

Review by:
Michel Radomisli

In essence an attempt is made to assimilate Melanie Klein's theories with the Freudian principles. The history of guilt feelings is traced from mythology to magical totemic rites, through its religious aspects and eventually within the framework of philosophical and psychoanalytic concepts about morals and ethics. The structural elements of the id, ego, and superego are studied in relation to guilt as well as the different facets of superego genesis, the controversy about an ego existing at birth or even before, and the complex relationship of guilt and the oedipus complex. The author discusses what he considers complementary concepts between Freud and Klein in regard to guilt and the need for atonement in humans. The rest of the first part is primarily concerned with the depressive and the persecutory types of guilt as described by Melanie Klein.

In the second section mourning and its relation to guilt are discussed and the question of whether the period of mourning is normal or pathological. Again the concept of Klein predominates precisely in the description about identity, negative therapeutic reaction, projective identifications and object relations of the ego. There are two chapters, one dealing especially with mourning in children and the other with collective mourning. Both are well presented.

In the third part of the book guilt and mourning are traced in relation to artistic creation from Aeschylus to Sartre and from Jacob in the Bible to “Hiroshima Mon Amour.

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