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Grosskurth, P. (1992). Between Freud and Klein: The Psychoanalytic Quest for Knowledge and Truth. Adam Limentani. London: Free Association, 1989, 281 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 79(1):159-161.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Review, 79(1):159-161

Between Freud and Klein: The Psychoanalytic Quest for Knowledge and Truth. Adam Limentani. London: Free Association, 1989, 281 pp.

Review by:
Phyllis Grosskurth

Melanie Klein would have considered the title of this book a misnomer. As she once remarked tartly to a neighbor, “Make no mistake about it, my dear: I am a Freudian, but not an Anna Freudian.” What Adam Limentani is suggesting is that within the British Psychoanalytical Society he occupies an intermediate position, belonging to those analysts once described as the Middle Group but now, to his regret, renamed “The Group of Independent Analysts.” This change he regrets because the original title indicated a balance in which one was free to espouse whatever views seemed more amenable to one's own way of thinking without advocating the fiercely partisan politics of Klein and Anna Freud.

In his Foreword, Otto Kernberg (himself a synthesizer) describes Limentani as “open-minded, self-critical, sometimes excessively modest,” and, most important, “self-questioning.” To that I should like to add the word “humane.” To read these papers, covering his reflections on the vast experience of a lifetime, is to encounter a civilized and gentle mind, free from arrogance and tendentiousness. He describes psychoanalysis as an art, thus emphasizing that the great analyst is born with an instinctive gift for the vocation.

Limentani writes of the problems of working within a group whose collective conscience is “not necessarily of the highest quality.” He laments the divisive influence of prima donnas. He notes that it is probably as prevalent for analysts to try to turn their patients into ideal children as it is for the analyst to be transformed into the ideal parent.

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