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A Basic Theory of NeuropsychoanalysisA Cursing Brain?A Dream of Undying FameA Map of the MindAfter LacanAgainst AdaptationAgainst FreudAn Anatomy of AddictionAnalytic FreudAndré Green at the Squiggle FoundationAnger, Madness, and the DaimonicAnna FreudAnna Freud: A BiographyApproaching PsychoanalysisAttachment and PsychoanalysisBadiouBecoming a SubjectBefore ForgivingBerlin PsychoanalyticBetween Emotion and CognitionBeyond GenderBeyond SexualityBeyond the Pleasure PrincipleBiology of FreedomBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheCarl JungCassandra's DaughterCherishmentConfusion of TonguesContemporary Psychoanalysis and the Legacy of the Third ReichCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesCulture and Conflict in Child and Adolescent Mental HealthDarwin's WormsDesert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Dispatches from the Freud WarsDoes the Woman Exist?Doing Psychoanalysis in TehranDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDreaming by the BookEnergy 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WorldThe Brain, the Mind and the SelfThe Cambridge Companion to LacanThe Challenge for Psychoanalysis and PsychotherapyThe Clinical LacanThe Colonization Of Psychic SpaceThe Condition of MadnessThe Couch and the TreeThe Cruelty of DepressionThe Dissociative Mind in PsychoanalysisThe Dreams of InterpretationThe Examined LifeThe Fall Of An IconThe Freud EncyclopediaThe Freud FilesThe Freud WarsThe Fright of Real TearsThe Future of PsychoanalysisThe Gift of TherapyThe Heart & Soul of ChangeThe Knotted SubjectThe Last Good FreudianThe Late Sigmund FreudThe Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto RankThe Mind According to ShakespeareThe Mystery of PersonalityThe Mythological UnconsciousThe Neuropsychology of the UnconsciousThe New PsychoanalysisThe Power of FeelingsThe Psychoanalytic MovementThe Psychoanalytic MysticThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Puppet and the DwarfThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Revolt of the PrimitiveThe Seminar of Moustafa SafouanThe Sense and Non-Sense of RevoltThe Shortest ShadowThe Social History of the UnconsciousThe Surface EffectThe Symmetry of GodThe Tragedy of the SelfThe Trainings of the PsychoanalystThe UnsayableThe World of PerversionTherapeutic ActionTherapy's DelusionsThis Incredible Need to BelieveThoughts Without A ThinkerTo Redeem One Person Is to Redeem the WorldTrauma and Human ExistenceTraumatizing TheoryUmbr(a)Unconscious knowing and other essays in psycho-philosophical analysisUnderstanding Dissidence and Controversy in the History of PsychoanalysisUnderstanding PsychoanalysisUnfree AssociationsWalking HeadsWay Beyond FreudWhat Does a Woman Want?What Freud Really MeantWhen the Body SpeaksWhere Do We Fall When We Fall in Love?Whose Freud?Why Psychoanalysis?Wilhelm ReichWinnicottWinnicott On the ChildWisdom Won from IllnessWittgenstein on Freud and FrazerWittgenstein Reads FreudWorld, Affectivity, TraumaZizek
book is about psychoanalysis and modern culture. It is mainly concerned with
the very important questions of gender, parenting, and ontogenesis.
Developmental psychoanalysis (predominantly post-Kleinian) is seen as a possible
interpretative tool for critical understanding of human (we could say personal)
development in the actual (modern or even postmodern) cultural context.
the publication of Dorothy Dinnerstein's book The Mermaid and The Minotaur in
1976 there has been a remarkable upsurge of interest in the legacy of Melanie
Klein. Dinnerstein effectively subsumed critical theory under feminist theory.
She claimed not only that male domination but also political domination and the
domination of nature were psychologically rooted in the soil of the maternal
monopoly of early child care. Nancy Chodorow also argued that mother-dominated
child rearing engendered the psychology of male domination. Chodorow relied on
object-relations theorists like Fairbairn who assumed that the infant's first
and most fundamental experience of the world is merger with a mother on whom it
is totally dependant. She argued that men devalue women because boys must deny
this dependence on, and identification with, their mothers in order to become
men. Dinnerstein did not neglect the boy's need to dis-identify with mother,
but placed this problem within the context of Melanie Klein's assumption that
infancy is a state of intensely ambivalent feelings for, rather then perfect
fusion with, the mother. For Dinnerstein, the domination of men over women
reflects the rage that boys and girls feel for the first, and most important,
woman they encounter.
the United States Christopher Lasch made limited use of Kleinian theory in Culture
of Narcissism, but it was not until the publication of Fred Alford's book Melanie
Klein and Critical Social Theory in 1989 that a sustained case was made for
the integration of critical theory and Kleinian psychoanalysis.
follows Klein in arguing that the mother, as the source of the infant's
ultimate distress as well as ultimate joy, is at once the object of the infant's
intense, worshipful longing and the target of the infant's overwhelming,
murderous rage. Like Klein, she also argues that the young child handles this
otherwise explosive, intolerable mixture of love and hate for the mother by
splitting her in two. The price that child pays to keep in connection to a
loving object is the creation of a terrifying, hostile object against which it
must defend. Thus Dinnerstein agrees with Klein's assumption that the paranoid-schizoid
position is both the foundation for, and the chief obstacle to, the child's
further emotional development.
basic ideas of Melanie Klein (and of all classical psychoanalysis) are deeply
connected with classical structure of parenting. There is only one primary
parenting (maternal) object in the context of the paranoid-schizoid position.
Function of the father is something that becomes actual much more later than
function of the mother. Recent and systematic observations of newborns have
revealed that they are active participants in the interaction that takes place
between them and their primary (maternal and paternal) caregivers. The
actuality of two objects in the external world performing a single function (dual
parenting) leads in an unmediated fashion to the integration of the mental
representations of these two (maternal and paternal) objects in the psychic
world. Many important questions that are closely related to these facts and
ideas are carefully discussed in this book¸ with good sense for argumentation.
its second part, modernity is conceptualized as a manic defense against
the mourning that is developmentally and ontologically linked to the primitive
mental states and anxieties. The fantastic declaration of independence from
nature that fuels modern culture engenders an emotional emptiness for which an
equally fantastic overdependence on object of consumption is the remedy that
only renews the dis-ease. Put differently, the repressed (or rather
split-off) need for nature resurfaces in the form of a desperate search for stuff
that both defends us against, and (like all defenses) reproduces, the
depression that results from the repression of that natural need. Thus is an
omnipotent modernity compelled to repeat the damage it does to both the planet
and its people.
book will be of interests for developmental psychologists, psychoanalysts, for
gender-theorists and for social psychologists. It is well documented,
provocative and logically composed. It could be really stimulating for many
further readings and (critical) thinking.
© 2007 Petar Jevremovic
Clinical psychologist and practicing psychotherapist, author of two books (Psychoanalysis
and Ontology, Lacan and Psychoanalysis), translator of Aristotle and
Maximus the Confessor, editor of the Serbian editions of selected works of
Heintz Kohut, Jacques Lacan and Melanie Klein, author of various texts that are
concerned with psychoanalysis, philosophy, literature and theology. He lives in