Melanie Klein

Phyllis Grosskurth, Author Alfred A. Knopf $25 (515p) ISBN 978-0-394-51342-3
Extensive research went into this informative and revealing first major biography of Klein, a pioneer of child psychoanalysis, whose theories, although generated from Freud's discoveries of the unconscious, produced considerable controversy in their deviation from Freudian views. Klein is best known for her advocacy of play as a means of reaching a child's unconscious, and for her concepts of projective identification and patient-analyst countertransference. Grosskurth relates Klein's personal conflicts and traumas as a child and mother to the development of her ideas and methods as an analyst. She traces the history of psychoanalysis from Freud to the 1960s as it paralleled Klein's career, and reveals the often vicious and petty debates among British, American and German psychoanalytic societies, focusing on Klein's early support from and, according to the author, eventual betrayal by Ernest Jones; her fierce rivalry with child psychoanalyst Anna Freud; and her tyrannical rule in later years over the British psychoanalytic camp, dubbed ""Kleinian.'' A rudimentary knowledge of Freudian concepts is helpful but not necessary for reading this thorough study. Grosskurth has also written biographies of John Addington Symonds and Havelock Ellis. Photos not seen by PW. Macmillan Book Clubs and Jason Aronson Book Club alternates. (April 29)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 515 pages - 978-0-7710-3638-5
Open Ebook - 471 pages - 978-0-307-83213-9
Paperback - 544 pages - 978-0-674-56470-1
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