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Britton, R. (1989). Chapter Two: The Missing Link: Parental Sexuality in the Oedipus Complex. The Oedipus Complex Today Clinical Implications, 83-101.

Britton, R. (1989). Chapter Two: The Missing Link: Parental Sexuality in the Oedipus Complex. The Oedipus Complex Today Clinical Implications, 83-101

Chapter Two: The Missing Link: Parental Sexuality in the Oedipus Complex Book Information Previous Up Next

Ronald Britton

For Freud the Oedipus complex was the nuclear complex from its discovery in 1897 to the end of his life (Freud, 1897, 1924d). It remained central in the development of the individual for Melanie Klein. She adopted the term ‘oedipal situation’ and included in it what Freud had referred to as the primal scene, i.e. the sexual relations of the parents both as perceived and as imagined (Klein, 1928; also chapter one, this volume).

From the outset of her work with children Melanie Klein was impressed at the ubiquity of the oedipal situation and its unique importance; she also thought that it began much earlier than did Freud and that it began in relation to part objects before evolving into the familiar Oedipus complex, which related to the two parents perceived as whole objects—that is, as persons.

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