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February 1959

Envy and Gratitude.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1959;81(2):265. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1959.02340140131018

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Abstract

In this slender volume Mrs. Klein has set herself the task of exploring the earliest sources of two attitudes—envy and gratitude. Using poetic illustrations, as well as her own psychoanalytic language, she draws a clear and intricate picture of what she means by these two words. Observations taken from the analyses of four adult patients further illuminate her subject matter. Her perceptive and thoughtful discussion should enrich our understanding of emotional states and thereby contribute to our therapeutic effectiveness, even though most of us who are not at home in Kleinian psychology may find the reading a bit arduous.

One contribution of the book is the author's sensitive appreciation of the complex fusion of affects and fantasies which comprise both envy and gratitude, and her attempt to distinguish them from other affective states or attitudes. It is this complexity, in addition to her reconstructive method, which makes it difficult for

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